Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 31. Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) Permit Regulation

9VAC25-31-50. Prohibitions.

A. Except in compliance with a VPDES permit, or another permit, issued by the department or a general permit issued as a regulation adopted by the board or other entity authorized by the board or department, it shall be unlawful for any person to:

1. Discharge into state waters sewage, industrial wastes, other wastes, or any noxious or deleterious substances;

2. Otherwise alter the physical, chemical or biological properties of such state waters and make them detrimental to the public health, or to animal or aquatic life, or to the use of such waters for domestic or industrial consumption, or for recreation, or for other uses; or

3. Discharge stormwater into state waters from municipal separate storm sewer systems or land disturbing activities.

B. Any person in violation of subsection A of this section, who discharges or causes or allows a discharge of sewage, industrial waste, other wastes or any noxious or deleterious substance into or upon state waters; or who discharges or causes or allows a discharge that may reasonably be expected to enter state waters in violation of subsection A of this section shall notify the department of the discharge, immediately upon discovery of the discharge but in no case later than 24 hours after said discovery. A written report of the unauthorized discharge shall be submitted by the owner, to the department, within five days of discovery of the discharge. The written report shall contain:

1. A description of the nature and location of the discharge;

2. The cause of the discharge;

3. The date on which the discharge occurred;

4. The length of time that the discharge continued;

5. The volume of the discharge;

6. If the discharge is continuing, how long it is expected to continue;

7. If the discharge is continuing, what the expected total volume of the discharge will be; and

8. Any steps planned or taken to reduce, eliminate and prevent a recurrence of the present discharge or any future discharges not authorized by the permit.

Discharges reportable to the department under the immediate reporting requirements of other regulations are exempted from this requirement.

C. No permit may be issued:

1. When the conditions of the permit do not provide for compliance with the applicable requirements of the CWA or the law, or regulations promulgated under the CWA or the law;

2. When the applicant is required to obtain a state or other appropriate certification under § 401 of the CWA and that certification has not been obtained or waived;

3. When the regional administrator has objected to issuance of the permit;

4. When the imposition of conditions cannot ensure compliance with the applicable water quality requirements of all affected states;

5. When, in the judgment of the Secretary of the Army, anchorage and navigation in or on any of the waters of the United States would be substantially impaired by the discharge;

6. For the discharge of any radiological, chemical, or biological warfare agent or high-level radioactive waste;

7. For any discharge inconsistent with a plan or plan amendment approved under § 208(b) of the CWA;

8. For any discharge to the territorial sea, the waters of the contiguous zone, or the oceans in the following circumstances:

a. Before the promulgation of guidelines under § 403(c) of the CWA (for determining degradation of the waters of the territorial seas, the contiguous zone, and the oceans) unless the board or department determines permit issuance to be in the public interest; or

b. After promulgation of guidelines under § 403(c) of the CWA, when insufficient information exists to make a reasonable judgment whether the discharge complies with them.

9. To a new source or a new discharger, if the discharge from its construction or operation will cause or contribute to the violation of water quality standards. The owner or operator of a new source or new discharger proposing to discharge into a water segment which does not meet applicable water quality standards or is not expected to meet those standards even after the application of the effluent limitations required by the law and §§ 301(b)(1)(A) and 301(b)(1)(B) of the CWA, and for which the department has performed a pollutants load allocation for the pollutant to be discharged, must demonstrate, before the close of the public comment period, that:

a. There are sufficient remaining pollutant load allocations to allow for the discharge; and

b. The existing dischargers into that segment are subject to compliance schedules designed to bring the segment into compliance with applicable water quality standards. The department may waive the submission of information by the new source or new discharger required by this subdivision if the department determines that it already has adequate information to evaluate the request. An explanation of the development of limitations to meet the criteria of this paragraph is to be included in the fact sheet to the permit under 9VAC25-31-280.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 402 of the federal Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 13, eff. April 11, 2001; Volume 18, Issue 25, eff. September 25, 2002; Volume 30, Issue 11, eff. February 26, 2014; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

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