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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 32. Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) Permit Regulation

9VAC25-32-80. Conditions applicable to all VPA permits.

A. Duty to comply. The permittee shall comply with all conditions of the VPA permit. Any permit noncompliance is a violation of the law, and is grounds for enforcement action, permit termination, revocation, modification, or denial of a permit renewal application.

B. Duty to halt or reduce activity. It shall not be a defense for a permittee in an enforcement action that it would have been necessary to halt or reduce the permitted activity in order to maintain compliance with the conditions of the VPA permit.

C. Duty to mitigate. The permittee shall take all reasonable steps to minimize, correct, or prevent any pollutant management activity in violation of the VPA permit which has a reasonable likelihood of adversely affecting human health or the environment.

D. Proper operation and maintenance. The permittee shall be responsible for the proper operation and maintenance of all treatment works, systems, and controls which are installed or used to achieve compliance with permit conditions. Proper operation and maintenance includes effective plant performance, adequate funding, adequate licensed operator staffing, and adequate laboratory and process controls, including appropriate quality assurance procedures.

E. Permit action.

1. A VPA permit may be modified, revoked and reissued, or terminated as set forth in this chapter.

2. If a permittee files a request for a permit modification, revocation, or termination, or files a notification of planned changes, or anticipated noncompliance, the permit terms and conditions shall remain effective until the request is acted upon by the department. This provision shall not be used to extend the expiration date of the effective VPA permit.

3. VPA permits may be modified, revoked and reissued or terminated upon the request of the permittee or interested persons, or upon the department's initiative, to reflect the requirements of any changes in the statutes or regulations.

4. VPA permits continued under 9VAC25-32-130 remain effective and enforceable.

F. Inspection and entry. Upon presentation of credentials, any duly authorized agent of the department may, at reasonable times and under reasonable circumstances:

1. Enter upon any permittee's property, public or private, and have access to records required by the VPA permit;

2. Have access to, inspect, and copy any records that must be kept as part of VPA permit conditions;

3. Inspect any facility's equipment (including monitoring and control equipment) practices or operations regulated or required under the VPA permit; and

4. Sample or monitor any substances or parameters at any locations for the purpose of assuring VPA permit compliance or as otherwise authorized by law.

G. Duty to provide information.

1. The permittee shall furnish to the department, within a reasonable time, any information which the department may request to determine whether cause exists for modifying, revoking and reissuing, terminating the VPA permit, or to determine compliance with the VPA permit. The permittee shall also furnish to the department, upon request, copies of records required to be kept by the permittee.

2. Plans, specifications, maps, conceptual reports and other relevant information shall be submitted as requested by the department prior to commencing construction.

H. Monitoring and records.

1. Samples and measurements taken for the purpose of monitoring shall be representative of the monitored activity.

2. The permittee shall retain records of all monitoring information, including all calibration and maintenance records and all original strip chart recordings for continuous monitoring instrumentation, copies of all reports required by the VPA permit, and records of all data used to complete the application for the VPA permit, for a period of at least three years or in the case of activities regulated under Part IX (9VAC25-32-303 et seq.) of this chapter, at least five years from the date of the sample, measurement, report, or application. This period may be extended by request of the department at any time.

3. Records of monitoring information shall include:

a. The date, exact place and time of sampling or measurements;

b. The name of the individuals who performed the sampling or measurements;

c. The date or dates analyses were performed;

d. The name of the individuals who performed the analyses;

e. The analytical techniques or methods supporting the information such as observations, readings, calculations and bench data used; and

f. The results of such analyses.

4. Monitoring shall be conducted according to analytical methods promulgated pursuant to § 304(h) of the Clean Water Act (33 USC § 1251 et seq.) and listed in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR Part 136. Any other acceptable test procedure not listed in 40 CFR Part 136 shall be specified in the VPA permit.

5. Records related to biosolids data and information specified in agreements between generator, owner, agents, landowners, and farmers shall be described and maintained for a minimum period of five years or the duration of the permit or subsequent revisions if longer than five years.

I. Reporting requirements.

1. The permittee shall give prompt notice to the department of any planned changes to the design or operation of the pollutant management activity.

2. If any unusual or extraordinary discharge including a bypass or upset should occur from a treatment works and the discharge enters or could be expected to enter state waters, the owner shall promptly notify, in no case later than 24 hours, the department by telephone after the discovery of the discharge. This notification shall provide all available details of the incident, including any adverse effects on aquatic life and the known number of fish killed. The permittee shall reduce the report to writing and shall submit it to the department within five days of discovery of the discharge in accordance with subdivision 6 of this subsection. Unusual and extraordinary discharges include any discharge resulting from:

a. Unusual spillage of materials resulting directly or indirectly from processing operations;

b. Breakdown of processing or accessory equipment;

c. Failure or taking out of service of some or all of the treatment works; and

d. Flooding or other acts of nature.

3. The permittee shall give at least 10 days advance notice to the department of any planned changes to the facility or activity which may result in noncompliance.

4. Monitoring results shall be reported at the intervals specified in the applicable VPA permit.

a. Monitoring results shall be reported in a format acceptable to the department.

b. If a permittee monitors the pollutant management activity, at a sampling location specified in the VPA permit, for any pollutant more frequently than required by the VPA permit using approved analytical methods, the permittee shall report the results of this monitoring on the monitoring report.

c. If the permittee monitors the pollutant management activity, at a sampling location specified in the VPA permit, for any pollutant that is not required to be monitored by the VPA permit, and uses approved analytical methods the permittee shall report the results with the monitoring report.

d. Calculations for all limitations which require averaging of measurements shall utilize an arithmetic mean unless otherwise specified in the VPA permit.

5. Reports of compliance or noncompliance with or any progress report on interim and final requirements contained in any compliance schedule in the VPA permit shall be submitted no later than 14 days following each scheduled date.

6. 24-hour reporting.

a. The permittee shall report any noncompliance that may adversely affect state waters or may endanger public health. An oral report must be provided to the department as soon as possible, but in no case later than 24 hours from the time the permittee becomes aware of the circumstances. A written report shall be submitted within five days and shall contain a description of the noncompliance and its cause; the period of noncompliance including exact dates and times, and, if the noncompliance has not been corrected, how long it is expected to continue, steps planned or taken to reduce, eliminate, and prevent a recurrence of the noncompliance. The department may waive the written report requirements on a case-by-case basis if the oral report has been received within 24 hours and no adverse impact on state waters has been reported. All other noncompliance reports which may not adversely affect state waters shall be submitted with the monitoring report. Reports shall include overflows.

b. The following shall be included as information which must be reported within 24 hours under this subdivision:

(1) Any unanticipated bypass; and

(2) Any upset which causes a discharge to surface waters.

J. Bypass.

1. A bypass of the treatment works is prohibited except as provided herein.

2. If the permittee knows in advance of the need for a bypass, he shall notify the department promptly at least 10 days prior to the bypass. After considering its adverse effects, the department may approve an anticipated bypass if:

a. The bypass will be unavoidable to prevent loss of human life, personal injury, or severe property damage ("severe property damage" means substantial physical damage to property, damage to the treatment facilities which causes them to become inoperable, or substantial and permanent loss of natural resources which can reasonably be expected to occur in the absence of a bypass. Severe property damage does not mean economic loss caused by delays in production); and

b. There are no feasible alternatives to bypass such as the use of auxiliary treatment facilities, retention of untreated waste, or maintenance during normal periods of equipment downtime. However, if bypass occurs during normal periods of equipment downtime or preventive maintenance and in the exercise of reasonable engineering judgment the permittee could have installed adequate backup equipment to prevent such bypass, this exclusion shall not apply as a defense.

3. If an unplanned bypass occurs, the permittee shall notify the department as soon as possible, but in no case later than 24 hours, and shall take steps to halt the bypass as early as possible. This notification will be a condition for defense to an enforcement action that an unplanned bypass met the conditions in subdivision 2 of this subsection and in light of the information reasonably available to the owner at the time of the bypass.

K. Upset. A permittee may claim an upset as an affirmative defense to an action brought for noncompliance. In any enforcement proceedings a permittee shall have the burden of proof to establish the occurrence of any upset. In order to establish an affirmative defense of upset, the permittee shall present properly signed, contemporaneous operating logs or other relevant evidence that shows:

1. That an upset occurred and that the cause can be identified;

2. That the permitted facility was at the time being operated efficiently and in compliance with proper operation and maintenance procedures;

3. That the 24-hour reporting requirements to the department were met; and

4. That the permittee took all reasonable steps to minimize or correct any adverse impact on state waters resulting from noncompliance with the VPA permit.

L. Signature requirements. All applications, reports, or information submitted to the department shall be signed and certified as required in 9VAC25-32-70.

M. Transfers. A VPA permit is not transferable to any person except after notice to the department according to 9VAC25-32-230. The department may require modification or revocation and reissuance of the VPA permit to change the name of the permittee and incorporate such other requirements as may be necessary.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2008; Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013; Volume 34, Issue 19, eff. June 13, 2018; Volume 39, Issue 5, eff. November 23, 2022.

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