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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 690. Virginia Water Protection General Permit for Impacts from Development and Certain Mining Activities
7/10/2020

9VAC25-690-60. Application.

A. The applicant shall file a complete application in accordance with 9VAC25-690-50 and this section for coverage under this VWP general permit for impacts to surface waters from development and certain mining activities.

B. A complete application for VWP general permit coverage, at a minimum, consists of the following information, if applicable to the project:

1. The applicant's legal name, mailing address, telephone number, and if applicable, electronic mail address and fax number.

2. If different from the applicant, legal name, mailing address, telephone number, and if applicable, electronic mail address and fax number of property owner.

3. If applicable, the authorized agent's name, mailing address, telephone number, and if applicable, fax number and electronic mail address.

4. The existing VWP general permit tracking number, if applicable.

5. Project name and proposed project schedule.

6. The following information for the project site location, and any related permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation site:

a. The physical street address, nearest street, or nearest route number; city or county; zip code; and if applicable, parcel number of the site or sites.

b. Name of the impacted water body or water bodies, or receiving waters, as applicable, at the site or sites.

c. The latitude and longitude to the nearest second at the center of the site or sites.

d. The fourth order subbasin, as defined by the hydrologic unit boundaries of the National Watershed Boundary Dataset, for the site or sites.

e. A detailed map depicting the location of the site or sites, including the project boundary and all existing preservation areas on the site or sites. The map (e.g., a U.S. Geologic Survey topographic quadrangle map) should be of sufficient detail to easily locate the site or sites for inspection.

7. A narrative description of the project, including project purpose and need.

8. Plan-view drawing or drawings of the project site sufficient to assess the project, including at a minimum the following:

a. North arrow, graphic scale, and existing and proposed topographic or bathymetric contours.

b. Limits of proposed impacts to surface waters.

c. Location of all existing and proposed structures.

d. All delineated wetlands and all jurisdictional surface waters on the site, including the Cowardin classification (i.e., emergent, scrub-shrub, or forested) for those surface waters and waterway name, if designated; ebb and flood or direction of flow; and ordinary high water mark in nontidal areas.

e. The limits of Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Areas (RPAs) as field-verified by the applicant, and if available, the limits as approved by the locality in which the project site is located, unless the proposed use is exempt from the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations (9VAC25-830).

f. The limits of any areas that are under a deed restriction, conservation easement, restrictive covenant, or other land use protective instrument (i.e., protected areas).

9. Cross-sectional and profile drawing or drawings. Cross-sectional drawing or drawings of each proposed impact area shall include at a minimum a graphic scale, existing structures, existing and proposed elevations, limits of surface water areas, ebb and flood or direction of flow (if applicable), ordinary high water mark in nontidal areas, impact limits, and location of all existing and proposed structures. Profile drawing or drawings with this information may be required on a case-by-case basis to demonstrate minimization of impacts. Any application that proposes piping or culverting stream flows shall provide a longitudinal profile of the pipe or culvert position and stream bed thalweg, or shall provide spot elevations of the stream thalweg at the beginning and end of the pipe or culvert, extending to a minimum of 10 feet beyond the limits of proposed impact.

10. Materials assessment. Upon request by the board, the applicant shall provide evidence or certification that the material is free from toxic contaminants prior to disposal or that the dredging activity will not cause or contribute to a violation of water quality standards during dredging. The applicant may be required to conduct grain size and composition analyses, tests for specific parameters or chemical constituents, or elutriate tests on the dredge material.

11. A narrative description of all impacts proposed to surface waters, including the type of activity to be conducted in surface waters and any physical alteration to surface waters. Surface water impacts shall be identified as follows:

a. Wetland impacts identified according to their Cowardin classification (i.e., emergent, scrub-shrub, or forested); and for each classification, the individual impacts quantified in square feet to the nearest whole number, cumulatively summed in square feet, and then the sum converted to acres and rounded to two decimal places using commonly accepted arithmetic principles of rounding.

b. Individual stream impacts (i) quantified by length in linear feet to the nearest whole number and by average width in feet to the nearest whole number; (ii) quantified in square feet to the nearest whole number; and (iii) when compensatory mitigation is required, the impacts identified according to the assessed type using the Unified Stream Methodology.

c. Open water impacts identified according to their Cowardin classification, and for each type, the individual impacts quantified in square feet to the nearest whole number, cumulatively summed in square feet, and then the sum converted to acres and rounded to two decimal places using commonly accepted arithmetic principles of rounding.

d. A copy of the approved jurisdictional determination when available, or when unavailable, (i) the preliminary jurisdictional determination from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), or DEQ or (ii) other correspondence from the USACE, NRCS, or DEQ indicating approval of the boundary of applicable jurisdictional surface waters, including wetlands data sheets if applicable.

e. A delineation map that (i) depicts the geographic area or areas of all surface water boundaries delineated in accordance with 9VAC25-210-45 and confirmed in accordance with the jurisdictional determination process; (ii) identifies such areas in accordance with subdivisions 11 a, 11 b, and 11 c of this subsection; and (iii) quantifies and identifies any other surface waters according to their Cowardin classification (i.e., emergent, scrub-shrub, or forested) or similar terminology.

12. An alternatives analysis for the proposed project detailing the specific on-site measures taken during project design and development to first avoid and then minimize impacts to surface waters to the maximum extent practicable in accordance with the Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material, 40 CFR Part 230. Avoidance and minimization includes, but is not limited to, the specific on-site measures taken to reduce the size, scope, configuration, or density of the proposed project, including review of alternative sites where required for the project, which would avoid or result in less adverse impact to surface waters, and documentation demonstrating the reason the applicant determined less damaging alternatives are not practicable. The analysis shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that avoidance and minimization opportunities have been identified and measures have been applied to the proposed activity such that the proposed activity in terms of impacts to state waters and fish and wildlife resources is the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative.

13. A compensatory mitigation plan to achieve no net loss of wetland acreage and functions or stream functions and water quality benefits.

a. If permittee-responsible compensation is proposed for wetland impacts, a conceptual wetland compensatory mitigation plan must be submitted in order for an application to be deemed complete and shall include at a minimum (i) the goals and objectives in terms of replacement of wetland acreage and functions; (ii) a detailed location map including latitude and longitude to the nearest second and the fourth order subbasin, as defined by the hydrologic unit boundaries of the National Watershed Boundary Dataset, at the center of the site; (iii) a description of the surrounding land use; (iv) a hydrologic analysis including a draft water budget for nontidal areas based on expected monthly inputs and outputs that will project water level elevations for a typical year, a dry year, and a wet year; (v) groundwater elevation data, if available, or the proposed location of groundwater monitoring wells to collect these data; (vi) wetland delineation confirmation, data sheets, and maps for existing surface water areas on the proposed site or sites; (vii) a conceptual grading plan; (viii) a conceptual planting scheme including suggested plant species and zonation of each vegetation type proposed; (ix) a description of existing soils including general information on both topsoil and subsoil conditions, permeability, and the need for soil amendments; (x) a draft design of any water control structures; (xi) inclusion of buffer areas; (xii) a description of any structures and features necessary for the success of the site; (xiii) the schedule for compensatory mitigation site construction; and (xiv) measures for the control of undesirable species.

b. If permittee-responsible compensation is proposed for stream impacts, a conceptual stream compensatory mitigation plan must be submitted in order for an application to be deemed complete and shall include at a minimum (i) the goals and objectives in terms of water quality benefits and replacement of stream functions; (ii) a detailed location map including the latitude and longitude to the nearest second and the fourth order subbasin, as defined by the hydrologic unit boundaries of the National Watershed Boundary Dataset, at the center of the site; (iii) a description of the surrounding land use; (iv) the proposed stream segment restoration locations including plan view and cross-sectional drawings; (v) the stream deficiencies that need to be addressed; (vi) data obtained from a DEQ-approved, stream impact assessment methodology such as the Unified Stream Methodology; (vii) the proposed restoration measures to be employed including channel measurements, proposed design flows, types of instream structures, and conceptual planting scheme; (viii) reference stream data, if available; (ix) inclusion of buffer areas; (x) schedule for restoration activities; and (xi) measures for the control of undesirable species.

c. For any permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation, the conceptual compensatory mitigation plan shall also include a draft of the intended protective mechanism or mechanisms, in accordance with 9VAC25-210-116 B 2, such as, but not limited to, a conservation easement held by a third party in accordance with the Virginia Conservation Easement Act (§ 10.1-1009 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) or the Virginia Open-Space Land Act (§ 10.1-1700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), a duly recorded declaration of restrictive covenants, or other protective instrument. The draft intended protective mechanism shall contain the information in subdivisions c (1), c (2), and c (3) of this subdivision 13 or in lieu thereof shall describe the intended protective mechanism or mechanisms that contains the information required below:

(1) A provision for access to the site;

(2) The following minimum restrictions: no ditching, land clearing, or discharge of dredge or fill material, and no activity in the area designated as compensatory mitigation area with the exception of maintenance; corrective action measures; or DEQ-approved activities described in the approved final compensatory mitigation plan or long-term management plan; and

(3) A long-term management plan that identifies a long-term steward and adequate financial assurances for long-term management in accordance with the current standard for mitigation banks and in-lieu fee program sites, except that financial assurances will not be necessary for permittee-responsible compensation provided by government agencies on government property. If approved by DEQ, permittee-responsible compensation on government property and long-term protection may be provided through federal facility management plans, integrated natural resources management plans, or other alternate management plans submitted by a government agency or public authority.

d. Any compensatory mitigation plan proposing the purchase of mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program credits shall include the number and type of credits proposed to be purchased and documentation from the approved bank or in-lieu fee program sponsor of the availability of credits at the time of application.

14. Permit application fee. The applicant will be notified by the board as to the appropriate fee for the project in accordance with 9VAC25-20.

15. A written description and a graphical depiction identifying all upland areas including buffers, wetlands, open water, other surface waters, and compensatory mitigation areas located within the proposed project boundary or permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation areas that are under a deed restriction, conservation easement, restrictive covenant, or other land use protective instrument (i.e., protected areas). Such description and a graphical depiction shall include the nature of the prohibited activities within the protected areas and the limits of Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Areas (RPAs) as field-verified by the applicant, and if available, the limits as approved by the locality in which the project site is located, unless the proposed use is exempt from the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations (9VAC25-830), as additional state or local requirements may apply if the project is located within an RPA.

16. Signature page that has been signed, dated, and certified by the applicant in accordance with 9VAC25-210-100. If the applicant is a business or other organization, the signature must be made by an individual with the authority to bind the business or organization, and the title of the signatory must be provided. The application signature page, either on the copy submitted to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission or to DEQ, must have an original signature. Electronic submittals containing the original signature page, such as that contained in a scanned document file, are acceptable.

C. An analysis of the functions of wetlands proposed to be impacted may be required by DEQ. When required, the method selected for the analysis shall assess water quality or habitat metrics and shall be coordinated with DEQ in advance of conducting the analysis.

1. No analysis shall be required when:

a. Wetland impacts per each single and complete project total 1.00 acre or less; or

b. The proposed compensatory mitigation consists of purchasing mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program credits at standard mitigation ratios of 2:1 for forest, 1.5:1 for scrub-shrub, and 1:1 for emergent, or higher.

2. Analysis shall be required when wetland impacts per each single and complete project total 1.01 acres or more and when any of the following applies:

a. The proposed compensatory mitigation consists of permittee-responsible compensation, including water quality enhancements as replacement for wetlands; or

b. The proposed compensatory mitigation consists of purchasing mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program credits at less than the standard mitigation ratios of 2:1 for forest, 1.5:1 for scrub-shrub, and 1:1 for emergent.

D. Upon receipt of an application by the appropriate DEQ office, the board has 15 days to review the application and either determine the information requested in subsection B of this section is complete or inform the applicant that additional information is required to make the application complete. Coverage under this VWP general permit shall be approved or approved with conditions, or the application shall be denied, within 45 days of receipt of a complete application. If the board fails to act within 45 days on a complete application, coverage under this VWP permit general permit shall be deemed granted.

1. In evaluating the application, the board shall make an assessment of the impacts associated with the project in combination with other existing or proposed impacts. Application for coverage under this VWP general permit shall be denied if the cumulative impacts will cause or contribute to a significant impairment of state waters or fish and wildlife resources.

2. The board may place additional requirements on a project in order to grant coverage under this VWP general permit. However, the requirements must be consistent with this chapter.

E. Incomplete application. Where an application is not accepted as complete by the board within 15 days of receipt, the board shall require the submission of additional information from the applicant and may suspend processing of any application until such time as the applicant has supplied the requested information and the application is complete. Where the applicant becomes aware that he omitted one or more relevant facts from an application, or submitted incorrect information in an application or in any report to the board, the applicant shall immediately submit such facts or the correct information. A revised application with new information shall be deemed a new application for purposes of review but shall not require an additional permit application fee. An incomplete permit application may be administratively withdrawn from processing by the board for failure to provide the required information after 60 days from the date of the latest written information request made by the board. An applicant may request a suspension of application review by the board, but requesting a suspension shall not preclude the board from administratively withdrawing an incomplete application. Resubmittal of a permit application for the same or similar project, after such time that the original permit application was administratively withdrawn, shall require submittal of an additional permit application fee.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 401 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC § 1251 et seq.).

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 17, Issue 21, eff. October 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 08, eff. January 26, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2006; Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. August 2, 2016.

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