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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 800. Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit Regulation for Discharges Resulting from the Application of Pesticides to Surface Waters
8/11/2020

9VAC25-800-30. Authorization to Discharge.

A. Any operator that meets the eligibility requirements in subsection B of this section is hereby authorized for his discharges resulting from the application of pesticides to surface waters of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The definition of operator in 9VAC25-800-10 provides that more than one person may be responsible for the same discharge resulting from pesticide application. Any operator authorized to discharge under this general permit is responsible for compliance with the terms of this permit for discharges resulting from the application of pesticides.

B. Eligibility. This permit is available to operators who discharge to surface waters from the application of (i) biological pesticides, or (ii) chemical pesticides that leave a residue (pesticides), when the pesticide application is for one of the following pesticide use patterns:

1. Mosquito and other flying insect pest control - to control public health, nuisance and other flying insect pests that develop or are present during a portion of their life cycle in or above standing or flowing water.

2. Weed and algae pest control - to control weeds, algae, and pathogens that are pests in surface waters.

3. Animal pest control - to control animal pests in surface waters.

4. Forest canopy pest control - application of a pesticide to the forest canopy to control the population of a pest species (e.g., insect or pathogen) where to target the pests effectively, a portion of the pesticide unavoidably will be applied over and deposited to surface water.

5. Intrusive vegetation pest control - to control vegetation along roads, ditches, canals, waterways, and utility rights of way where to target the intrusive pests effectively, a portion of the pesticide unavoidably will be applied over and deposited to surface water.

C. Operators applying pesticides are required to maintain a pesticide discharge management plan (PDMP) if they exceed the annual calendar year treatment area thresholds in Table 1 of this subsection:

Table 1. Annual Treatment Area Thresholds

Pesticide Use

Annual Threshold

Mosquito and Other Flying Insect Pest Control

6400 acres of treatment area1

Weed and Algae Pest Control

80 acres of treatment area1 or

20 linear miles of treatment area2

Animal Pest Control

80 acres of treatment area1 or

20 linear miles of treatment area2

Forest Canopy Pest Control

6400 acres of treatment area1

Intrusive Vegetation Pest Control

6400 acres of treatment area1 or

20 linear miles of treatment area2

1Calculations include the area of the applications made to: (i) surface waters and (ii) conveyances with a hydrologic surface connection to surface waters at the time of pesticide application. For calculating annual treatment area totals, count each pesticide application activity as a separate activity. For example, applying pesticides twice a year to a 10-acre site is counted as 20 acres of treatment area.

2Calculations include the extent of the application made to linear features (e.g., roads, ditches, canals, waterways, and utility rights of way) or along the water's edge adjacent to: (i) surface waters and (ii) conveyances with a hydrologic surface connection to surface waters at the time of pesticide application. For calculating annual treatment totals, count each pesticide application activity or area as a separate activity. For example, applying pesticides twice a year to a one mile linear feature (e.g., ditch) equals two miles of treatment area regardless of whether one or both sides of the ditch are treated. Applying pesticides twice a year along one mile of lake shoreline equals two miles of treatment area.

D. An operator's discharge resulting from the application of pesticides is not authorized under this permit in the event of any of the following:

1. The operator is required to obtain an individual VPDES permit in accordance with 9VAC25-31-170 B 3 of the VPDES Permit Regulation.

2. The discharge would violate the antidegradation policy stated in 9VAC25-260-30 of the Virginia Water Quality Standards. Discharges resulting from the application of pesticides are temporary and allowable in exceptional waters (see 9VAC25-260-30 A 3 (b) (3)).

3. The operator is proposing a discharge from a pesticide application to surface waters that have been identified as impaired by that pesticide or its degradates. Impaired waters include both impaired waters with board-adopted, EPA-approved or EPA-imposed TMDLs, and impaired waters for which a TMDL has not yet been approved, established, or imposed.

If the proposed discharge would not be eligible for coverage under this permit because the surface water is listed as impaired for that specific pesticide, but the applicant has evidence that shows the water is no longer impaired, the applicant may submit this information to the board and request that coverage be allowed under this permit.

E. Discharge authorization date. Operators are not required to submit a registration statement and are authorized to discharge under this permit immediately upon the permit's effective date of March 1, 2019.

F. Compliance with this general permit constitutes compliance with the federal Clean Water Act (33 USC § 1251 et seq.) and the State Water Control Law with the exceptions stated in 9VAC25-31-60 of the VPDES Permit Regulation. Approval for coverage under this VPDES general permit does not relieve any operator of the responsibility to comply with any other applicable federal, state, or local statute, ordinance, or regulation. For example, this permit does not negate the requirements under FIFRA and its implementing regulations to use registered pesticides consistent with the product's labeling. It also does not negate the requirement to fully comply with applicable state wetland program requirements administered by DEQ and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

G. Continuation of permit coverage.

1. This general permit shall expire on February 29, 2024, except that the conditions of the expired pesticides general permit will continue in force for an operator until coverage is granted under a reissued pesticides general permit if the board, through no fault of the operator, does not reissue a pesticides general permit on or before the expiration date of the expiring general permit.

2. General permit coverages continued under this section remain fully effective and enforceable.

3. When the operator that was covered under the expiring or expired pesticides general permit is not in compliance with the conditions of that permit, the board may choose to do any or all of the following:

a. Initiate enforcement action based upon the pesticides general permit that has been continued;

b. Issue a notice of intent to deny coverage under a reissued pesticides general permit. If the general permit coverage is denied, the operator would then be required to cease the activities authorized by the continued general permit or be subject to enforcement action for operating without a permit;

c. Issue an individual permit with appropriate conditions; or

d. Take other actions authorized by the VPDES Permit Regulation (9VAC25-31).

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 402 of the federal Clean Water Act.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 27, Issue 26, eff. October 31, 2011; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 04, eff. January 1, 2014; Volume 35, Issue 11, eff. March 1, 2019.

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