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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 840. Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations

9VAC25-840-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. In addition, some terms not defined herein are defined in § 62.1-44.15:51 of the Erosion and Sediment Control Law.

"Act" means the Erosion and Sediment Control Law, Article 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Adequate channel" means a watercourse that will convey the designated frequency storm event without overtopping its banks or causing erosive damage to the bed, banks, and overbank sections of the same.

"Agreement in lieu of a plan" means a contract between the VESCP authority and the owner that specifies conservation measures that must be implemented in the construction of a (i) single-family residence or (ii) farm building or structure on a parcel of land with a total impervious cover percentage, including the impervious cover from the farm building or structure to be constructed, of less than 5.0%; this contract may be executed by the VESCP authority in lieu of an erosion and sediment control plan.

"Applicant" means any person submitting an erosion and sediment control plan or an agreement in lieu of a plan for approval or requesting the issuance of a permit, when required, authorizing land-disturbing activities to commence.

"Board" means the State Water Control Board. When used outside the context of the promulgation of regulations, including regulations to establish general permits, "board" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Causeway" means a temporary structural span constructed across a flowing watercourse or wetland to allow construction traffic to access the area without causing erosion damage.

"Channel" means a natural stream or manmade waterway.

"Cofferdam" means a watertight temporary structure in a river, lake, etc., for keeping the water from an enclosed area that has been pumped dry so that bridge foundations, dams, etc., may be constructed.

"Dam" means a barrier to confine or raise water for storage or diversion, to create a hydraulic head, to prevent gully erosion, or to retain soil, rock or other debris.

"Denuded" means a term applied to land that has been physically disturbed and no longer supports vegetative cover.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Development" means a tract or parcel of land developed or to be developed as a single unit under single ownership or unified control that is to be used for any business or industrial purpose or is to contain three or more residential dwelling units.

"Dike" means an earthen embankment constructed to confine or control water, especially one built along the banks of a river to prevent overflow of lowlands; levee.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

"District" or "soil and water conservation district" means a political subdivision of the Commonwealth organized in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 (§ 10.1- 506 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 10.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Diversion" means a channel with a supporting ridge on the lower side constructed across or at the bottom of a slope for the purpose of intercepting surface runoff.

"Dormant" means denuded land that is not actively being brought to a desired grade or condition.

"Energy dissipator" means a nonerodible structure that reduces the velocity of concentrated flow to reduce its erosive effects.

"Erosion and Sediment Control Plan" or "plan" means a document containing material for the conservation of soil and water resources of a unit or group of units of land. It may include appropriate maps, an appropriate soil and water plan inventory and management information with needed interpretations, and a record of decisions contributing to conservation treatment. The plan shall contain all major conservation decisions and all information deemed necessary by the plan-approving authority to assure that the entire unit or units of land will be so treated to achieve the conservation objectives.

"Farm building or structure" means the same as that term is defined in § 36-97 of the Code of Virginia and also includes any building or structure used for agritourism activity, as defined in § 3.2-6400 of the Code of Virginia, and any related impervious surfaces, including roads, driveways, and parking areas.

"Flume" means a constructed device lined with erosion-resistant materials intended to convey water on steep grades.

"Live watercourse" means a definite channel with bed and banks within which concentrated water flows continuously.

"Locality" means a county, city, or town.

"Natural stream" means nontidal waterways that are part of the natural topography. They usually maintain a continuous or seasonal flow during the year and are characterized as being irregular in cross-section with a meandering course. Constructed channels such as drainage ditches or swales shall not be considered natural streams.

"Nonerodible" means a material, e.g., riprap, concrete, plastic, etc., that will not experience surface wear due to natural forces.

"Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, association, joint venture, public or private corporation, trust, estate, commission, board, public or private institution, utility, cooperative, county, city, town, or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth, governmental body, including a federal or state entity as applicable, any interstate body, or any other legal entity.

"Post-development" means conditions that may be reasonably expected or anticipated to exist after completion of the land development activity on a specific site or tract of land.

"Program administrator" means the person or persons responsible for administering and enforcing the erosion and sediment control program of a VESCP authority.

"Pre-development" means conditions at the time the erosion and sediment control plan is submitted to the VESCP authority. Where phased development or plan approval occurs (preliminary grading, roads, and utilities, etc.), the existing conditions at the time the erosion and sediment control plan for the initial phase is submitted for approval shall establish pre-development conditions.

"Sediment basin" means a temporary impoundment built to retain sediment and debris with a controlled stormwater release structure.

"Sediment trap" means a temporary impoundment built to retain sediment and debris that is formed by constructing an earthen embankment with a stone outlet.

"Sheet flow" (also called overland flow) means shallow, unconcentrated, and irregular flow down a slope. The length of strip for overland flow usually does not exceed 200 feet under natural conditions.

"Shore erosion control project" means an erosion control project approved by local wetlands boards, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the department, or the United States Army Corps of Engineers and located on tidal waters and within nonvegetated or vegetated wetlands as defined in Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Slope drain" means tubing or conduit made of nonerosive material extending from the top to the bottom of a cut or fill slope with an energy dissipator at the outlet end.

"Stabilized" means land that has been treated to withstand normal exposure to natural forces without incurring erosion damage.

"Storm sewer inlet" means a structure through which stormwater is introduced into an underground conveyance system.

"Stormwater detention" means the process of temporarily impounding runoff and discharging it through a hydraulic outlet structure to a downstream conveyance system.

"Temporary vehicular stream crossing" means a temporary nonerodible structural span installed across a flowing watercourse for use by construction traffic. Structures may include bridges, round pipes, or pipe arches constructed on or through nonerodible material.

"Ten-year storm" means a storm that is capable of producing rainfall expected to be equaled or exceeded on the average of once in 10 years. It may also be expressed as an exceedance probability with a 10% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

"Two-year storm" means a storm that is capable of producing rainfall expected to be equaled or exceeded on the average of once in two years. It may also be expressed as an exceedance probability with a 50% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

"Twenty-five-year storm" means a storm that is capable of producing rainfall expected to be equaled or exceeded on the average of once in 25 years. It may also be expressed as exceedance probability with a 4.0% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program" or "VESCP" means a program approved by the department that has been established by a VESCP authority for the effective control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff associated with a land-disturbing activity to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters, and other natural resources and shall include such items where applicable as local ordinances, rules, permit requirements, annual standards and specifications, policies and guidelines, technical materials, and requirements for plan review, inspection, enforcement where authorized in this article, and evaluation consistent with the requirements of the Act and this chapter.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program authority" or "VESCP authority" means an authority approved by the department to operate a Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program. An authority may include a state entity, including the department; a federal entity; a district, county, city, or town; or for linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications, electric, natural gas and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, railroad companies, or authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15:52 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Former 4VAC50-30-10, derived from VR625-02-00 § 1, eff. September 13, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 11, eff. March 22, 1995; Volume 29, Issue 4, eff. November 21, 2012; amended and renumbered, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 2, eff. October 23, 2013; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022; Volume 40, Issue 4, eff. November 8, 2023.

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