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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 870. Chapter 870 Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Regulation
8/5/2020

9VAC25-870-410. General Permits.

A. The board may issue a general permit in accordance with the following:

1. The general permit shall be written to cover one or more categories or subcategories of discharges, except those covered by individual permits, within a geographic area. The area should correspond to existing geographic or political boundaries, such as:

a. Designated planning areas under §§ 208 and 303 of CWA;

b. Sewer districts or sewer authorities;

c. City, county, or state political boundaries;

d. State highway systems;

e. Standard metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget;

f. Urbanized areas as designated by the Bureau of the Census according to criteria in 30 FR 15202 (May 1, 1974); or

g. Any other appropriate division or combination of boundaries.

2. The general permit may be written to regulate one or more categories within the area described in subdivision 1 of this subsection, where the sources within a covered subcategory of discharges are stormwater point sources.

3. Where sources within a specific category of dischargers are subject to water quality-based limits imposed pursuant to 9VAC25-870-460, the sources in that specific category or subcategory shall be subject to the same water quality-based effluent limitations.

4. The general permit must clearly identify the applicable conditions for each category or subcategory of dischargers covered by the permit.

5. The general permit may exclude specified sources or areas from coverage.

B. Administration.

1. General permits may be issued, modified, revoked and reissued, or terminated in accordance with applicable requirements of this chapter.

2. Authorization to discharge.

a. Except as provided in subdivisions 2 e and 2 f of this subsection, dischargers seeking coverage under a general permit shall submit to the department a written notice of intent to be covered by the general permit. A discharger who fails to submit a notice of intent in accordance with the terms of the state permit is not authorized to discharge, under the terms of the general permit unless the general permit, in accordance with subdivision 2 e of this subsection, contains a provision that a notice of intent is not required or the board notifies a discharger (or treatment works treating domestic sewage) that it is covered by a general permit in accordance with subdivision 2 f of this subsection. A complete and timely notice of intent (NOI) to be covered in accordance with general permit requirements fulfills the requirements for permit applications for the purposes of this chapter. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all notices of intent submitted in compliance with this subdivision shall be submitted electronically by the discharger (or treatment works treating domestic sewage) to the department in compliance with this subdivision and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-870-370, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) Permit Regulation. Part XI of 9VAC25-31 is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of 9VAC25-31, dischargers (or treatment works treating domestic sewage) may be required to report electronically if specified by a particular permit.

b. The contents of the notice of intent shall be specified in the general permit and shall require the submission of information necessary for adequate program implementation, including at a minimum, the legal name and address of the owner or operator, the facility name and address, type of facility or discharges, and the receiving stream or streams, and other required data elements as identified in Appendix A to 40 CFR Part 127 as adopted by reference in 9VAC25-31-1030. All notices of intent shall be signed in accordance with 9VAC25-870-370.

c. General permits shall specify the deadlines for submitting notices of intent to be covered and the date or dates when a discharger is authorized to discharge under the state permit.

d. General permits shall specify whether a discharger that has submitted a complete and timely notice of intent to be covered in accordance with the general permit and that is eligible for coverage under the state permit, is authorized to discharge in accordance with the state permit either upon receipt of the notice of intent by the department, after a waiting period specified in the general permit, on a date specified in the general permit, or upon receipt of notification of inclusion by the board. Coverage may be terminated or revoked in accordance with subdivision 3 of this subsection.

e. Stormwater discharges associated with small construction activity may, at the discretion of the board, be authorized to discharge under a general permit without submitting a notice of intent where the board finds that a notice of intent requirement would be inappropriate. In making such a finding, the board shall consider the (i) type of discharge, (ii) expected nature of the discharge, (iii) potential for toxic and conventional pollutants in the discharges, (iv) expected volume of the discharges, (v) other means of identifying discharges covered by the state permit, and (vi) estimated number of discharges to be covered by the state permit. The board shall provide in the public notice of the general permit the reasons for not requiring a notice of intent.

f. The board may notify a discharger that it is covered by a general permit, even if the discharger has not submitted a notice of intent to be covered. A discharger so notified may request an individual permit under subdivision 3 c of this subsection.

3. Requiring an individual permit.

a. The board may require any discharger authorized by a general permit to apply for and obtain an individual permit. Any interested person may request the board to take action under this subdivision. Cases where an individual permit may be required include the following:

(1) The discharger is not in compliance with the conditions of the general permit;

(2) A change has occurred in the availability of demonstrated technology or practices for the control or abatement of pollutants applicable to the point source;

(3) Effluent limitation guidelines are promulgated for point sources covered by the general permit;

(4) A water quality management plan, established by the State Water Control Board pursuant to 9VAC25-720, containing requirements applicable to such point sources is approved;

(5) Circumstances have changed since the time of the request to be covered so that the discharger is no longer appropriately controlled under the general permit, or either a temporary or permanent reduction or elimination of the authorized discharge is necessary;

(6) The discharge(s) is a significant contributor of pollutants. In making this determination, the board may consider the following factors:

(a) The location of the discharge with respect to surface waters;

(b) The size of the discharge;

(c) The quantity and nature of the pollutants discharged to surface waters; and

(d) Other relevant factors;

b. State permits required on a case-by-case basis.

(1) The board may determine, on a case-by-case basis, that certain stormwater discharges, and certain other facilities covered by general permits that do not generally require an individual permit may be required to obtain an individual permit because of their contributions to water pollution.

(2) Whenever the board decides that an individual permit is required under this subsection, except as provided in subdivision 3 b (3) of this subsection, the board shall notify the discharger in writing of that decision and the reasons for it, and shall send an application form with the notice. The discharger must apply for a permit within 60 days of notice, unless permission for a later date is granted by the board. The question whether the designation was proper will remain open for consideration during the public comment period for the draft state permit and in any subsequent public hearing.

(3) Prior to a case-by-case determination that an individual permit is required for a stormwater discharge under this subsection, the board may require the discharger to submit a state permit application or other information regarding the discharge under the Act and § 308 of the CWA. In requiring such information, the board shall notify the discharger in writing and shall send an application form with the notice. The discharger must apply for a state permit under 9VAC25-870-380 A 1 within 60 days of notice or under 9VAC25-870-380 A 8 within 180 days of notice, unless permission for a later date is granted by the board. The question whether the initial designation was proper will remain open for consideration during the public comment period for the draft state permit and in any subsequent public hearing.

c. Any owner or operator authorized by a general permit may request to be excluded from the coverage of the general permit by applying for an individual permit. The owner or operator shall submit an application under 9VAC25-870-360 with reasons supporting the request. The request shall be processed under the applicable parts of this chapter. The request shall be granted by issuing of an individual permit if the reasons cited by the owner or operator are adequate to support the request.

d. When an individual permit is issued to an owner or operator otherwise subject to a general permit, the applicability of the general permit to the individual permit state permittee is automatically terminated on the effective date of the individual permit.

e. A source excluded from a general permit solely because it already has an individual permit may request that the individual permit be revoked, and that it be covered by the general permit. Upon revocation of the individual permit, the general permit shall apply to the source.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Former 4VAC50-60-410 derived from Volume 21, Issue 03, eff. January 29, 2005; amended, Volume 29, Issue 04, eff. November 21, 2012; amended and renumbered, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 02, eff. October 23, 2013; Volume 33, Issue 22, eff. July 26, 2017.

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