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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 900. Certification of Nonpoint Source Nutrient Credits
12/1/2021

9VAC25-900-120. Implementation plan.

A. The implementation plan submitted pursuant to 9VAC25-900-80 shall provide information detailing how the nutrient credit-generating project will generate credits for the term of the credits. The implementation plan will include the applicable information as required in subsections B through J of this section.

B. For all nutrient credit-generating projects, the implementation plan shall include:

1. An operation and maintenance plan that provides a description and schedule of operation and maintenance requirements and detailed written specifications and process diagrams for the practices used at the nutrient credit-generating project. The plan must be adhered to for the term of the credits and shall include a description of site management activities to be performed after meeting all performance standards to ensure long-term sustainability of the site.

2. The performance standards that shall be used to evaluate whether the nutrient credit-generating project is generating credits as calculated in 9VAC25-900-110.

3. Applicable requirements for the project required pursuant to Part IV (9VAC25-900-140 et seq.) of this chapter.

C. For nutrient credit-generating projects utilizing managed afforestation land use conversion, the implementation plan shall also include:

1. A project plan submitted in the form required by the department and prepared by a person trained in (i) forestry management, (ii) nutrient management, or (iii) other applicable land management training that includes an understanding of whole land management planning. The project plan shall include (i) methods for invasive plant species control and eradication if woody invasive plant species impacts 5.0% or more of the nutrient credit-generating project's acreage; (ii) a requirement that any harvesting of timber shall adhere to best management practices as set forth by Department of Forestry's Water Quality Guide and any other applicable local, state, or federal laws or requirements; (iii) the land management goals; (iv) a statement that no fertilizer is to be used on the nutrient credit-generating project's land conversion acreage for the term of the credit generated; (v) a planting plan to include size, species, and spacing of trees; and (vi) any planting phases planned for the project if the area will not be planted all at one time, but will be planted in different phases. Additionally, if timbering is planned within the land conversion area, a copy of the timbering plan shall be submitted to the department at least 90 days prior to the occurrence of any land disturbance or timbering.

2. Provisions for planting forests to achieve an initial survival density of a minimum of 400 deciduous tree or evergreen tree woody stems per acre including any noninvasive volunteers. Survival of planted deciduous trees shall not be established until the start of the second complete growing season following planting. Survival of planted evergreen trees may be established after completion of the first complete growing season following planting. Survival of mixed specie plantings with a minimum of 200 evergreen trees per acre may be established after completion of the first complete growing season following planting.

3. A description of agricultural baseline requirements implemented in accordance with 9VAC50-900-100 B and C that apply to any remaining portions of the management area that are not undergoing land use conversion.

4. Performance standards and reporting procedures demonstrating ongoing compliance with the baseline requirements of 9VAC25-900-100 B and C.

D. For nutrient credit-generating projects utilizing natural succession land use conversion, the implementation plan shall also include provisions for:

1. Forests to achieve an initial density of a minimum of 400 noninvasive woody stems per acre.

2. Invasive plant species control and eradication if woody invasive plant species impacts 5.0% or more of the nutrient credit-generating project's acreage.

3. A description of agricultural baseline requirements implemented in accordance with 9VAC25-900-100 B and C that apply to any remaining portions of the management area not undergoing land use conversion.

4. Performance standards for demonstrating ongoing compliance with the agricultural baseline requirements of 9VAC25-900-100 B and C.

E. For nutrient credit-generating projects utilizing other land use conversion not subject to either subsection C, D, or G of this section, the implementation plan shall also include:

1. Description of the land use conversion project and its implementation and maintenance criteria.

2. Description of the applicable baseline practices implemented in accordance with 9VAC25-900-100 for the management area including the nutrient credit-generating project.

3. Performance standards and reporting procedures demonstrating ongoing compliance with the baseline practices requirements of 9VAC25-900-100.

F. For nutrient credit-generating projects utilizing non-land use conversion agricultural practices, the implementation plan shall also include:

1. A description of the entire management area. This description shall include (i) the acreage and use including descriptions for the proposed practices of the nutrient credit-generating project and baseline area; (ii) water features including all streams, ponds, lakes, and wetlands; (iii) environmentally sensitive sites as defined in 4VAC50-85-10; (iv) areas with highly erodible soils; and (v) the current agricultural operations, crops, or animal facilities.

2. Copies of the current nutrient management plans developed by a certified nutrient management planner and approved by the department and any soil conservation plans completed by a certified conservation planner.

3. Information on the location and status of all existing and proposed BMPs including implementation schedules, lifespan, and maintenance procedures for each BMP that constitutes the baseline requirements.

G. For nutrient credit-generating projects utilizing approved wetland and stream mitigation projects pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:23 of the Code of Virginia, the implementation plan shall also include:

1. A copy of the approved mitigation banking instrument.

2. A plan view map clearly delineating and labeling areas to be considered for credit conversion.

3. A spreadsheet or table listing each labeled area. For each labeled area, the table shall include:

a. The type of eligible land use conversion or restoration practice;

b. The acreage or linear feet of the area;

c. The available mitigation credits;

d. The potential nutrient credits; and

e. The ratio of mitigation credits to nutrient credits.

4. Documentation that complies with the department-approved procedure to ensure credits are not used for both wetland or stream credit and nutrient credit purposes.

5. Documentation shall include written approval from the Interagency Review Team, which oversees stream and wetland mitigation projects pursuant to 33 CFR 332.8 and § 62.1-44.15:23 of the Code of Virginia, to establish a nutrient credit generating site within an approved mitigation bank.

H. For nutrient credit-generating projects utilizing proposed new wetland or stream restoration projects not subject to 33 CFR 332.8 and § 62.1-44.15:23 of the Code of Virginia, the implementation plan shall also include, where appropriate to the type of restoration and project:

1. Certification that the owner will obtain all appropriate permits or other authorizations needed to construct and maintain the restoration activities, prior to initiating work in state waters.

2. An initial wetland restoration plan, which shall include the following:

a. The goals and objectives in terms of proposed nutrient reductions and restoration activities;

b. A detailed location map (e.g., a U.S. Geologic Survey topographic quadrangle map) including latitude and longitude to the nearest second and the hydrologic unit code (HUC) at the center of the site;

c. A description of the surrounding land use;

d. A hydrologic analysis, including a draft water budget based on expected monthly inputs and outputs that will project water level elevations for a typical year, a dry year, and a wet year;

e. The groundwater elevation data or, if not available, the proposed location of groundwater monitoring wells to collect this data;

f. Wetland delineation confirmation and data sheets and maps for existing surface water areas on the proposed site;

g. A preliminary grading plan;

h. A preliminary wetland planting scheme, including suggested plant species and zonation of each vegetation type proposed;

i. Descriptions of existing soils, including general information on topsoil and subsoil conditions, permeability, and the need for soil amendments;

j. A preliminary design of any water control systems or structures for wetland restoration or establishment;

k. Depiction of any land conversion or other buffer areas associated with the nutrient credit-generating entity;

l. A description of any structures or features necessary for the success of the site; and

m. A preliminary schedule for site construction.

3. An initial stream restoration plan, which shall include the following:

a. The goals and objectives in terms of proposed nutrient reductions and restoration activities;

b. A detailed location map (e.g., a U.S. Geologic Survey topographic quadrangle map), including the latitude and longitude (to the nearest second) and the hydrologic unit code (HUC) at the center of the site;

c. A description of the surrounding land use;

d. The preliminary proposed stream segment restoration locations, including plan view, profile, and cross-section sketches;

e. The existing stream deficiencies that need to be addressed;

f. The proposed restoration measures to be employed, including channel measurements, proposed design flows, types of instream structures, and conceptual planting scheme for streambank plantings;

g. Reference stream data, if available;

h. Depiction of any land conversion or other buffer areas associated with the nutrient credit-generating project; and

i. A preliminary schedule for site construction.

4. Prior to construction of the restoration site, the following final plans shall be submitted where appropriate to the type of restoration:

a. The final wetland restoration plan, which shall include all of the items listed in subdivision H 2 of this section and the following:

(1) A summary of the type and acreage of existing stream and wetland impacts anticipated during the construction of the restoration site and the proposed compensation for these impacts;

(2) A site access plan;

(3) An erosion and sediment control plan meeting the requirements of 9VAC25-840;

(4) The final construction schedule; and

(5) A monitoring plan as detailed in subdivision H 4 c of this section.

b. A final stream restoration plan, which shall include the items listed in subdivision H 3 of this section of this section and the following:

(1) A summary of the type and acreage or linear feet of impacts to state waters anticipated during the construction of the restoration site and the proposed compensation for these impacts;

(2) A detailed plan view, profile, and cross-section sketches with the location of proposed restoration measures;

(3) A site access plan;

(4) An erosion and sediment control plan meeting the requirements of 9VAC25-840;

(5) The final construction schedule; and

(6) A monitoring plan as detailed in subdivision H 4 c of this section.

c. A monitoring plan, which shall include: (i) monitoring goals; (ii) proposed performance standards; (iii) parameters to be monitored; (iv) methods of monitoring; (v) length of monitoring period; (vi) monitoring and reporting schedule; (vii) reporting requirements; and (viii) projects responsible for monitoring and reporting.

(1) Performance standards for wetland or stream restoration shall include specific, measureable parameters for determination of performance in comparison to as-built conditions. For wetland restoration, performance standards may include applicable parameters to demonstrate characteristics of wetland formation and stability for the type of wetland restored, including hydrology, soils, vegetation, and stability of any water control structures or berms. For stream restoration, performance standards may include applicable parameters to demonstrate characteristics of channel stability, including dimension, pattern, profile, materials, and stability of the channel and any structures.

(2) Monitoring methods and parameters shall be selected based on type of wetland or stream restoration, the implementation plan, and performance standards of the nutrient credit-generating project, and will be outlined in the monitoring plan. For wetland restoration, the monitoring plan shall include the location and number of photo stations, monitoring wells, vegetation sampling points, other monitoring equipment, and reference wetlands, if available. For stream restoration, the plan shall include the location and number of stations utilized for photo-monitoring, cross-sections, profiles, pattern measurements, streambank stability measurements, streambank vegetation surveys, bank pins, scour chains, stream gages, rain gages, other monitoring equipment, and reference streams, if available.

(3) The monitoring and reporting schedule shall include an as-built survey conducted directly following construction and at least six monitoring and reporting events over a 10-year monitoring period following construction. All monitoring activities shall occur during the growing season, with the exception that after year three, physical monitoring of stream condition (cross-section, profiles, pattern) may be conducted outside the growing season. For any year in which planting was conducted, monitoring of woody vegetation shall take place no earlier than October and at least six months following planting. If all performance standards have not been met in the 10th year, then a monitoring report shall be required for each consecutive year until two sequential annual reports indicate that all performance standards have been successfully satisfied. The extent of monitoring may be reduced, upon approval by the department, on a case-by-case basis, in response to exceptional attainment of performance standards. Submittal of a final monitoring report, typically prepared the 10th growing season following construction completion, shall be required as a baseline for long-term management.

5. A long-term management plan, which shall include:

a. Restoration projects shall include minimization of active engineering features (e.g., pumps) that require long-term management and appropriate site selection to ensure that natural hydrology and landscape context will support long-term sustainability;

b. Long-term management and maintenance shall include basic management as necessary to ensure long-term sustainability of the nutrient credit-generating project such as long-term repair or replacement, maintenance of water control or other structures, or easement enforcement;

c. The owner shall designate a responsible long-term steward in the plan. The owner of the nutrient credit-generating project is the default long-term steward and is responsible for implementing the long term management plan and management of the financial assurance. However, the owner may transfer the long-term management responsibilities and management of the long-term financial assurance to a long-term steward or land stewardship project, such as a public agency, nongovernmental organization, or private land manager, upon review and approval by the department;

d. Long-term management needs, annual cost estimates for these needs, and identifying the funding mechanism that will be used to meet these needs shall be included.

I. For nutrient credit-generating projects utilizing urban practices, the implementation plan shall also include:

1. A description of the contributing drainage area (CDA) for the proposed nutrient credit-generating project's BMP. This description shall include (i) the acreage and land covers (e.g., impervious, forest or open space, managed turf); (ii) water features including all streams, ponds, lakes, and wetlands; (iii) identification of all impaired waters and approved TMDLs; and (iv) identification or mapping of the soil types within the CDA, by USDA hydrological soil group.

2. A list of all of the current urban nutrient management plans developed by a certified nutrient management planner and being implemented within the CDA.

3. Information on the location and description of existing BMPs within the CDA. For BMPs that constitute the baseline requirements include implementation schedules, lifespan, and maintenance procedures.

4. For development and redevelopment projects, the implementation plan shall include the erosion and sediment control plan and the stormwater management plan developed in accordance 9VAC25-870.

5. For retrofits, the implementation plan shall include relevant credit calculations and documentation as deemed appropriate by the department.

J. For other types of activities or projects not presented in subsections C through I of this section, the implementation plan shall include information as deemed appropriate by the department in order to evaluate the credits for nutrient credit certification.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.19:20 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 23, eff. September 1, 2020.

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