Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
4/15/2024

Part III. Permit Conditions

9VAC25-31-190. Conditions applicable to all permits.

The following conditions apply to all VPDES permits. Additional conditions applicable to VPDES permits are in 9VAC25-31-200. All conditions applicable to VPDES permits shall be incorporated into the permits either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to this regulation must be given in the permit.

A. The permittee must comply with all conditions of the permit. Any permit noncompliance constitutes a violation of the law and the CWA, except that noncompliance with certain provisions of the permit may constitute a violation of the law but not the CWA. Permit noncompliance is grounds for enforcement action; for permit termination, revocation and reissuance, or modification; or denial of a permit renewal application.

The permittee shall comply with effluent standards or prohibitions established under § 307(a) of the CWA for toxic pollutants and with standards for sewage sludge use or disposal established under § 405(d) of the CWA within the time provided in the chapters that establish these standards or prohibitions or standards for sewage sludge use or disposal, even if the permit has not yet been modified to incorporate the requirement.

B. If the permittee wishes to continue an activity regulated by the permit after the expiration date of the permit, the permittee must apply for and obtain a new permit.

C. It shall not be a defense for a permittee in an enforcement action that it would have been necessary to halt or reduce the permitted activity in order to maintain compliance with the conditions of the permit.

D. The permittee shall take all reasonable steps to minimize or prevent any discharge or sludge use or disposal in violation of the permit which has a reasonable likelihood of adversely affecting human health or the environment.

E. The permittee shall at all times properly operate and maintain all facilities and systems of treatment and control (and related appurtenances) that are installed or used by the permittee to achieve compliance with the conditions of the permit. Proper operation and maintenance also includes adequate laboratory controls and appropriate quality assurance procedures. This provision requires the operation of back-up or auxiliary facilities or similar systems that are installed by a permittee only when the operation is necessary to achieve compliance with the conditions of the permit.

F. Permits may be modified, revoked and reissued, or terminated for cause. The filing of a request by the permittee for a permit modification, revocation and reissuance, or termination, or a notification of planned changes or anticipated noncompliance does not stay any permit condition.

G. Permits do not convey any property rights of any sort, or any exclusive privilege.

H. The permittee shall furnish to the department, within a reasonable time, any information that the department may request to determine whether cause exists for modifying, revoking and reissuing, or terminating the permit or to determine compliance with the permit. The department may require the permittee to furnish, upon request, such plans, specifications, and other pertinent information as may be necessary to determine the effect of the wastes from the permittee's discharge on the quality of state waters, or such other information as may be necessary to accomplish the purposes of the law. The permittee shall also furnish to the department upon request, copies of records required to be kept by the permit.

I. The permittee shall allow the director, or an authorized representative (including an authorized contractor acting as a representative of the administrator), upon presentation of credentials and other documents as may be required by law, to:

1. Enter upon the permittee's premises where a regulated facility or activity is located or conducted, or where records must be kept under the conditions of the permit;

2. Have access to and copy, at reasonable times, any records that must be kept under the conditions of the permit;

3. Inspect at reasonable times any facilities, equipment (including monitoring and control equipment), practices, or operations regulated or required under the permit; and

4. Sample or monitor at reasonable times, for the purposes of assuring permit compliance or as otherwise authorized by the CWA and the law, any substances or parameters at any location.

J. Monitoring and records.

1. Samples and measurements taken for the purpose of monitoring shall be representative of the monitored activity.

2. Except for records of monitoring information required by the permit related to the permittee's sewage sludge use and disposal activities, which shall be retained for a period of at least five years (or longer as required by Part VI (9VAC25-31-420 et seq.) of this chapter), the permittee shall retain records of all monitoring information, including all calibration and maintenance records and all original strip chart recordings for continuous monitoring instrumentation, copies of all reports required by the permit, and records of all data used to complete the application for the permit, for a period of at least three years from the date of the sample, measurement, report or application. This period of retention shall be extended automatically during the course of any unresolved litigation regarding the regulated activity or regarding control standards applicable to the permittee, or as requested by the department.

3. Records of monitoring information shall include:

a. The date, exact place, and time of sampling or measurements;

b. The individual who performed the sampling or measurements;

c. The date analyses were performed;

d. The individual who performed the analyses;

e. The analytical techniques or methods used; and

f. The results of such analyses.

4. Monitoring results must be conducted according to test procedures approved under 40 CFR Part 136 or alternative EPA approved methods; or, in the case of sludge use or disposal, approved under 40 CFR Part 136 unless otherwise specified in Part VI of this chapter, unless other test procedures have been specified in the permit.

5. Samples taken shall be analyzed by a laboratory certified under 1VAC30-45, Certification for Noncommercial Environmental Laboratories, or 1VAC30-46, Accreditation for Commercial Environmental Laboratories.

K. All applications, reports, or information submitted to the department shall be signed and certified as required by 9VAC25-31-110.

L. Reporting requirements.

1. The permittee shall give notice to the department as soon as possible of any planned physical alterations or additions to the permitted facility. Notice is required only when:

a. The alteration or addition to a permitted facility may meet one of the criteria for determining whether a facility is a new source in 9VAC25-31-180 A;

b. The alteration or addition could significantly change the nature or increase the quantity of pollutants discharged. This notification applies to pollutants which are subject neither to effluent limitations in the permit, nor to notification requirements under 9VAC25-31-200 A 1; or

c. The alteration or addition results in a significant change in the permittee's sludge use or disposal practices, and such alteration, addition, or change may justify the application of permit conditions that are different from or absent in the existing permit, including notification of additional use or disposal sites not reported during the permit application process or not reported pursuant to an approved land application plan.

2. The permittee shall give advance notice to the department of any planned changes in the permitted facility or activity which may result in noncompliance with permit requirements.

3. Permits are not transferable to any person except after notice to the department. The department may require modification or revocation and reissuance of permits to change the name of the permittee and incorporate such other requirements as may be necessary under the law or the CWA.

4. Monitoring results shall be reported at the intervals specified in the permit.

a. Monitoring results must be reported on a Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) or forms provided or specified by the department for reporting results of monitoring of sludge use or disposal practices. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all reports and forms submitted in compliance with this subdivision 4 shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision 4 and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to report electronically if specified by a particular permit.

b. If the permittee monitors any pollutant specifically addressed by the permit more frequently than required by the permit using test procedures approved under 40 CFR Part 136 or, in the case of sludge use or disposal, approved under 40 CFR Part 136 unless otherwise specified in Part VI of this chapter, or as specified in the permit, the results of this monitoring shall be included in the calculation and reporting of the data submitted in the DMR or sludge reporting form specified by the department.

c. Calculations for all limitations which require averaging of measurements shall utilize an arithmetic mean unless otherwise specified in the permit.

5. Reports of compliance or noncompliance with, or any progress reports on, interim and final requirements contained in any compliance schedule of the permit shall be submitted no later than 14 days following each schedule date.

6. If any unusual or extraordinary discharge including a bypass or upset should occur from a facility and such discharge enters or could be expected to enter state waters, the owner shall promptly notify, in no case later than 24 hours, the department by telephone after the discovery of such discharge. This notification shall provide all available details of the incident, including any adverse effects on aquatic life and the known number of fish killed. The permittee shall reduce the report to writing and shall submit it to the department within five days of discovery of the discharge in accordance with subdivision 7 a of this subsection. Unusual and extraordinary discharges include but are not limited to any discharge resulting from:

a. Unusual spillage of materials resulting directly or indirectly from processing operations;

b. Breakdown of processing or accessory equipment;

c. Failure or taking out of service of the treatment plant or auxiliary facilities (such as sewer lines or wastewater pump stations); and

d. Flooding or other acts of nature.

7. Twenty-four hour and five-day reporting.

a. The permittee shall report any noncompliance that may endanger health or the environment. Any information shall be provided orally within 24 hours from the time the permittee becomes aware of the circumstances. A report in a format required by the department shall also be provided within five days of the time the permittee becomes aware of the circumstances. The five-day report shall contain a description of the noncompliance and its cause; the period of noncompliance, including exact dates and times, and if the noncompliance has not been corrected, the anticipated time it is expected to continue; and steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate, and prevent reoccurrence of the noncompliance.

(1) For noncompliance events related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events, these reports must include the data described in subdivision 7 a of this subsection with the exception of time of discovery, as well as the type of event (i.e., combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events); type of sewer overflow structure (e.g., manhole, combine sewer overflow outfall); discharge volumes untreated by the treatment works treating domestic sewage; types of human health and environmental impacts of the sewer overflow event; and whether the noncompliance was related to wet weather.

(2) As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all reports related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events submitted in compliance with this subdivision 7 shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision 7 and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to electronically submit reports related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events under this subdivision by a particular permit.

(3) The director may also require permittees to electronically submit reports not related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events under this subdivision.

b. The following shall be reported within 24 hours under this subdivision:

(1) Any unanticipated bypass that exceeds any effluent limitation in the permit.

(2) Any upset that exceeds any effluent limitation in the permit.

(3) Violation of a maximum daily discharge limitation for any of the pollutants listed in the permit to be reported within 24 hours.

c. The department may waive the five-day report on a case-by-case basis for reports under this subdivision if the oral report has been received within 24 hours.

8. The permittee shall report all instances of noncompliance not reported under subdivisions 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this subsection, in a format required by the department at the time the next monitoring reports are submitted. The reports shall contain the information listed in subdivision 7 of this subsection.

a. For noncompliance events related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events, these reports shall contain the information described in subdivision 7 a of this subsection and the applicable required data in Appendix A to 40 CFR Part 127 as adopted by reference in 9VAC25-31-1030.

b. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all reports related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events submitted in compliance with this subdivision 8 shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision 8 and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to electronically submit reports related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events under this section by a particular permit.

c. The director may also require permittees to electronically submit reports not related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events under this section.

9. Where the permittee becomes aware that it failed to submit any relevant facts in a permit application, or submitted incorrect information in a permit application or in any report to the department, it shall promptly submit such facts or information.

10. The owner, operator, or the duly authorized representative of an VPDES-regulated entity is required to electronically submit the required information, as specified in Appendix A to 40 CFR Part 127 as adopted by reference in 9VAC25-31-1030, to the department.

M. Bypass.

1. The permittee may allow any bypass to occur which does not cause effluent limitations to be exceeded, but only if it also is for essential maintenance to assure efficient operation. These bypasses are not subject to the provisions of subdivisions 2 and 3 of this subsection.

2. Notice.

a. Anticipated bypass. If the permittee knows in advance of the need for a bypass, it shall submit prior notice, if possible at least 10 days before the date of the bypass. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all notices submitted in compliance with this subdivision shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to report electronically if specified by a particular permit.

b. Unanticipated bypass. The permittee shall submit notice of an unanticipated bypass as required in subdivision L 7 of this section. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all notices submitted in compliance with this subdivision shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to report electronically if specified by a particular permit.

3. Prohibition of bypass.

a. Bypass is prohibited, and the department may take enforcement action against a permittee for bypass, unless:

(1) Bypass was unavoidable to prevent loss of life, personal injury, or severe property damage;

(2) There were no feasible alternatives to the bypass, such as the use of auxiliary treatment facilities, retention of untreated wastes, or maintenance during normal periods of equipment downtime. This condition is not satisfied if adequate back-up equipment should have been installed in the exercise of reasonable engineering judgment to prevent a bypass which occurred during normal periods of equipment downtime or preventive maintenance; and

(3) The permittee submitted notices as required under subdivision 2 of this subsection.

b. The department may approve an anticipated bypass, after considering its adverse effects, if the department determines that it will meet the three conditions listed above in subdivision 3 a of this subsection.

N. Upset.

1. An upset constitutes an affirmative defense to an action brought for noncompliance with such technology based permit effluent limitations if the requirements of subdivision 2 of this subsection are met. No determination made during administrative review of claims that noncompliance was caused by upset, and before an action for noncompliance, is final administrative action subject to judicial review.

2. A permittee who wishes to establish the affirmative defense of upset shall demonstrate, through properly signed, contemporaneous operating logs, or other relevant evidence that:

a. An upset occurred and that the permittee can identify the cause or causes of the upset;

b. The permitted facility was at the time being properly operated;

c. The permittee submitted notice of the upset as required in subdivision L 7 b (2) of this section (24-hour notice); and

d. The permittee complied with any remedial measures required under subsection D of this section.

3. In any enforcement proceeding the permittee seeking to establish the occurrence of an upset has the burden of proof.

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

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 27, 2000; Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. February 15, 2002; Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. February 15, 2012; Volume 33, Issue 22, eff. July 26, 2017; Volume 37, Issue 1, eff. October 1, 2020; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

9VAC25-31-200. Additional conditions applicable to specified categories of VPDES permits.

The following conditions, in addition to those set forth in 9VAC25-31-190, apply to all VPDES permits within the categories specified below:

A. Existing manufacturing, commercial, mining, and silvicultural dischargers. All existing manufacturing, commercial, mining, and silvicultural dischargers must notify the department as soon as they know or have reason to believe:

1. That any activity has occurred or will occur which would result in the discharge, on a routine or frequent basis, of any toxic pollutant that is not limited in the permit, if that discharge will exceed the highest of the following notification levels:

a. One hundred micrograms per liter (100 μg/l);

b. Two hundred micrograms per liter (200 μg/l) for acrolein and acrylonitrile; five hundred micrograms per liter (500 μg/l) for 2,4-dinitrophenol and for 2-methyl-4,6-dinitrophenol; and one milligram per liter (1 mg/l) for antimony;

c. Five times the maximum concentration value reported for that pollutant in the permit application; or

d. The level established by the department in accordance with 9VAC25-31-220 F.

2. That any activity has occurred or will occur which would result in any discharge, on a nonroutine or infrequent basis, of a toxic pollutant that is not limited in the permit, if that discharge will exceed the highest of the following notification levels:

a. Five hundred micrograms per liter (500 μg/l);

b. One milligram per liter (1 mg/l) for antimony;

c. Ten times the maximum concentration value reported for that pollutant in the permit application; or

d. The level established by the department in accordance with 9VAC25-31-220 F.

B. Publicly and privately owned treatment works. All POTWs and PVOTWs must provide adequate notice to the department of the following:

1. Any new introduction of pollutants into the POTW or PVOTW from an indirect discharger that would be subject to § 301 or 306 of the CWA and the law if it were directly discharging those pollutants; and

2. Any substantial change in the volume or character of pollutants being introduced into that POTW or PVOTW by a source introducing pollutants into the POTW or PVOTW at the time of issuance of the permit.

3. For purposes of this subsection, adequate notice shall include information on (i) the quality and quantity of effluent introduced into the POTW or PVOTW, and (ii) any anticipated impact of the change on the quantity or quality of effluent to be discharged from the POTW or PVOTW.

4. When the monthly average flow influent to a POTW or PVOTW reaches 95% of the design capacity authorized by the VPDES permit for each month of any three-month period, the owner shall within 30 days notify the department in writing and within 90 days submit a plan of action for ensuring continued compliance with the terms of the permit.

a. The plan shall include the necessary steps and a prompt schedule of implementation for controlling any current problem, or any problem which could be reasonably anticipated, resulting from high influent flows.

b. Upon receipt of the owner's plan of action, the department shall notify the owner whether the plan is approved or disapproved. If the plan is disapproved, such notification shall state the reasons and specify the actions necessary to obtain approval of the plan.

c. Failure to timely submit an adequate plan shall be deemed a violation of the permit.

d. Nothing herein shall in any way impair the authority of the department to take enforcement action under § 62.1-44.15, 62.1-44.23, or 62.1-44.32 of the Code of Virginia.

C. Wastewater works operator requirements.

1. The permittee shall employ or contract at least one wastewater works operator who holds a current wastewater license appropriate for the permitted facility. The license shall be issued in accordance with Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators Licensing Regulations (18VAC160-30). Notwithstanding the foregoing requirement, unless the discharge is determined by the department on a case-by-case basis to be a potential contributor of pollution, no licensed operator is required for wastewater treatment works:

a. That have a design hydraulic capacity equal to or less than 0.04 mgd;

b. That discharge industrial waste or other waste from coal mining operations; or

c. That do not utilize biological or physical/chemical treatment.

2. In making this case-by-case determination, the department shall consider the location of the discharge with respect to state waters, the size of the discharge, the quantity and nature of pollutants reaching state waters and the treatment methods used at the wastewater works.

3. The permittee shall notify the department in writing whenever he is not complying, or has grounds for anticipating he will not comply with the requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection. The notification shall include a statement of reasons and a prompt schedule for achieving compliance.

D. Lake level contingency plans. Any VPDES permit issued for a surface water impoundment whose primary purpose is to provide cooling water to power generators shall include a lake level contingency plan to allow specific reductions in the flow required to be released when the water level above the dam drops below designated levels due to drought conditions, and such plan shall take into account and minimize any adverse effects of any release reduction requirements on downstream users. This subsection shall not apply to any such facility that addresses releases and flow requirements during drought conditions in a Virginia Water Protection Permit.

E. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The activities of the CAFO shall not contravene the Water Quality Standards, as amended and adopted by the board, or any provision of the State Water Control Law. There shall be no point source discharge of manure, litter or process wastewater to surface waters of the state except in the case of an overflow caused by a storm event greater than the 25-year, 24-hour storm. Agricultural stormwater discharges as defined in subdivision C 3 of 9VAC25-31-130 are permitted. Domestic sewage or industrial waste shall not be managed under the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for CAFOs (9VAC25-191). Any permit issued to a CAFO shall include:

1. Requirements to develop, implement and comply with a nutrient management plan. At a minimum, a nutrient management plan shall include best management practices and procedures necessary to implement applicable effluent limitations and standards. Permitted CAFOs must have their nutrient management plans developed and implemented and be in compliance with the nutrient management plan as a requirement of the permit. The nutrient management plan must, to the extent applicable:

a. Ensure adequate storage of manure, litter, and process wastewater, including procedures to ensure proper operation and maintenance of the storage facilities;

b. Ensure proper management of mortalities (i.e., dead animals) to ensure that they are not disposed of in a liquid manure, stormwater, or process wastewater storage or treatment system that is not specifically designed to treat animal mortalities;

c. Ensure that clean water is diverted, as appropriate, from the production area;

d. Prevent direct contact of confined animals with surface waters of the state;

e. Ensure that chemicals and other contaminants handled on site are not disposed of in any manure, litter, process wastewater, or stormwater storage or treatment system unless specifically designed to treat such chemicals and other contaminants;

f. Identify appropriate site specific conservation practices to be implemented, including as appropriate buffers or equivalent practices, to control runoff of pollutants to surface waters of the state;

g. Identify protocols for appropriate testing of manure, litter, process wastewater and soil;

h. Establish protocols to land apply manure, litter or process wastewater in accordance with site specific nutrient management practices that ensure appropriate agricultural utilization of the nutrients in the manure, litter or process wastewater; and

i. Identify specific records that will be maintained to document the implementation and management of the minimum elements described above.

2. Recordkeeping requirements. The permittee must create, maintain for five years, and make available to the director upon request the following records:

a. All applicable records identified pursuant to subdivision 1 i of this subsection;

b. In addition, all CAFOs subject to EPA Effluent Guidelines for Feedlots (40 CFR Part 412) must comply with recordkeeping requirements as specified in 40 CFR 412.37(b) and (c) and 40 CFR 412.47(b) and (c);

A copy of the CAFO's site-specific nutrient management plan must be maintained on site and made available to the director upon request.

3. Requirements relating to transfer of manure or process wastewater to other persons. Prior to transferring manure, litter or process wastewater to other persons, large CAFOs must provide the recipient of the manure, litter or process wastewater with the most current nutrient analysis. The analysis provided must be consistent with the requirements of EPA Effluent Guidelines for Feedlots (40 CFR Part 412). Large CAFOs must retain for five years records of the date, recipient name and address, and approximate amount of manure, litter, or process wastewater transferred to another person.

4. Annual reporting requirements for CAFOs. The permittee must submit an annual report to the director. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all annual reports submitted in compliance with this subsection shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subsection and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, the permittee may be required to report electronically if specified by a particular permit. The annual report must include:

a. The number and type of animals, whether in open confinement or housed under roof (beef cattle, broilers, layers, swine weighing 55 pounds or more, swine weighing less than 55 pounds, mature dairy cows, dairy heifers, veal calves, sheep and lambs, horses, ducks, turkeys, other);

b. Estimated amount of total manure, litter and process wastewater generated by the CAFO in the previous 12 months (tons/gallons);

c. Estimated amount of total manure, litter and process wastewater transferred to other persons by the CAFO in the previous 12 months (tons/gallons);

d. Total number of acres for land application covered by the nutrient management plan developed in accordance with subdivision 1 of this subsection;

e. Total number of acres under control of the CAFO that were used for land application of manure, litter and process wastewater in the previous 12 months;

f. Summary of all manure, litter, and process wastewater discharges from the production area that occurred in the previous 12 months including for each discharge the date of discovery, duration of discharge, and approximate volume;

g. A statement indicating whether the current version of the CAFO's nutrient management plan was developed or approved by a certified nutrient management planner; and

h. The actual crops planted and actual yield for each field, the actual nitrogen and phosphorus content of the manure, litter, and process wastewater, the results of calculations conducted in accordance with subdivisions 5 a (2) and 5 b (4) of this subsection, and the amount of manure, litter, and process wastewater applied to each field during the previous 12 months; and, for any CAFO that implements a nutrient management plan that addresses rates of application in accordance with subdivision 5 b of this subsection, the results of any soil testing for nitrogen and phosphorus taken during the preceding 12 months, the data used in calculations conducted in accordance with subdivision 5 b (4) of this subsection, and the amount of any supplemental fertilizer applied during the previous 12 months.

5. Terms of the nutrient management plan. Any permit issued to a CAFO shall require compliance with the terms of the CAFO's site-specific nutrient management plan. The terms of the nutrient management plan are the information, protocols, best management practices, and other conditions in the nutrient management plan determined by the department to be necessary to meet the requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection. The terms of the nutrient management plan, with respect to protocols for land application of manure, litter, or process wastewater required by subdivision 4 h of this subsection and, as applicable, 40 CFR 412.4(c), shall include the fields available for land application; field-specific rates of application properly developed, as specified in subdivisions 5 a and b of this subsection, to ensure appropriate agricultural utilization of the nutrients in the manure, litter, or process wastewater; and any timing limitations identified in the nutrient management plan concerning land application on the fields available for land application. The terms shall address rates of application using one of the following two approaches, unless the department specifies that only one of these approaches may be used:

a. Linear approach. An approach that expresses rates of application as pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus, according to the following specifications:

(1) The terms include maximum application rates from manure, litter, and process wastewater for each year of permit coverage, for each crop identified in the nutrient management plan, in chemical forms determined to be acceptable to the department, in pounds per acre, per year, for each field to be used for land application, and certain factors necessary to determine such rates. At a minimum, the factors that are terms shall include: the outcome of the field-specific assessment of the potential for nitrogen and phosphorus transport from each field; the crops to be planted in each field or any other uses of a field such as pasture or fallow fields; the realistic yield goal for each crop or use identified for each field; the nitrogen and phosphorus recommendations from sources specified by the department for each crop or use identified for each field; credits for all nitrogen in the field that will be plant available; consideration of multi-year phosphorus application; and accounting for all other additions of plant available nitrogen and phosphorus to the field. In addition, the terms include the form and source of manure, litter, and process wastewater to be land-applied; the timing and method of land application; and the methodology by which the nutrient management plan accounts for the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in the manure, litter, and process wastewater to be applied.

(2) Large CAFOs that use this approach shall calculate the maximum amount of manure, litter, and process wastewater to be land applied at least once each year using the results of the most recent representative manure, litter, and process wastewater tests for nitrogen and phosphorus taken within 12 months of the date of land application; or

b. Narrative rate approach. An approach that expresses rates of application as a narrative rate of application that results in the amount, in tons or gallons, of manure, litter, and process wastewater to be land applied, according to the following specifications:

(1) The terms include maximum amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus derived from all sources of nutrients, for each crop identified in the nutrient management plan, in chemical forms determined to be acceptable to the department, in pounds per acre, for each field, and certain factors necessary to determine such amounts. At a minimum, the factors that are terms shall include: the outcome of the field-specific assessment of the potential for nitrogen and phosphorus transport from each field; the crops to be planted in each field or any other uses such as pasture or fallow fields (including alternative crops identified in accordance with subdivision 5 b (2) of this subsection); the realistic yield goal for each crop or use identified for each field; and the nitrogen and phosphorus recommendations from sources specified by the department for each crop or use identified for each field. In addition, the terms include the methodology by which the nutrient management plan accounts for the following factors when calculating the amounts of manure, litter, and process wastewater to be land applied: results of soil tests conducted in accordance with protocols identified in the nutrient management plan, as required by subdivision 1 g of this subsection; credits for all nitrogen in the field that will be plant available; the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in the manure, litter, and process wastewater to be applied; consideration of multi-year phosphorus application; accounting for all other additions of plant available nitrogen and phosphorus to the field; the form and source of manure, litter, and process wastewater; the timing and method of land application; and volatilization of nitrogen and mineralization of organic nitrogen.

(2) The terms of the nutrient management plan include alternative crops identified in the CAFO's nutrient management plan that are not in the planned crop rotation. Where a CAFO includes alternative crops in its nutrient management plan, the crops shall be listed by field, in addition to the crops identified in the planned crop rotation for that field, and the nutrient management plan shall include realistic crop yield goals and the nitrogen and phosphorus recommendations from sources specified by the department for each crop. Maximum amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus from all sources of nutrients and the amounts of manure, litter, and process wastewater to be applied shall be determined in accordance with the methodology described in subdivision 5 b (1) of this subsection.

(3) For CAFOs using this approach, the following projections shall be included in the nutrient management plan submitted to the department, but are not terms of the nutrient management plan: the CAFO's planned crop rotations for each field for the period of permit coverage; the projected amount of manure, litter, or process wastewater to be applied; projected credits for all nitrogen in the field that will be plant available; consideration of multi-year phosphorus application; accounting for all other additions of plant available nitrogen and phosphorus to the field; and the predicted form, source, and method of application of manure, litter, and process wastewater for each crop. Timing of application for each field, insofar as it concerns the calculation of rates of application, is not a term of the nutrient management plan.

(4) CAFOs that use this approach shall calculate maximum amounts of manure, litter, and process wastewater to be land applied at least once each year using the methodology required in subdivision 5 b (1) of this subsection before land applying manure, litter, and process wastewater and shall rely on the following data:

(a) A field-specific determination of soil levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, including, for nitrogen, a concurrent determination of nitrogen that will be plant available consistent with the methodology required by subdivision 5 b (1) of this subsection, and for phosphorus, the results of the most recent soil test conducted in accordance with soil testing requirements approved by the department; and

(b) The results of most recent representative manure, litter, and process wastewater tests for nitrogen and phosphorus taken within 12 months of the date of land application, in order to determine the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in the manure, litter, and process wastewater to be applied.

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

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 27, 2000; Volume 21, Issue 2, eff. November 3, 2004; Volume 21, Issue 9, eff. February 9, 2005; Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 3, 2010; Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. February 15, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 4, eff. November 20, 2013; Volume 30, Issue 11, eff. February 26, 2014; Volume 33, Issue 22, eff. July 26, 2017; Volume 37, Issue 1, eff. October 1, 2020; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

9VAC25-31-210. Establishing permit conditions.

A. In addition to conditions required in all permits, the department shall establish conditions, as required on a case-by-case basis, to provide for and assure compliance with all applicable requirements of the law, the CWA and regulations. These shall include conditions under 9VAC25-31-240 (duration of permits), 9VAC25-31-250 (schedules of compliance), 9VAC25-31-220 (monitoring), electronic reporting requirements of 40 CFR Part 3 and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter.

B. 1. An applicable requirement is a state statutory or regulatory requirement which takes effect prior to final administrative disposition of a permit. An applicable requirement is also any requirement which takes effect prior to the modification or revocation and reissuance of a permit, to the extent allowed in Part V of this chapter.

2. New or reissued permits, and to the extent allowed under Part V of this chapter modified or revoked and reissued permits, shall incorporate each of the applicable requirements referenced in 9VAC25-31-220 and 9VAC25-31-230.

C. All permit conditions shall be incorporated either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to the applicable regulations or requirements must be given in the permit.

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

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 22, eff. July 26, 2017; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

9VAC25-31-220. Establishing limitations, standards, and other permit conditions.

In addition to the conditions established under 9VAC25-31-210 A, each VPDES permit shall include conditions meeting the following requirements when applicable.

A. 1. Technology-based effluent limitations and standards based on effluent limitations and standards promulgated under § 301 of the CWA, on new source performance standards promulgated under § 306 of CWA, on case-by-case effluent limitations determined under § 402(a)(1) of CWA, or a combination of the three. For new sources or new dischargers, these technology-based limitations and standards are subject to the provisions of 9VAC25-31-180 B (protection period).

2. The department may authorize a discharger subject to technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and standards in a VPDES permit to forego sampling of a pollutant found at 40 CFR Subchapter N if the discharger has demonstrated through sampling and other technical factors that the pollutant is not present in the discharge or is present only at background levels from intake water and without any increase in the pollutant due to activities of the discharger. This waiver is good only for the term of the permit and is not available during the term of the first permit issued to a discharger. Any request for this waiver must be submitted when applying for a reissued permit or modification of a reissued permit. The request must demonstrate through sampling or other technical information, including information generated during an earlier permit term, that the pollutant is not present in the discharge or is present only at background levels from intake water and without any increase in the pollutant due to activities of the discharger. Any grant of the monitoring waiver must be included in the permit as an express permit condition and the reasons supporting the grant must be documented in the permit's fact sheet or statement of basis. This provision does not supersede certification processes and requirements already established in existing effluent limitations guidelines and standards.

B. Other effluent limitations and standards.

1. Other effluent limitations and standards under §§ 301, 302, 303, 307, 318, and 405 of the CWA. If any applicable toxic effluent standard or prohibition (including any schedule of compliance specified in such effluent standard or prohibition) is promulgated under § 307(a) of the CWA for a toxic pollutant and that standard or prohibition is more stringent than any limitation on the pollutant in the permit, the department shall institute proceedings under this chapter to modify or revoke and reissue the permit to conform to the toxic effluent standard or prohibition.

2. Standards for sewage sludge use or disposal under § 405(d) of the CWA and Part VI (9VAC25-31-420 et seq.) of this chapter unless those standards have been included in a permit issued under the appropriate provisions of Subtitle C of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 USC § 6901 et seq.), Part C of Safe Drinking Water Act (42 USC § 300f et seq.), the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 USC § 1401 et seq.), or the Clean Air Act (42 USC § 4701 et seq.), or in another permit issued by the Department of Environmental Quality or any other appropriate state agency under another permit program approved by the administrator. When there are no applicable standards for sewage sludge use or disposal, the permit may include requirements developed on a case-by-case basis to protect public health and the environment from any adverse effects which may occur from toxic pollutants in sewage sludge. If any applicable standard for sewage sludge use or disposal is promulgated under § 405(d) of the CWA and that standard is more stringent than any limitation on the pollutant or practice in the permit, the department may initiate proceedings under this chapter to modify or revoke and reissue the permit to conform to the standard for sewage sludge use or disposal.

3. Requirements applicable to cooling water intake structures at new facilities under § 316 (b) of the CWA, in accordance with 9VAC25-31-165.

C. Reopener clause. For any permit issued to a treatment works treating domestic sewage (including sludge-only facilities), the department shall include a reopener clause to incorporate any applicable standard for sewage sludge use or disposal promulgated under § 405(d) of the CWA. The department may promptly modify or revoke and reissue any permit containing the reopener clause required by this subdivision if the standard for sewage sludge use or disposal is more stringent than any requirements for sludge use or disposal in the permit, or controls a pollutant or practice not limited in the permit.

D. Water quality standards and state requirements. Any requirements in addition to or more stringent than promulgated effluent limitations guidelines or standards under §§ 301, 304, 306, 307, 318, and 405 of the CWA necessary to:

1. Achieve water quality standards established under the law and § 303 of the CWA, including state narrative criteria for water quality.

a. Limitations must control all pollutants or pollutant parameters (either conventional, nonconventional, or toxic pollutants) which the department determines are or may be discharged at a level which will cause, have the reasonable potential to cause, or contribute to an excursion above any Virginia water quality standard, including Virginia narrative criteria for water quality.

b. When determining whether a discharge causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an in-stream excursion above a narrative or numeric criteria within a Virginia water quality standard, the department shall use procedures which account for existing controls on point and nonpoint sources of pollution, the variability of the pollutant or pollutant parameter in the effluent, the sensitivity of the species to toxicity testing (when evaluating whole effluent toxicity), and where appropriate, the dilution of the effluent in the receiving water.

c. When the department determines, using the procedures in subdivision 1 b of this subsection, that a discharge causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an in-stream excursion above the allowable ambient concentration of a Virginia numeric criteria within a Virginia water quality standard for an individual pollutant, the permit must contain effluent limits for that pollutant.

d. Except as provided in this subdivision, when the department determines, using the procedures in subdivision 1 b of this subsection, toxicity testing data, or other information, that a discharge causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an in-stream excursion above a narrative criterion within an applicable Virginia water quality standard, the permit must contain effluent limits for whole effluent toxicity. Limits on whole effluent toxicity are not necessary where the department demonstrates in the fact sheet or statement of basis of the VPDES permit, using the procedures in subdivision 1 b of this subsection, that chemical-specific limits for the effluent are sufficient to attain and maintain applicable numeric and narrative Virginia water quality standards.

e. Where Virginia has not established a water quality criterion for a specific chemical pollutant that is present in an effluent at a concentration that causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an excursion above a narrative criterion within an applicable Virginia water quality standard, the department must establish effluent limits using one or more of the following options:

(1) Establish effluent limits using a calculated numeric water quality criterion for the pollutant which the department demonstrates will attain and maintain applicable narrative water quality criteria and will fully protect the designated use. Such a criterion may be derived using a proposed Virginia criterion, or an explicit policy or regulation interpreting Virginia's narrative water quality criterion, supplemented with other relevant information which may include: EPA's Water Quality Standards Handbook, August 1994, risk assessment data, exposure data, information about the pollutant from the Food and Drug Administration, and current EPA criteria documents;

(2) Establish effluent limits on a case-by-case basis, using EPA's water quality criteria, published under § 307(a) of the CWA, supplemented where necessary by other relevant information; or

(3) Establish effluent limitations on an indicator parameter for the pollutant of concern, provided:

(a) The permit identifies which pollutants are intended to be controlled by the use of the effluent limitation;

(b) The fact sheet required by 9VAC25-31-280 sets forth the basis for the limit, including a finding that compliance with the effluent limit on the indicator parameter will result in controls on the pollutant of concern which are sufficient to attain and maintain applicable water quality standards;

(c) The permit requires all effluent and ambient monitoring necessary to show that during the term of the permit the limit on the indicator parameter continues to attain and maintain applicable water quality standards; and

(d) The permit contains a reopener clause allowing the department to modify or revoke and reissue the permit if the limits on the indicator parameter no longer attain and maintain applicable water quality standards.

f. When developing water quality-based effluent limits under this subdivision the department shall ensure that:

(1) The level of water quality to be achieved by limits on point sources established under this subsection is derived from, and complies with all applicable water quality standards; and

(2) Effluent limits developed to protect a narrative water quality criterion, a numeric water quality criterion, or both, are consistent with the assumptions and requirements of any available wasteload allocation for the discharge prepared by Virginia and approved by EPA pursuant to 40 CFR 130.7;

2. Attain or maintain a specified water quality through water quality related effluent limits established under the law and § 302 of the CWA;

3. Conform to the conditions of a Virginia Water Protection Permit (VWPP) issued under the law and § 401 of the CWA;

4. Conform to applicable water quality requirements under § 401(a)(2) of the CWA when the discharge affects a state other than Virginia;

5. Incorporate any more stringent limitations, treatment standards, or schedule of compliance requirements established under the law or regulations in accordance with § 301(b)(1)(C) of the CWA;

6. Ensure consistency with the requirements of a Water Quality Management plan approved by EPA under § 208(b) of the CWA;

7. Incorporate § 403(c) criteria under 40 CFR Part 125, Subpart M, for ocean discharges; or

8. Incorporate alternative effluent limitations or standards where warranted by fundamentally different factors, under 40 the CFR Part 125, Subpart D.

E. Technology-based controls for toxic pollutants. Limitations established under subsection A, B, or D of this section, to control pollutants meeting the criteria listed in subdivision 1 of this subsection. Limitations will be established in accordance with subdivision 2 of this subsection. An explanation of the development of these limitations shall be included in the fact sheet.

1. Limitations must control all toxic pollutants which the department determines (based on information reported in a permit application or in a notification required by the permit or on other information) are or may be discharged at a level greater than the level which can be achieved by the technology-based treatment requirements appropriate to the permittee; or

2. The requirement that the limitations control the pollutants meeting the criteria of subdivision 1 of this subsection will be satisfied by:

a. Limitations on those pollutants; or

b. Limitations on other pollutants which, in the judgment of the department, will provide treatment of the pollutants under subdivision 1 of this subsection to the levels required by the law and 40 CFR Part 125, Subpart A.

F. A notification level which exceeds the notification level of 9VAC25-31-200 A 1 a, b, or c, upon a petition from the permittee or on the department's initiative. This new notification level may not exceed the level which can be achieved by the technology-based treatment requirements appropriate to the permittee.

G. Twenty-four-hour reporting. Pollutants for which the permittee must report violations of maximum daily discharge limitations under 9VAC25-31-190 L 7 b (3) (24-hour reporting) shall be listed in the permit. This list shall include any toxic pollutant or hazardous substance, or any pollutant specifically identified as the method to control a toxic pollutant or hazardous substance.

H. Durations for permits, as set forth in 9VAC25-31-240.

I. Monitoring requirements. The following monitoring requirements:

1. Requirements concerning the proper use, maintenance, and installation, when appropriate, of monitoring equipment or methods (including biological monitoring methods when appropriate);

2. Required monitoring including type, intervals, and frequency sufficient to yield data which are representative of the monitored activity including, when appropriate, continuous monitoring;

3. Applicable reporting requirements based upon the impact of the regulated activity and as specified in 9VAC25-31-190, subdivisions 5 through 8 of this subsection, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Reporting shall be no less frequent than specified in the above regulation;

4. To assure compliance with permit limitations, requirements to monitor:

a. The mass (or other measurement specified in the permit) for each pollutant limited in the permit;

b. The volume of effluent discharged from each outfall;

c. Other measurements as appropriate including pollutants in internal waste streams; pollutants in intake water for net limitations; frequency, rate of discharge, etc., for noncontinuous discharges; pollutants subject to notification requirements; and pollutants in sewage sludge or other monitoring as specified in Part VI (9VAC25-31-420 et seq.) of this chapter; or as determined to be necessary on a case-by-case basis pursuant to the law and § 405(d)(4) of the CWA; and

d. According to sufficiently sensitive test procedures (i.e., methods) approved under 40 CFR Part 136 for the analysis of pollutants or pollutant parameters or required under 40 CFR Chapter I, Subchapter N or O.

(1) For the purposes of this subdivision, a method is "sufficiently sensitive" when:

(a) The method minimum level (ML) is at or below the level of the effluent limit established in the permit for the measured pollutant or pollutant parameter; or

(b) The method has the lowest ML of the analytical methods approved under 40 CFR Part 136 or required under 40 CFR Chapter I, Subchapter N or O for the measured pollutant or pollutant parameter.

(2) In the case of pollutants or pollutant parameters for which there are no approved methods under 40 CFR Part 136 or methods are not otherwise required under 40 CFR Chapter I, Subchapter N or O, monitoring shall be conducted according to a test procedure specified in the permit for such pollutants or pollutant parameters;

5. Except as provided in subdivisions 7 and 8 of this subsection, requirements to report monitoring results shall be established on a case-by-case basis with a frequency dependent on the nature and effect of the discharge, but in no case less that once a year. For sewage sludge use or disposal practices, requirements to monitor and report results shall be established on a case-by-case basis with a frequency dependent on the nature and effect of the sewage sludge use or disposal practice; minimally this shall be as specified in Part VI (9VAC25-31-420 et seq.) of this chapter (where applicable), but in no case less than once a year. All results shall be electronically reported in compliance with 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter;

6. Requirements to report monitoring results for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity which are subject to an effluent limitation guideline shall be established on a case-by-case basis with a frequency dependent on the nature and effect of the discharge, but in no case less than once a year;

7. Requirements to report monitoring results for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity (other than those addressed in subdivision 6 of this subsection) shall be established on a case-by-case basis with a frequency dependent on the nature and effect of the discharge. At a minimum, a permit for such a discharge must require:

a. The discharger to conduct an annual inspection of the facility site to identify areas contributing to a stormwater discharge associated with industrial activity and evaluate whether measures to reduce pollutant loading identified in a stormwater pollution prevention plan are adequate and properly implemented in accordance with the terms of the permit or whether additional control measures are needed;

b. The discharger to maintain for a period of three years a record summarizing the results of the inspection and a certification that the facility is in compliance with the plan and the permit, and identifying any incidents of noncompliance;

c. Such report and certification be signed in accordance with 9VAC25-31-110; and

d. Permits for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity from inactive mining operations may, where annual inspections are impracticable, require certification once every three years by a Registered Professional Engineer that the facility is in compliance with the permit, or alternative requirements; and

8. Permits that do not require the submittal of monitoring result reports at least annually shall require that the permittee report all instances of noncompliance not reported under 9VAC25-31-190 L 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 at least annually.

J. Pretreatment program for POTWs. Requirements for POTWs to:

1. Identify, in terms of character and volume of pollutants, any significant indirect dischargers into the POTW subject to pretreatment standards under § 307(b) of the CWA and Part VII (9VAC25-31-730 et seq.) of this chapter;

2. Submit a local program when required by and in accordance with Part VII of this chapter to assure compliance with pretreatment standards to the extent applicable under § 307(b) of the CWA. The local program shall be incorporated into the permit as described in Part VII of this chapter. The program shall require all indirect dischargers to the POTW to comply with the reporting requirements of Part VII of this chapter;

3. Provide a written technical evaluation of the need to revise local limits under Part VII of this chapter following permit issuance or reissuance; and

4. For POTWs that are sludge-only facilities, a requirement to develop a pretreatment program under Part VII of this chapter when the department determines that a pretreatment program is necessary to assure compliance with Part VI of this chapter.

K. Best management practices to control or abate the discharge of pollutants when:

1. Authorized under § 304(e) of the CWA for the control of toxic pollutants and hazardous substances from ancillary industrial activities;

2. Authorized under § 402(p) of the CWA for the control of stormwater discharges;

3. Numeric effluent limitations are infeasible; or

4. The practices are reasonably necessary to achieve effluent limitations and standards or to carry out the purposes and intent of the law and the CWA.

L. Reissued permits.

1. In the case of effluent limitations established on the basis of § 402(a)(1)(B) of the CWA, a permit may not be renewed, reissued, or modified on the basis of effluent guidelines promulgated under § 304(b) of the CWA subsequent to the original issuance of such permit, to contain effluent limitations which are less stringent than the comparable effluent limitations in the previous permit. In the case of effluent limitations established on the basis of § 301(b)(1)(C) or 303(d) or (e) of the CWA, a permit may not be renewed, reissued, or modified to contain effluent limitations that are less stringent than the comparable effluent limitations in the previous permit except in compliance with § 303(d)(4) of the CWA.

2. Exceptions. A permit with respect to which subdivision 1 of this subsection applies may be renewed, reissued, or modified to contain a less stringent effluent limitation applicable to a pollutant, if:

a. Material and substantial alterations or additions to the permitted facility occurred after permit issuance which justify the application of a less stringent effluent limitation;

b. (1) Information is available that was not available at the time of permit issuance (other than revised regulations, guidance, or test methods) and that would have justified the application of a less stringent effluent limitation at the time of permit issuance; or

(2) The department determines that technical mistakes or mistaken interpretations of law were made in issuing the permit under § 402(a)(1)(B) of the CWA;

c. A less stringent effluent limitation is necessary because of events over which the permittee has no control and for which there is no reasonably available remedy;

d. The permittee has received a permit modification under the law and § 301(c), 301(g), 301(h), 301(i), 301(k), 301(n), or 316(a) of the CWA; or

e. The permittee has installed the treatment facilities required to meet the effluent limitations in the previous permit and has properly operated and maintained the facilities but has nevertheless been unable to achieve the previous effluent limitations, in which case the limitations in the reviewed, reissued, or modified permit may reflect the level of pollutant control actually achieved (but shall not be less stringent than required by effluent guidelines in effect at the time of permit renewal, reissuance, or modification).

Subdivision 2 b of this subsection shall not apply to any revised waste load allocations or any alternative grounds for translating water quality standards into effluent limitations, except where the cumulative effect of such revised allocations results in a decrease in the amount of pollutants discharged into the concerned waters, and such revised allocations are not the result of a discharger eliminating or substantially reducing its discharge of pollutants due to complying with the requirements of the law or the CWA or for reasons otherwise unrelated to water quality.

3. In no event may a permit with respect to which subdivision 2 of this subsection applies be renewed, reissued, or modified to contain an effluent limitation that is less stringent than required by effluent guidelines in effect at the time the permit is renewed, reissued, or modified. In no event may such a permit to discharge into waters be renewed, issued, or modified to contain a less stringent effluent limitation if the implementation of such limitation would result in a violation of a Virginia water quality standard applicable to such waters.

M. For a privately owned treatment works, any conditions expressly applicable to any user, as a limited co-permittee, that may be necessary in the permit issued to the treatment works to ensure compliance with applicable requirements under this part. Alternatively, the department may issue separate permits to the treatment works and to its users, or may require a separate permit application from any user. The department's decision to issue a permit with no conditions applicable to any user, to impose conditions on one or more users, to issue separate permits, or to require separate applications, and the basis for that decision, shall be stated in the fact sheet for the draft permit for the treatment works.

N. Any conditions imposed in grants made by the department to POTWs under §§ 201 and 204 of the CWA that are reasonably necessary for the achievement of effluent limitations under § 301 of the CWA and the law.

O. Requirements governing the disposal of sewage sludge from publicly owned treatment works or any other treatment works treating domestic sewage for any use regulated by Part VI of this chapter.

P. When a permit is issued to a facility that may operate at certain times as a means of transportation over water, a condition that the discharge shall comply with any applicable regulations promulgated by the secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, that establish specifications for safe transportation, handling, carriage, and storage of pollutants.

Q. Navigation. Any conditions that the Secretary of the Army considers necessary to ensure that navigation and anchorage will not be substantially impaired in accordance with 9VAC25-31-330.

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

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 27, 2000; Volume 17, Issue 13, eff. April 11, 2001; Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. February 15, 2002; Volume 21, Issue 9, eff. February 9, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 24, eff. September 6, 2006; Volume 24, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2008; Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. February 15, 2012; Volume 33, Issue 22, eff. July 26, 2017; Volume 37, Issue 1, eff. October 1, 2020; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

9VAC25-31-230. Calculating VPDES permit conditions.

A. Permit effluent limitations, monitoring requirements, standards and prohibitions shall be established for each outfall or discharge point of the permitted facility, except as otherwise provided under 9VAC25-31-220 and subsection H of this section (limitations on internal waste streams).

B. Production-based limitations.

1. In the case of POTWs, permit effluent limitations, standards, or prohibitions shall be calculated based on design flow.

2. a. Except in the case of POTWs or as provided in subdivision 2 b of this subsection, calculation of any permit limitations, standards, or prohibitions which are based on production (or other measure of operation) shall be based not upon the designed production capacity but rather upon a reasonable measure of actual production of the facility. For new sources or new dischargers, actual production shall be estimated using projected production. The time period of the measure of production shall correspond to the time period of the calculated permit limitations; for example, monthly production shall be used to calculate average monthly discharge limitations.

b. (1) (a) The department may include a condition establishing alternate permit limitations, standards, or prohibitions based upon anticipated increased (not to exceed maximum production capability) or decreased production levels.

(b) For the automotive manufacturing industry only, the department may establish a condition under subdivision 2 b (1) (a) of this subsection if the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the department at the time the application is submitted that its actual production, as indicated in subdivision 2 a of this subsection, is substantially below maximum production capability and that there is a reasonable potential for an increase above actual production during the duration of the permit.

(2) If the department establishes permit conditions under subdivision 2 b (1) of this subsection:

(a) The permit shall require the permittee to notify the department at least two business days prior to a month in which the permittee expects to operate at a level higher than the lowest production level identified in the permit. The notice shall specify the anticipated level and the period during which the permittee expects to operate at the alternate level. If the notice covers more than one month, the notice shall specify the reasons for the anticipated production level increase. New notice of discharge at alternate levels is required to cover a period or production level not covered by prior notice or, if during two consecutive months otherwise covered by a notice, the production level at the permitted facility does not in fact meet the higher level designated in the notice;

(b) The permittee shall comply with the limitations, standards, or prohibitions that correspond to the lowest level of production specified in the permit, unless the permittee has notified the department under subdivision 2 b (2) (a) of this subsection, in which case the permittee shall comply with the lower of the actual level of production during each month or the level specified in the notice; and

(c) The permittee shall submit with the DMR the level of production that actually occurred during each month and the limitations, standards, or prohibitions applicable to that level of production.

C. All permit effluent limitations, standards, or prohibitions for a metal shall be expressed in terms of total recoverable metal as defined in 40 CFR Part 136 unless:

1. An applicable effluent standard or limitation has been promulgated under the CWA and specifies the limitation for the metal in the dissolved or valent or total form; or

2. In establishing permit limitations on a case-by-case basis under 40 CFR 125.3, it is necessary to express the limitation on the metal in the dissolved or valent or total form to carry out the provisions of the CWA and the law; or

3. All approved analytical methods for the metal inherently measure only its dissolved form (e.g., hexavalent chromium).

D. For continuous discharges all permit effluent limitations, standards, and prohibitions, including those necessary to achieve water quality standards, shall unless impracticable be stated as:

1. Maximum daily and average monthly discharge limitations for all dischargers other than publicly owned treatment works; and

2. Average weekly and average monthly discharge limitations for POTWs.

E. Discharges which are not continuous, as defined in 9VAC25-31-10, shall be particularly described and limited, considering the following factors, as appropriate:

1. Frequency;

2. Total mass;

3. Maximum rate of discharge of pollutants during the discharge; and

4. Prohibition or limitation of specified pollutants by mass, concentration, or other appropriate measure.

F. Mass Limitations.

1. All pollutants limited in permits shall have limitations, standards or prohibitions expressed in terms of mass except:

a. For pH, temperature, radiation, or other pollutants which cannot appropriately be expressed by mass;

b. When applicable standards and limitations are expressed in terms of other units of measurement; or

c. If in establishing technology-based permit limitations on a case-by-case basis, limitations expressed in terms of mass are infeasible because the mass of the pollutant discharged cannot be related to a measure of operation (for example, discharges of TSS from certain mining operations), and permit conditions ensure that dilution will not be used as a substitute for treatment.

2. Pollutants limited in terms of mass additionally may be limited in terms of other units of measurement, and the permit shall require the permittee to comply with both limitations.

G. Pollutants in intake water.

1. Upon request of the discharger, technology-based effluent limitations or standards shall be adjusted to reflect credit for pollutants in the discharger's intake water to the extent necessary to meet the applicable technology-based limitation or standard, up to a maximum value equal to the influent value. Credit shall be granted only if:

a. The applicable effluent limitations and standards contained in the regulations incorporated by reference in 9VAC25-31-30 specifically provide that they shall be applied on a net basis; or

b. The discharger demonstrates that the control system it proposes or uses to meet applicable technology-based limitations and standards would, if properly installed and operated, meets the limitations and standards in the absence of pollutants in the intake waters.

2. Credit for generic pollutants such as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) or total suspended solids (TSS) should not be granted unless the permittee demonstrates that the constituents of the generic measure in the effluent are substantially similar to the constituents of the generic measure in the intake water or unless appropriate additional limits are placed on process water pollutants either at the outfall or elsewhere.

3. Credit for the level of pollutants in the intake water may be considered in setting water quality-based effluent limitations according to 9VAC25-31-220 D. Where a total maximum daily load has been established for the receiving waterbody and it is applicable to the discharge, it shall be considered when such effluent limitations are developed. The department may consider the presence of intake pollutants when determining either that water quality-based effluent limitations are not necessary under 9VAC25-31-220 D or that any water quality-based effluent limitations justified by 9VAC25-31-220 D will be established in a manner that does not hold the permittee responsible for removing pollutants originating in its intake water.

4. Additional monitoring may be necessary to determine eligibility for any credits and compliance with permit limits.

5. Credits shall be granted only if the discharger demonstrates that the intake water is drawn from the same body of water into which the discharge is made. The department may waive this requirement for technology-based effluent limitations, standards, and prohibitions if he finds that no environmental degradation will result.

a. An intake pollutant is considered to be from the same body of water as the discharge if the department finds that the intake pollutant would have reached the vicinity of the outfall point in the receiving water within a reasonable period had it not been removed by the permittee. This finding may be deemed established if:

(1) The background concentration of the pollutant in the receiving water (excluding any amount of the pollutant in the facility's discharge) is similar to that in the intake water;

(2) There is direct hydrological connection between the intake and discharge points; and

(3) Water quality characteristics (e.g., temperature, pH, hardness) are similar in the intake and receiving waters.

Other site-specific factors relevant to the transport and fate of the pollutant may be considered in making this finding.

b. An intake pollutant from groundwater may be considered to be from the same body of water if the department determines that the pollutant would have reached the vicinity of the outfall point in the receiving water within a reasonable period had it not been removed by the permittee, except that such a pollutant is not from the same body of water if the groundwater contains the pollutant partially or entirely due to human activity, such as industrial, commercial, or municipal operations, disposal actions or treatment processes.

c. For pollutants in intake water provided by a water supply system, where the raw water supply is removed from the same body of water as the discharge, the concentration of the intake pollutant shall be determined at the point where the water enters the water supplier's distribution system.

d. Where a facility discharges intake pollutants that originate in part from the same body of water and in part from a different body of water, the effluent limitation may provide for intake credits for the portion of the pollutants derived from the same body of water, provided that adequate monitoring to determine compliance can be established and is included in the permit.

6. Credits shall not be granted if the discharger contributes to the level of the pollutant in the intake water prior to the intake.

7. Credits for intake pollutants do not apply to technology-based limitations on the discharge of raw water clarifier sludge generated from the treatment of intake water.

H. Internal waste streams.

1. When permit effluent limitations or standards imposed at the point of discharge are impractical or infeasible, effluent limitations or standards for discharges of pollutants may be imposed on internal waste streams before mixing with other waste streams or cooling water streams. In those instances, the monitoring required by 9VAC25-31-220 I shall also be applied to the internal waste streams.

2. Limits on internal waste streams will be imposed only when the fact sheet sets forth the exceptional circumstances which make such limitations necessary, such as when the final discharge point is inaccessible, the wastes at the point of discharge are so diluted as to make monitoring impracticable, or the interferences among pollutants at the point of discharge would make detection or analysis impracticable.

I. Disposal of pollutants into wells, POTWs or by land application.

1. When part of a discharger's process wastewater is not being discharged into surface waters or into the contiguous zone because it is disposed into a well, into a POTW, or by land application thereby reducing the flow or level of pollutants being discharged into surface waters, applicable effluent standards and limitations for the discharge in a VPDES permit shall be adjusted to reflect the reduced raw waste resulting from such disposal. Effluent limitations and standards in the permit shall be calculated by one of the following methods:

a. If none of the waste from a particular process is discharged into surface waters, and effluent limitations guidelines provide separate allocation for wastes from that process, all allocations for the process shall be eliminated from calculation of permit effluent limitations or standards.

b. In all cases other than those described in subdivision 1 a of this subsection, effluent limitations shall be adjusted by multiplying the effluent limitation derived by applying effluent limitation guidelines to the total waste stream by the amount of wastewater flow to be treated and discharged into surface waters, and dividing the result by the total wastewater flow. Effluent limitations and standards so calculated may be further adjusted to make them more or less stringent if discharges to wells, publicly owned treatment works, or by land application change the character or treatability of the pollutants being discharged to receiving waters. This method may be algebraically expressed as:

P =

E x N

T

where P is the permit effluent limitation, E is the limitation derived by applying effluent guidelines to the total wastestream, N is the wastewater flow to be treated and discharged to surface waters, and T is the total wastewater flow.

2. Subdivision 1 of this subsection does not apply to the extent that promulgated effluent limitations guidelines:

a. Control concentrations of pollutants discharged but not mass; or

b. Specify a different specific technique for adjusting effluent limitations to account for well injection, land application, or disposal into POTWs.

3. Subdivision 1 of this subsection does not alter a discharger's obligation to meet any more stringent requirements established in the permit.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 27, 2000; Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. February 15, 2002; Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. February 15, 2012; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

9VAC25-31-240. Duration of permits.

A. VPDES permits shall be effective for a fixed term not to exceed five years.

B. Except as provided in 9VAC25-31-70, the term of a permit shall not be extended by modification beyond the maximum duration specified in this section.

C. The department may issue any permit for a duration that is less than the full allowable term under this section.

D. A permit may be issued to expire on or after the statutory deadline set forth in §§ 301(b)(2) (A), (C), and (E) of the CWA, if the permit includes effluent limitations to meet the requirements of §§ 301(b)(2) (A), (C), (D), (E) and (F) of the CWA, whether or not applicable effluent limitations guidelines have been promulgated or approved.

E. A determination that a particular discharger falls within a given industrial category for purposes of setting a permit expiration date under subsection D of this section is not conclusive as to the discharger's inclusion in that industrial category for any other purposes, and does not prejudice any rights to challenge or change that inclusion at the time that a permit based on that determination is formulated.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

9VAC25-31-250. Schedules of compliance.

A. The permit may, when appropriate, specify a schedule of compliance leading to compliance with the law, the CWA, and regulations.

1. Any schedules of compliance under this section shall require compliance as soon as possible, but not later than the applicable statutory deadline under the CWA.

2. The first VPDES permit issued to a new source or a new discharger shall contain a schedule of compliance only when necessary to allow a reasonable opportunity to attain compliance with requirements issued or revised after commencement of construction but less than three years before commencement of the relevant discharge. For recommencing dischargers, a schedule of compliance shall be available only when necessary to allow a reasonable opportunity to attain compliance with requirements issued or revised less than three years before recommencement of discharge.

3. Schedules of compliance may be established in permits for existing sources which are reissued or modified to contain new or more restrictive water quality-based effluent limitations. The schedule may allow a reasonable period of time for the discharger to attain compliance with the water quality-based limitations.

4. Except as provided in subdivision B 1 b of this section, if a permit establishes a schedule of compliance which exceeds one year from the date of permit issuance, the schedule shall set forth interim requirements and the dates for their achievement.

a. The time between interim dates shall not exceed one year, except that in the case of a schedule for compliance with standards for sewage sludge use and disposal, the time between interim dates shall not exceed six months.

b. If the time necessary for completion of any interim requirement is more than one year and is not readily divisible into stages for completion, the permit shall specify interim dates for the submission of reports of progress toward completion of the interim requirements and indicate a projected completion date.

5. The permit shall be written to require that no later than 14 days following each interim date and the final date of compliance, the permittee shall notify the department in writing of its compliance or noncompliance with the interim or final requirements, or submit progress reports if subdivision 4 b of this subsection is applicable.

B. A VPDES permit applicant or permittee may cease conducting regulated activities (by terminating of direct discharge for VPDES sources) rather than continuing to operate and meet permit requirements as follows:

1. If the permittee decides to cease conducting regulated activities at a given time within the term of a permit which has already been issued:

a. The permit may be modified to contain a new or additional schedule leading to timely cessation of activities; or

b. The permittee shall cease conducting permitted activities before noncompliance with any interim or final compliance schedule requirement already specified in the permit;

2. If the decision to cease conducting regulated activities is made before issuance of a permit whose term will include the termination date, the permit shall contain a schedule leading to termination which will ensure timely compliance with applicable requirements no later than the statutory deadline;

3. If the permittee is undecided whether to cease conducting regulated activities, the department may issue or modify a permit to contain two schedules as follows:

a. Both schedules shall contain an identical interim deadline requiring a final decision on whether to cease conducting regulated activities no later than a date which ensures sufficient time to comply with applicable requirements in a timely manner if the decision is to continue conducting regulated activities;

b. One schedule shall lead to timely compliance with applicable requirements, no later than the statutory deadline;

c. The second schedule shall lead to cessation of regulated activities by a date which will ensure timely compliance with applicable requirements no later than the statutory deadline; and

d. Each permit containing two schedules shall include a requirement that after the permittee has made a final decision under subdivision 3 a of this subsection it shall follow the schedule leading to compliance if the decision is to continue conducting regulated activities, and follow the schedule leading to termination if the decision is to cease conducting regulated activities; and

4. The applicant's or permittee's decision to cease conducting regulated activities shall be evidenced by a firm public commitment satisfactory to the department, such as a resolution of the board of directors of a corporation.

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

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 25, eff. September 4, 2019; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

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