Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 62.1. Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors
Chapter 3.1. State Water Control Law
5/21/2024

§ 62.1-44.15:48. (Effective July 1, 2024) Penalties, injunctions, and other legal actions.

A. For a land-disturbing activity that disturbs 2,500 square feet or more of land in an area of a locality that is designated as a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), or that disturbs one acre or more of land or is part of a larger common plan of development or sale that disturbs one acre or more of land anywhere else in the Commonwealth:

1. Any person who violates any applicable provision of this article or of any regulation, permit, or standard and specification adopted or approved by the Board hereunder, or who fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any order of the Board, or a court, issued as herein provided, shall be subject to a civil penalty pursuant to § 62.1-44.32. The court shall direct that any penalty be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29.1.

2. Any person who violates any applicable provision of this article, or any ordinance adopted pursuant to this article, including those adopted pursuant to the conditions of an MS4 permit, or any condition of a local land-disturbance approval, or who fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any order of a locality serving as a VESMP authority or a court, issued as herein provided, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $32,500 for each violation within the discretion of the court. Each day of violation of each requirement shall constitute a separate offense. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the treasury of the locality in which the violation occurred and are to be used solely for stormwater management capital projects, including (i) new stormwater best management practices; (ii) stormwater best management practice maintenance, inspection, or retrofitting; (iii) stream restoration; (iv) low-impact development projects; (v) buffer restoration; (vi) pond retrofitting; and (vii) wetlands restoration.

Where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29.1.

B. For a land-disturbing activity that disturbs an area measuring not less than 10,000 square feet but less than one acre in an area that is not designated as a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) and is not part of a larger common plan of development or sale that disturbs one acre or more of land:

1. Any person who violates any applicable provision of this article or of any regulation or order of the Board issued pursuant to this article, or any condition of a land-disturbance approval issued by the Board, or fails to obtain a required land-disturbance approval, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each violation with a limit of $50,000 within the discretion of the court in a civil action initiated by the Board. Each day during which the violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. In no event shall a series of specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $50,000. The court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29.1.

2. Any locality serving as a VESMP authority shall adopt an ordinance providing that a violation of any ordinance or provision of its program adopted pursuant to this article, or any condition of a land-disturbance approval, shall be subject to a civil penalty. Such ordinance shall provide that any person who violates any applicable provision of this article or any ordinance or order of a locality issued pursuant to this article, or any condition of a land-disturbance approval issued by the locality, or fails to obtain a required land-disturbance approval, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each violation with a limit of $50,000 within the discretion of the court in a civil action initiated by the locality. Each day during which the violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. In no event shall a series of specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $50,000. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies and used pursuant to subdivision A 2, except that where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29.1.

C. The violation of any provision of this article may also result in the following sanctions:

1. The Board may seek an injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy pursuant to § 62.1-44.23. A locality serving as a VESMP authority may apply to the appropriate court in any jurisdiction wherein the land lies to enjoin a violation or a threatened violation of the provisions of a local ordinance or order or the conditions of a local land-disturbance approval. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to this article shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty that shall be assessed and used in accordance with the provisions of subsection A or B, as applicable.

2. The Board or a locality serving as a VESMP authority may use the criminal provisions provided in § 62.1-44.32.

1989, cc. 467, 499, § 10.1-603.14; 2004, c. 372; 2006, c. 171; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.