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
8/25/2019

This section has more than one version with varying effective dates. Scroll down to see all versions.

§ 62.1-44.15:51. (For contingent expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Agreement in lieu of a plan" means a contract between the plan-approving authority and the owner that specifies conservation measures that must be implemented in the construction of a single-family residence; this contract may be executed by the plan-approving authority in lieu of a formal site plan.

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

"Certified inspector" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of project inspection or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for project inspection and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Certified plan reviewer" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of plan review, (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for plan review and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment, or (iii) is licensed as a professional engineer, architect, landscape architect, land surveyor pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1, or professional soil scientist as defined in § 54.1-2200.

"Certified program administrator" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of program administration or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for program administration and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

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

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

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

"Erosion impact area" means an area of land not associated with current land-disturbing activity but subject to persistent soil erosion resulting in the delivery of sediment onto neighboring properties or into state waters. This definition shall not apply to any lot or parcel of land of 10,000 square feet or less used for residential purposes or to shorelines where the erosion results from wave action or other coastal processes.

"Land-disturbing activity" means any man-made change to the land surface that may result in soil erosion from water or wind and the movement of sediments into state waters or onto lands in the Commonwealth, including, but not limited to, clearing, grading, excavating, transporting, and filling of land, except that the term shall not include:

1. Minor land-disturbing activities such as home gardens and individual home landscaping, repairs, and maintenance work;

2. Individual service connections;

3. Installation, maintenance, or repair of any underground public utility lines when such activity occurs on an existing hard surfaced road, street, or sidewalk, provided the land-disturbing activity is confined to the area of the road, street, or sidewalk that is hard surfaced;

4. Septic tank lines or drainage fields unless included in an overall plan for land-disturbing activity relating to construction of the building to be served by the septic tank system;

5. Permitted surface or deep mining operations and projects, or oil and gas operations and projects conducted pursuant to Title 45.1;

6. Tilling, planting, or harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, or forest crops, livestock feedlot operations, or as additionally set forth by the Board in regulation, including engineering operations as follows: construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds, ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation; however, this exception shall not apply to harvesting of forest crops unless the area on which harvesting occurs is reforested artificially or naturally in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 10.1 or is converted to bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use as described in subsection B of § 10.1-1163;

7. Repair or rebuilding of the tracks, rights-of-way, bridges, communication facilities, and other related structures and facilities of a railroad company;

8. Agricultural engineering operations, including but not limited to the construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds not required to comply with the provisions of the Dam Safety Act (§ 10.1-604 et seq.), ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation;

9. Disturbed land areas of less than 10,000 square feet in size or 2,500 square feet in all areas of the jurisdictions designated as subject to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations; however, the governing body of the program authority may reduce this exception to a smaller area of disturbed land or qualify the conditions under which this exception shall apply;

10. Installation of fence and sign posts or telephone and electric poles and other kinds of posts or poles;

11. Shoreline erosion control projects on tidal waters when all of the land-disturbing activities are within the regulatory authority of and approved by local wetlands boards, the Marine Resources Commission, or the United States Army Corps of Engineers; however, any associated land that is disturbed outside of this exempted area shall remain subject to this article and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto; and

12. Emergency work to protect life, limb, or property, and emergency repairs; however, if the land-disturbing activity would have required an approved erosion and sediment control plan, if the activity were not an emergency, then the land area disturbed shall be shaped and stabilized in accordance with the requirements of the VESCP authority.

"Natural channel design concepts" means the utilization of engineering analysis and fluvial geomorphic processes to create, rehabilitate, restore, or stabilize an open conveyance system for the purpose of creating or recreating a stream that conveys its bankfull storm event within its banks and allows larger flows to access its bankfull bench and its floodplain.

"Owner" means the owner or owners of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee, or other person, firm, or corporation in control of a property.

"Peak flow rate" means the maximum instantaneous flow from a given storm condition at a particular location.

"Permittee" means the person to whom the local permit authorizing land-disturbing activities is issued or the person who certifies that the approved erosion and sediment control plan will be followed.

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

"Runoff volume" means the volume of water that runs off the land development project from a prescribed storm event.

"Town" means an incorporated town.

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

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

"Water quality volume" means the volume equal to the first one-half inch of runoff multiplied by the impervious surface of the land development project.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.3; 1974, c. 265; 1977, c. 149; 1980, c. 305; 1988, cc. 690, 732, 891, § 10.1-560; 1990, c. 491; 1991, c. 469; 1992, c. 184; 1993, c. 925; 1994, c. 703; 2003, c. 423; 2004, c. 476; 2005, c. 107; 2006, c. 21; 2009, c. 309; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:51. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Agreement in lieu of a plan" means a contract between the VESCP authority and the owner that specifies conservation measures that must be implemented in the construction of a single-family detached residential structure; this contract may be executed by the VESCP authority in lieu of a formal site plan.

"Applicant" means any person submitting an erosion and sediment control plan for approval in order to obtain authorization for land-disturbing activities to commence.

"Certified inspector" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certification from the Board in the area of project inspection or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for project inspection and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Certified plan reviewer" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certification from the Board in the area of plan review, (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for plan review and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment, or (iii) is licensed as a professional engineer, architect, landscape architect, land surveyor pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1, or professional soil scientist as defined in § 54.1-2200.

"Certified program administrator" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certification from the Board in the area of program administration or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for program administration and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

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

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

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

"Erosion impact area" means an area of land that is not associated with a current land-disturbing activity but is subject to persistent soil erosion resulting in the delivery of sediment onto neighboring properties or into state waters. This definition shall not apply to any lot or parcel of land of 10,000 square feet or less used for residential purposes or to shorelines where the erosion results from wave action or other coastal processes.

"Land disturbance" or "land-disturbing activity" means any man-made change to the land surface that may result in soil erosion or has the potential to change its runoff characteristics, including the clearing, grading, excavating, transporting, and filling of land.

"Natural channel design concepts" means the utilization of engineering analysis and fluvial geomorphic processes to create, rehabilitate, restore, or stabilize an open conveyance system for the purpose of creating or recreating a stream that conveys its bankfull storm event within its banks and allows larger flows to access its bankfull bench and its floodplain.

"Owner" means the same as provided in § 62.1-44.3. For a land-disturbing activity that is regulated under this article, "owner" also includes the owner or owners of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee, or other person, firm, or corporation in control of a property.

"Peak flow rate" means the maximum instantaneous flow from a given storm condition at a particular location.

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

"Runoff volume" means the volume of water that runs off the land development project from a prescribed storm event.

"Soil erosion" means the movement of soil by wind or water into state waters or onto lands in the Commonwealth.

"Town" means an incorporated town.

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

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program authority" or "VESCP authority" means a locality approved by the Board to operate a Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program. A locality that has chosen not to establish a Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program pursuant to subdivision B 3 of § 62.1-44.15:27 is required to become a VESCP authority in accordance with this article.

"Virginia Stormwater Management Program" or "VSMP" means a program established by the Board pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:27.1 on behalf of a locality on or after July 1, 2014, to manage the quality and quantity of runoff resulting from any land-disturbing activity that (i) disturbs one acre or more of land or (ii) disturbs less than one acre of land and is part of a larger common plan of development or sale that results in one acre or greater of land disturbance.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.3; 1974, c. 265; 1977, c. 149; 1980, c. 305; 1988, cc. 690, 732, 891, § 10.1-560; 1990, c. 491; 1991, c. 469; 1992, c. 184; 1993, c. 925; 1994, c. 703; 2003, c. 423; 2004, c. 476; 2005, c. 107; 2006, c. 21; 2009, c. 309; 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.