Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 4. Scenic Rivers Act
5/22/2024

§ 10.1-408. Uses not affected by scenic river designation.

A. Except as provided in § 10.1-407, all riparian land and water uses along or in the designated section of a river that are permitted by law shall not be restricted by this chapter.

B. Designation as a scenic river shall not be used:

1. To designate the lands along the river and its tributaries as unsuitable for mining pursuant to § 45.2-1028 or regulations promulgated with respect to such section, or as unsuitable for use as a location for a surface mineral mine as defined in § 45.2-1101; however, the Department shall still be permitted to exercise the powers granted under § 10.1-402; or

2. To be a criterion for purposes of imposing water quality standards under the federal Clean Water Act.

C. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the federal government, the Commonwealth, or a locality or local governing body from using, constructing, reconstructing, replacing, repairing, operating, or performing necessary maintenance on any road or bridge.

D. Nothing in § 10.1-413, 10.1-414, or 10.1-418.6 shall preclude the Commonwealth or a local governing body or authority from constructing, reconstructing, operating, or performing necessary maintenance on any transportation or public water supply project.

E. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the continued:

1. Use, operation, and maintenance of the existing Loudoun County Sanitation Authority water impoundment or the installation of new water intake facilities in the existing reservoir located within the section of Goose Creek designated by § 10.1-411;

2. Operation and maintenance of existing dams in the section of the Rappahannock River designated by § 10.1-415;

3. Operation, maintenance, alteration, expansion, or destruction by the City of Fredericksburg of the old VEPCO canal or any other part of the city's waterworks; or

4. Operation and maintenance of existing dams in the section of the Clinch River designated by § 10.1-410.2.

F. The City of Richmond shall be allowed to reconstruct, operate, and maintain existing facilities at the Byrd Park and Hollywood Hydroelectric Power Stations at current capacity. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the Commonwealth, the City of Richmond, or any common carrier railroad from constructing or reconstructing floodwalls or public common carrier facilities that may traverse the section of the James River designated by § 10.1-412, such as road or railroad bridges, raw water intake structures, or water or sewer lines that would be constructed below water level.

G. The owner of the Harvell Dam in the City of Petersburg may construct, reconstruct, operate, and maintain the Harvell Dam subject to other law and regulation.

H. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the Commonwealth, the City of Fredericksburg, or Culpeper, Spotsylvania, or Stafford County from constructing any new raw water intake structures or devices, including pipes and reservoirs but not dams, or laying water or sewer lines below water level.

I. Nothing in this chapter shall:

1. Preclude the construction, operation, repair, maintenance, or replacement of (i) a natural gas pipeline for which the State Corporation Commission has issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity or any connections with such pipeline owned by the Richmond Gas Utility and connected to such pipeline or (ii) the natural gas pipeline, case number PUE 860065, for which the State Corporation Commission has issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity;

2. Be construed to prevent the construction, use, operation, and maintenance of a natural gas pipeline (i) traversing the portion of the river designated by § 10.1-411.1 at, or at any point north of, the existing power line that is located approximately 200 feet north of the northern entrance to the Swede Tunnel or (ii) on or beneath the two existing railroad trestles, one located just south of the Swede Tunnel and the other located just north of the confluence of the Guest River with the Clinch River, or to prevent the use, operation, and maintenance of such railroad trestles in furtherance of the construction, operation, use, and maintenance of such pipeline; or

3. Preclude the construction, use, operation, maintenance, replacement, or removal of any asset owned or operated by an entity organized pursuant to Chapter 9.1 (§ 56-231.15 et seq.) of Title 56 traversing the portion of the river designated by § 10.1-413 at or any point between the confluence of Allen's Creek and the James River and the confluence of David Creek and the James River.

1988, c. 891; 2014, c. 823; 2018, c. 273; 2020, cc. 306, 629; 2022, cc. 175, 235.

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.