Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 62.1. Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors
Chapter 3.1. State Water Control Law
12/1/2020

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

§ 62.1-44.15:48. (For contingent expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Penalties, injunctions, and other legal actions.

A. Any person who violates any provision of this article or of any regulation, ordinance, or standard and specification adopted or approved hereunder, including those adopted pursuant to the conditions of an MS4 permit, or who fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any order of a VSMP authority authorized to enforce this article, the Department, the Board, 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. The Board shall adopt a regulation establishing a schedule of civil penalties to be utilized by the VSMP authority in enforcing the provisions of this article. The Board, Department, or VSMP authority may issue a summons for collection of the civil penalty and the action may be prosecuted in the appropriate court. Any civil penalties assessed by a court as a result of a summons issued by a locality as an approved VSMP authority shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies, except where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent. When the penalties are assessed by the court as a result of a summons issued by the Board or Department, or 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 Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29. Such civil penalties paid into the treasury of the locality in which the violation occurred are to be used for the purpose of minimizing, preventing, managing, or mitigating pollution of the waters of the locality and abating environmental pollution therein in such manner as the court may, by order, direct.

B. Any person who willfully or negligently violates any provision of this article, any regulation or order of the Board, any order of a VSMP authority authorized to enforce this article or the Department, any ordinance of any locality approved as a VSMP authority, any condition of a permit or state permit, or any order of a court shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $32,500, either or both. Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this article, any regulation or order of the Board, any order of the VSMP authority or the Department, any ordinance of any locality approved as a VSMP authority, any condition of a permit or state permit, or any order of a court issued as herein provided, or who knowingly makes any false statement in any form required to be submitted under this article or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or method required to be maintained under this article, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than three years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 for each violation. Any defendant that is not an individual shall, upon conviction of a violation under this subsection, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $10,000. Each day of violation of each requirement shall constitute a separate offense.

C. Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this article, and who knows at that time that he thereby places another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than 15 years and a fine of not more than $250,000, either or both. A defendant that is not an individual shall, upon conviction of a violation under this subsection, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding the greater of $1 million or an amount that is three times the economic benefit realized by the defendant as a result of the offense. The maximum penalty shall be doubled with respect to both fine and imprisonment for any subsequent conviction of the same person under this subsection.

D. Violation of any provision of this article may also include the following sanctions:

1. The Board, Department, or the VSMP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, 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 this article or of the local ordinance without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist.

2. With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any ordinance, any condition of a permit or state permit, any regulation or order of the Board, any order of the VSMP authority or the Department, or any provision of this article, the Board, Department, or VSMP authority may provide, in an order issued against such person, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in this section. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under this section. Any civil charges collected shall be paid to the locality or state treasury pursuant to subsection A.

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

§ 62.1-44.15:48. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) 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.