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

§ 62.1-44.15:58.1. Inspections; land-disturbing activities of natural gas pipelines; stop work instructions.

A. The Department is authorized to conduct inspections of the land-disturbing activities of interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies that have approved annual standards and specifications pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:55 as such land-disturbing activities relate to construction of any natural gas transmission pipeline greater than 36 inches inside diameter to determine (i) compliance with such annual standards and specifications, (ii) compliance with any site-specific plans, and (iii) if there have been or are likely to be adverse impacts to water quality as a result of such land-disturbing activities. When the Department determines that there has been a substantial adverse impact to water quality or that an imminent and substantial adverse impact to water quality is likely to occur as a result of such land-disturbing activities, the Department may issue a stop work instruction, without advance notice or hearing, requiring that all or part of such land-disturbing activities on the part of the site that caused the substantial adverse impacts to water quality or are likely to cause imminent and substantial adverse impacts to water quality be stopped until corrective measures specified in the stop work instruction have been completed and approved by the Department.

Such stop work instruction shall become effective upon service on the company by email or other technology agreed to in writing by the Department and the company, by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the annual standards and specifications, if available, or by delivery at the site to a person previously identified to the Department by the company. Upon request by the company, the Director or his designee shall review such stop work instruction within 48 hours of issuance.

B. Within 10 business days of issuance of a stop work instruction, the Department shall promptly provide to such company an opportunity for an informal fact-finding proceeding concerning the stop work instruction and any review by the Director or his designee. Reasonable notice as to the time and place of the informal fact-finding proceeding shall be provided to such company. Within 10 business days of the informal fact-finding proceeding, the Department shall affirm, modify, amend, or cancel such stop work instruction. Upon written documentation from the company of the completion and approval by the Department in writing of the corrective measures specified in the stop work instruction, the instruction shall be immediately lifted.

C. The company may appeal such stop work instruction or preliminary decision rendered by the Director or his designee to the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the land-disturbing activities subject to the stop work instruction occurred, or to another appropriate court, in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey a stop work instruction issued by the Department may be compelled in a proceeding instituted in the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court to obey same and to comply therewith by injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Board or the Department from taking any other action authorized by this chapter.

2018, c. 297.

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.