Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 11.1. Department of Environmental Quality
9/18/2021

Chapter 11.1. Department of Environmental Quality.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 10.1-1182. Definitions.

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

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

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

"Environment" means the natural, scenic, and historic attributes of the Commonwealth.

"Environmental justice" means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of every person, regardless of race, color, national origin, faith, disability, or income, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

"Special order" means an administrative order issued to any party that has a stated duration of not more than twelve months and that may include a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.

1992, c. 887; 1996, c. 1005; 2020, c. 454.

§ 10.1-1182.1. Certified mail; subsequent mail or notices may be sent by regular mail.

Whenever in this chapter the Department is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, then any subsequent, identical mail or notice that is sent by the Department may be sent by regular mail.

2011, c. 566.

§ 10.1-1183. Creation of Department of Environmental Quality; statement of policy.

A. There is hereby created a Department of Environmental Quality by the consolidation of the programs, functions, staff, facilities, assets and obligations of the following agencies: the State Water Control Board, the Department of Air Pollution Control, the Department of Waste Management, and the Council on the Environment. Wherever in this title and in the Code of Virginia reference is made to the Department of Air Pollution Control, the Department of Waste Management or the Council on the Environment, or any division thereof, it shall mean the Department of Environmental Quality.

B. It is the policy of the Department of Environmental Quality to protect and enhance the environment of Virginia in order to promote the health and well-being of the Commonwealth's citizens, residents, and visitors in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The purposes of the Department are:

1. To assist in the effective implementation of the Constitution of Virginia by carrying out state policies aimed at conserving the Commonwealth's natural resources and protecting its atmosphere, land, and waters from pollution.

2. To address climate change by developing and implementing policy and regulatory approaches to reducing climate pollution and promoting climate resilience in the Commonwealth and by ensuring that climate impacts and climate resilience are taken into account across all programs and permitting processes.

3. To coordinate permit review and issuance procedures to protect all aspects of Virginia's environment.

4. To further environmental justice and enhance public participation in the regulatory and permitting processes.

5. To establish and effectively implement a pollution prevention program to reduce the impact of pollutants on Virginia's natural resources.

6. To establish procedures for, and undertake, long-range environmental program planning and policy analysis, including assessments of emerging environmental challenges.

7. To conduct comprehensive evaluations of the Commonwealth's environmental protection programs.

8. To develop uniform administrative systems to ensure coherent environmental policies.

9. To coordinate state reviews with federal agencies on environmental issues, such as environmental impact statements.

10. To promote environmental quality through public hearings and expeditious and comprehensive permitting, inspection, monitoring, and enforcement programs, and provide effective service delivery to the regulated community.

11. To advise the Governor and General Assembly, and, on request, assist other officers, employees, and public bodies of the Commonwealth, on matters relating to environmental quality and the effectiveness of actions and programs designed to enhance that quality.

12. To ensure that there is consistency in the enforcement of the laws, regulations, and policies as they apply to holders of permits or certificates issued by the Department, whether the owners or operators of such regulated facilities are public sector or private sector entities, including the development of electronic recordkeeping and document transmittal systems that encourage the use of electronic methods in performing the Department's business as a means of furthering both resource conservation and transaction efficiency.

13. To ensure the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, faith, disability, or income with respect to the administration of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

C. Wherever the term is used in this chapter or in other statutory or regulatory provisions that the Department administers, (i) "certified mail" means electronically certified or postal certified mail, except that this provision shall apply only to the mailing of plan approvals, permits, or certificates issued under the provisions of this chapter and those of the Air Pollution Control Law (§ 10.1-1300 et seq.), the Virginia Waste Management Act (§ 10.1-1400 et seq.), and the State Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.), and only where the recipient has notified the Department of his consent to receive plan approvals, permits, or certificates by electronic mail, and (ii) "mail" means electronic or postal delivery. Any statutory provisions requiring use of "certified mail" to transmit special orders or administrative orders pursuant to enforcement proceedings shall mean postal certified mail.

1992, c. 887; 1999, c. 207; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2013, c. 348; 2020, cc. 454, 492.

§ 10.1-1184. State Air Pollution Control Board, State Water Control Board, and Virginia Waste Management Board continued.

The State Air Pollution Control Board, State Water Control Board, and Virginia Waste Management Board are continued and shall promote the environmental quality of the Commonwealth. All policies and regulations adopted or promulgated by the State Air Pollution Control Board, State Water Control Board, Virginia Waste Management Board, and the Council on the Environment and in effect on December 31, 1992, shall continue to be in effect until and unless superseded by new policies or regulations. Representatives of the three Boards shall meet jointly at least twice a year to receive public comment and deliberate about environmental issues of concern to the Commonwealth, including the development and implementation of regulations for multimedia permitting, increased efficiencies for the processing of permit applications and information requests, the enhancement of environmental protection, and opportunities for effective public participation.

1992, c. 887; 2008, cc. 276, 557.

§ 10.1-1185. Appointment of Director; powers and duties of Director.

The Department shall be headed by a Director appointed by the Governor to serve at his pleasure. The Director shall be an experienced administrator with knowledge of environmental protection and government operation and shall have demonstrated expertise in organizational management and environmental science, environmental law, or environmental policy. The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall, under the direction and control of the Governor, exercise such power and perform such duties as are conferred or imposed upon him by law and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by the Governor and the following Boards: the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, and the Virginia Waste Management Board. The Director or his designee shall serve as executive officer of the aforementioned Boards.

All powers and duties conferred or imposed upon the Executive Director of the Department of Air Pollution Control, the Executive Director of the State Water Control Board, the Administrator of the Council on the Environment, and the Director of the Department of Waste Management are continued and conferred or imposed upon the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality or his designee. Wherever in this title and in the Code of Virginia reference is made to the head of a division, department or agency hereinafter transferred to this Department, it shall mean the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

1992, c. 887; 2008, cc. 276, 557.

§ 10.1-1186. General powers of the Department.

The Department shall have the following general powers, any of which the Director may delegate as appropriate:

1. Employ such personnel as may be required to carry out the duties of the Department;

2. Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this chapter, including, but not limited to, contracts with the United States, other states, other state agencies and governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth;

3. Accept grants from the United States government and agencies and instrumentalities thereof and any other source. To these ends, the Department shall have the power to comply with such conditions and execute such agreements as may be necessary, convenient, or desirable;

4. Accept and administer services, property, gifts and other funds donated to the Department;

5. Implement all regulations as may be adopted by the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, and the Virginia Waste Management Board;

6. Administer, under the direction of the Boards, funds appropriated to it for environmental programs and make contracts related thereto;

7. Advise and coordinate the responses of state agencies to notices of proceedings by the State Water Control Board to consider certifications of hydropower projects under 33 U.S.C. § 1341;

8. Advise interested agencies of the Commonwealth of pending proceedings when the Department of Environmental Quality intervenes directly on behalf of the Commonwealth in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceeding or when the Department of Wildlife Resources intervenes in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceeding to coordinate the provision of information and testimony for use in the proceedings;

9. Notwithstanding any other provision of law and to the extent consistent with federal requirements, following a proceeding as provided in § 2.2-4019, issue special orders to any person to comply with: (i) the provisions of any law administered by the Boards, the Director or the Department, (ii) any condition of a permit or a certification, (iii) any regulations of the Boards, or (iv) any case decision, as defined in § 2.2-4001, of the Boards or Director. The issuance of a special order shall be considered a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. The Director shall not delegate his authority to impose civil penalties in conjunction with issuance of special orders. For purposes of this subdivision, "Boards" means the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, and the Virginia Waste Management Board; and

10. Perform all acts necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

1992, c. 887; 1996, c. 1005; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2020, c. 958.

§ 10.1-1186.01. Reimbursements to localities for upgrades to treatment works.

A. As used in this section, "Enhanced Nutrient Removal Certainty Program" or "ENRC Program" means the same as that term is defined in § 62.1-44.19:13.

B. The General Assembly shall fund grants to finance the reasonable costs of design and installation of nutrient removal technology at the publicly owned treatment works designated as significant dischargers contained in subsection F or as eligible nonsignificant dischargers as defined in § 10.1-2117. When grant disbursements pursuant to this section reach a sum sufficient to fund the completion of the ENRC Program at all publicly owned treatment works, the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources, the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations shall review (i) the future funding needs to meet the purposes of the Water Quality Improvement Act, (ii) the most recent annual needs estimate required by § 10.1-2134.1, and (iii) the appropriate funding mechanism for such needs.

C. The disbursement of grants for the design and installation of nutrient removal technology at those publicly owned treatment works included in subsection F and eligible nonsignificant dischargers shall be made monthly based on a requisition submitted by the grant recipient in the form requested by the Department. Each requisition shall include written certification that the applicable local share of the cost of nutrient removal technology for that portion of the project covered by such requisition has been incurred or expended. Except as may otherwise be approved by the Department, disbursements shall not exceed 95 percent of the total grant amount until satisfactory completion of the project. The distribution of the grants shall be effected by one of the following methods:

1. In payments to be paid by the State Treasurer out of funds appropriated to the Water Quality Improvement Fund pursuant to § 10.1-2131;

2. Over a specified time through a contractual agreement entered into by the Treasury Board and approved by the Governor, on behalf of the Commonwealth, and the locality or public service authority undertaking the design and installation of nutrient removal technology, such payments to be paid by the State Treasurer out of funds appropriated to the Treasury Board; or

3. In payments to be paid by the State Treasurer upon request of the Director out of proceeds from bonds issued by the Virginia Public Building Authority, in consultation with the Department, pursuant to §§ 2.2-2261, 2.2-2263, and 2.2-2264, including the Commonwealth's share of the interest costs expended by the locality or regional authority for financing such project during the period from 50 percent completion of construction to final completion of construction.

D. The General Assembly has the sole authority to determine whether disbursement shall be made pursuant to subdivision C 1, 2, or 3, or a combination thereof, provided that a disbursement shall be made pursuant to subdivision C 3 only upon a certification by the Department that project grant reimbursements for the fiscal year will exceed the available funds in the Water Quality Improvement Fund.

E. Exclusive of any deposits made pursuant to § 10.1-2128, the grants awarded pursuant to this section shall include such appropriations as provided from time to time in the appropriation act or any amendments thereto.

F. The disbursement of grants to finance the costs of design and installation of nutrient removal technology, including eligible design and installation costs for implementation of the ENRC Program, at the following listed publicly owned treatment works and other eligible nonsignificant dischargers shall be provided pursuant to the distribution methodology included in § 10.1-2131. The notation "WIP3-N" or "WIP3-P" indicates that a facility is subject to additional requirements for total nitrogen or total phosphorus, respectively, under the ENRC Program. In no case shall any publicly owned treatment works receive a grant of less than 35 percent of the costs of the design and installation of nutrient removal technology.

aFACILITY NAMEOWNER
bShenandoah - Potomac River Basin
cACSA-Fishersville STPAugusta County Service Authority
dLuray STPTown of Luray
eACSA-Middle River Regional STPAugusta County Service Authority
fHRRSA-North River WWTF WIP3-PHarrisonburg-Rockingham Regional Sewer Authority
gACSA-Stuarts Draft STPAugusta County Service Authority
hWaynesboro STPCity of Waynesboro
iACSA-Weyers Cave STPAugusta County Service Authority
jBerryville STP

Town of Berryville

kFront Royal STP

Town of Front Royal

lMount Jackson STP

Town of Mount Jackson

mNew Market STP

Town of New Market

nShenandoah Co.-North Fork Regional WWTP

Shenandoah County

oStoney Creek Sanitary District STP

Stoney Creek Sanitary District

pStrasburg STP

Town of Strasburg

qWoodstock STP

Town of Woodstock

rFWSA-Opequon Water Reclamation Facility

Frederick-Winchester Service Authority

sFWSA-Parkins Mill WWTF

Frederick-Winchester Service Authority

tPurcellville-Basham Simms WWTF

Town of Purcellville

uLCSA-Broad Run WRF

Loudoun County Service Authority

vLeesburg WPCF

Town of Leesburg

wRound Hill WWTP

Town of Round Hill

xPWCSA-H.L. Mooney WWTF

Prince William County Service Authority

yUpper Occoquan Sewage Authority WWTP

Upper Occoquan Sewage Authority

zFCW&SA-Vint Hill WWTF

Fauquier County Water and Sewer Authority

aaAlexandria Sanitation Authority WWTP

Alexandria Sanitation Authority

abArlington Co. WPCF

Arlington County

acFairfax Co. Noman-Cole

Fairfax County

adPollution Control Facility


aeStafford Co.-Aquia WWTPStafford County
afColonial Beach STPTown of Colonial Beach
agDahlgren Sanitary District WWTPKing George County Service Authority
ahFairview Beach STPKing George County Service Authority
aiPurkins Corner WWTPKing George County Service Authority
ajDistrict of Columbia - Blue Plains STP (Virginia portion)Loudoun County Service Authorityand Fairfax County contract for capacity and Fairfax County contract for capacity
akRappahannock River Basin
alCulpeper WWTPTown of Culpeper
amMarshall WWTPTown of Marshall
anMountain Run WWTP Culpeper County
aoOrange STPTown of Orange
apRapidan STP Rapidan Service Authority
aqFCW&SA-Remmington WWTP Fauquier County Water and Sewer Authority
arWarrenton STPTown of Warrenton
asWilderness Shores WWTPRapidan Service Authority
atSpotsylvania Co.-FMC WWTFSpotsylvania County
auFredericksburg WWTFCity of Fredericksburg
avStafford Co.-Little Falls Run WWTF

Stafford County

awSpotsylvania Co.-Massaponax WWTF WIP3-N, WIP3-P

Spotsylvania County

axMontross-Westmoreland WWTP

Westmoreland County

ayOakland Park STP

King George County Service Authority

azTappahannock WWTP

Town of Tappahannock

baUrbanna WWTP

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

bbWarsaw STP

Town of Warsaw

bcReedville Sanitary District WWTP

Reedville Sanitary District60

bdKilmarnock WWTP

Town of Kilmarnock

beYork River Basin


bfCaroline Co. Regional STP

Caroline County

bgGordonsville STP

Rapidan Service Authority

bhAshland WWTP

Hanover County

biDoswell WWTP

Hanover County

bjHRSD-York River STP WIP3-N

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

bkParham Landing WWTP

New Kent County

blTotopotomoy WWTP

Hanover County

bmHRSD-West Point STP

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

bnHRSD-Mathews Courthouse STP

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

boSpotsylvania Co.-Thornburg STP WIP3-N, WIP3-P

Spotsylvania County

bpJames River Basin


bqBuena Vista STP

City of Buena Vista

brCovington STP

City of Covington

bsLexington-Rockbridge Regional WQCF

Maury Service Authority

btAlleghany Co.-Low Moor STP

Alleghany County

buAlleghany Co.-Lower Jackson River WWTP

Alleghany County

bvAmherst-Rutledge Creek WWTP

Town of Amherst

bwLynchburg STP

City of Lynchburg

bxRWSA-Moores Creek Regional STP

Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority

byCrewe WWTP

Town of Crewe

bzFarmville WWTP

Town of Farmville

caChesterfield Co.-Falling Creek WWTP

Chesterfield County

cbHenrico Co. WWTP

Henrico County

ccHopewell Regional WWTF

City of Hopewell

cdChesterfield Co.-Proctors Creek WWTP

Chesterfield County

ceRichmond WWTP

City of Richmond

cfSouth Central Wastewater Authority WWTF WIP3-N, WIP3-P

South Central Wastewater Authority

cgHRSD-Boat Harbor STP WIP3-N, WIP3-P

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

chHRSD-Williamsburg STP WIP3-N, WIP3-P

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

ciHRSD-Nansemond STP WIP3-N, WIP3-P

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

cjHRSD-Army Base STP WIP3-N, WIP3-P

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

ckHRSD-Virginia Initiative Plant STP WIP3-N, WIP3-P

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

clHRSD-Chesapeake/Elizabeth STP WIP3-N, WIP3-P

Hampton Roads Sanitation District

cmEastern Shore Basin


cnCape Charles WWTP

Town of Cape Charles

coOnancock WWTP

Town of Onancock

cpTangier Island WWTP

Town of Tangier

G. To the extent that any publicly owned treatment works receives less than the grant specified pursuant to § 10.1-2131, any year-end revenue surplus or unappropriated balances deposited in the Water Quality Improvement Fund, as required by § 10.1-2128, shall be prioritized in order to augment the funding of those projects for which grants have been prorated. Any additional reimbursements to these prorated projects shall not exceed the total reimbursement amount due pursuant to the formula established in subsection E of § 10.1-2131.

H. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B of § 10.1-2131, the Director shall not be required to enter into a grant agreement with a facility designated as a significant discharger or eligible nonsignificant discharger if the Director determines that the use of nutrient credits in accordance with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Nutrient Credit Exchange Program (§ 62.1-44.19:12 et seq.) would be significantly more cost-effective than the installation of nutrient controls for the facility in question.

2007, cc. 851, 900; 2008, c. 572; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 363, 364.

§ 10.1-1186.1. Department to publish toxics inventory.

The Department of Environmental Quality shall publish in March of each year the information reported by industries pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 11023 in its document known as the "Virginia Toxic Release Inventory." The report shall be (i) organized by chemical, facility and facility location, and standard industrial classification code, and (ii) distributed to newspapers of general circulation and television and radio stations. The report shall include the information collected for the most recent calendar year for which data is available prior to the March publication date.

1997, c. 155.

§ 10.1-1186.1:1. Hazardous Waste Site Inventory.

A. The Department shall compile and maintain a Hazardous Waste Site Inventory (the Inventory) comprising a current listing of sites permitted by or in corrective action under the Department at which the disposal of hazardous waste, as defined in § 10.1-1400 and not otherwise excluded from regulation as hazardous waste, has occurred. The Inventory shall contain specific information about each listed site, including (i) the location of the site, (ii) the nature and known characteristics of the wastes disposed of at the site, and (iii) the status of any remedial or corrective action undertaken or planned for the site. The Department shall only disclose in the Inventory information that is not otherwise subject to an exemption from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

B. The Department shall publish the Inventory by July 1, 2021, update it at least annually thereafter, and post it on the Department's website.

2020, c. 491.

§ 10.1-1186.2. Supplemental environmental projects.

A. As used in this section, "supplemental environmental project" means an environmentally beneficial project undertaken as partial settlement of a civil enforcement action and not otherwise required by law.

B. The State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, the Virginia Waste Management Board, or the Director acting on behalf of one of these boards or under his own authority in issuing any administrative order, or any court of competent jurisdiction as provided for under this Code, may, in its or his discretion and with the consent of the person subject to the order, provide for such person to undertake one or more supplemental environmental projects. The project shall have a reasonable geographic nexus to the violation or, if no such project is available, shall advance at least one of the declared objectives of the environmental law or regulation that is the basis of the enforcement action. Performance of such projects shall be enforceable in the same manner as any other provision of the order.

C. The following categories of projects may qualify as supplemental environmental projects, provided the project otherwise meets the requirements of this section: public health, pollution prevention, pollution reduction, environmental restoration and protection, environmental compliance promotion, and emergency planning and preparedness. In determining the appropriateness and value of a supplemental environmental project, the following factors shall be considered by the enforcement authority: net project costs, benefits to the public or the environment, innovation, impact on minority or low income populations, multimedia impact, and pollution prevention. The costs of those portions of a supplemental environmental project that are funded by state or federal low-interest loans, contracts or grants shall be deducted from the net project cost in evaluating the project. In each case in which a supplemental environmental project is included as part of a settlement, an explanation of the project with any appropriate supporting documentation shall be included as part of the case file.

D. Nothing in this section shall require the disclosure of documents exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

E. Any decision whether or not to agree to a supplemental environmental project is within the sole discretion of the applicable board, official or court and shall not be subject to appeal.

F. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted or applied in a manner inconsistent with applicable federal law or any applicable requirement for the Commonwealth to obtain or maintain federal delegation or approval of any regulatory program.

1997, cc. 623, 628.

§ 10.1-1186.2:1. Impact of electric generating facilities.

A. The Department and the State Air Pollution Control Board have the authority to consider the cumulative impact of new and proposed electric generating facilities within the Commonwealth on attainment of the national ambient air quality standards.

B. The Department shall enter into a memorandum of agreement with the State Corporation Commission regarding the coordination of reviews of the environmental impacts of proposed electric generating facilities that must obtain certificates from the State Corporation Commission. When considering the environmental impact of any renewable energy (defined in § 56-576) electrical utility facility, the Department shall consult with interested agencies of the Commonwealth that have expertise in natural resource management. The Department shall submit recommendations to the State Corporation Commission that take into account the information and comments submitted by such natural resource agencies concerning the potential environmental impacts of the proposed electric generating facility. The Department's recommendations shall include: (i) specific mitigation measures considered necessary to minimize adverse environmental impacts; (ii) any additional site-specific studies considered to be necessary; and (iii) the scope and duration of any such studies. Nothing in this subsection shall alter or affect the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the State Corporation Commission.

C. Prior to the close of the Commission's record on an application for certification of an electric generating facility pursuant to § 56-580, the Department shall provide to the State Corporation Commission a list of all environmental permits and approvals that are required for the proposed electric generating facility and shall specify any environmental issues, identified during the review process, that are not governed by those permits or approvals or are not within the authority of, and not considered by, the Department or other participating governmental entity in issuing such permits or approvals. The Department may recommend to the Commission that the Commission's record remain open pending completion of any required environmental review, approval or permit proceeding. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Department, as requested by the Director, in preparing the information required by this subsection.

2002, c. 483; 2008, c. 528.

§ 10.1-1186.3. Additional powers of Boards; mediation; alternative dispute resolution.

A. The State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board and the Virginia Waste Management Board, in their discretion, may employ mediation as defined in § 8.01-581.21, or a dispute resolution proceeding as defined in § 8.01-576.4, in appropriate cases to resolve underlying issues, reach a consensus or compromise on contested issues. An "appropriate case" means any process related to the development of a regulation or the issuance of a permit in which it is apparent that there are significant issues of disagreement among interested persons and for which the Board finds that the use of a mediation or dispute resolution proceeding is in the public interest. The Boards shall consider not using a mediation or dispute resolution proceeding if:

1. A definitive or authoritative resolution of the matter is required for precedential value, and such a proceeding is not likely to be accepted generally as an authoritative precedent;

2. The matter involves or may bear upon significant questions of state policy that require additional procedures before a final resolution may be made, and such a proceeding would not likely serve to develop a recommended policy for the Board;

3. Maintaining established policies is of special importance, so that variations among individual decisions are not increased and such a proceeding would not likely reach consistent results among individual decisions;

4. The matter significantly affects persons or organizations who are not parties to the proceeding;

5. A full public record of the proceeding is important, and a mediation or dispute resolution proceeding cannot provide such a record; and

6. The Board must maintain continuing jurisdiction over the matter with the authority to alter the disposition of the matter in light of changed circumstances, and a mediation or dispute resolution proceeding would interfere with the Board's fulfilling that requirement.

Mediation and alternative dispute resolution as authorized by this section are voluntary procedures which supplement rather than limit other dispute resolution techniques available to the Boards. Mediation or a dispute resolution proceeding may be employed in the issuance of a permit only with the consent and participation of the permit applicant and shall be terminated at the request of the permit applicant.

B. The decision to employ mediation or a dispute resolution proceeding is in a Board's sole discretion and is not subject to judicial review.

C. The outcome of any mediation or dispute resolution proceeding shall not be binding upon a Board, but may be considered by a Board in issuing a permit or promulgating a regulation.

D. Each Board shall adopt rules and regulations, in accordance with the Administrative Process Act, for the implementation of this section. Such rules and regulations shall include: (i) standards and procedures for the conduct of mediation and dispute resolution, including an opportunity for interested persons identified by the Board to participate in the proceeding; (ii) the appointment and function of a neutral, as defined in § 8.01-576.4, to encourage and assist parties to voluntarily compromise or settle contested issues; and (iii) procedures to protect the confidentiality of papers, work product or other materials.

E. The provisions of § 8.01-576.10 concerning the confidentiality of a mediation or dispute resolution proceeding shall govern all such proceedings held pursuant to this section except where a Board uses or relies on information obtained in the course of such proceeding in issuing a permit or promulgating a regulation.

Nothing in this section shall create or alter any right, action or cause of action, or be interpreted or applied in a manner inconsistent with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), with applicable federal law or with any applicable requirement for the Commonwealth to obtain or maintain federal delegation or approval of any regulatory program.

1997, cc. 645, 667.

§ 10.1-1186.4. Enforcement powers; federal court.

In addition to the authority of the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, the Virginia Waste Management Board and the Director to bring actions in the courts of the Commonwealth to enforce any law, regulation, case decision or condition of a permit or certification, the Attorney General is hereby authorized on behalf of such boards or the Director to seek to intervene pursuant to Rule 24 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in any action then pending in a federal court in order to resolve a dispute already being litigated in that court by the United States through the Environmental Protection Agency.

2001, cc. 166, 174.

§ 10.1-1186.5. Expired.

Expired.

§ 10.1-1186.6. Carbon market participation; submerged aquatic vegetation.

The Department may participate in any carbon market for which submerged aquatic vegetation restoration qualifies as an activity that generates carbon offset credits. Any revenue resulting from the sale of such credits shall be used to implement additional submerged aquatic vegetation monitoring and research or to cover any administrative costs of participation in the credit market. The Department may enter into agreements necessary to effect such participation, including with private entities for assistance with registration and sale of offset credits. The Department shall hold exclusive title to such credits until sold.

2020, c. 810.

§ 10.1-1187. Provision of the Code continued.

The conditions, requirements, provisions, contents, powers and duties of any section, article, or chapter of the Code in effect on March 31, 1993, relating to agencies consolidated in this chapter shall apply to the Department of Environmental Quality until superseded by new legislation.

1992, c. 887.

Article 1.1. Virginia Environmental Excellence Program.

§ 10.1-1187.1. Definitions.

"Board or Boards" means the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, and the Virginia Waste Management Board.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

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

"Environmental Management System" means a comprehensive, cohesive set of documented policies and procedures adopted by a facility or person and used to establish environmental goals, to meet and maintain those goals, to evaluate environmental performance and to achieve measurable or noticeable improvements in environmental performance, through planning, documented management and operational practices, operational changes, self assessments, and management review. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any such system developed in accordance with the International Standards of Operation 14001 standards.

"E2" means an environmental enterprise.

"E3" means an exemplary environmental enterprise.

"E4" means an extraordinary environmental enterprise.

"Facility" means a manufacturing, business, agricultural, or governmental site or installation involving one or more contiguous buildings or structures under common ownership or management.

"Record of sustained compliance" means that the person or facility (i) has no judgment or conviction entered against it, or against any key personnel of the person or facility or any person with an ownership interest in the facility for a criminal violation of environmental protection laws of the United States, the Commonwealth, or any other state in the previous five years; (ii) has been neither the cause of, nor liable for, more than two significant environmental violations in the previous three years; (iii) has no unresolved notices of violations or potential violations of environmental requirements with the Department or one of the Boards; (iv) is in compliance with the terms of any order or decree, executive compliance agreement, or related enforcement measure issued by the Department, one of the Boards, or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and (v) has not demonstrated in any other way an unwillingness or inability to comply with environmental protection requirements.

2005, c. 705.

§ 10.1-1187.2. Virginia Environmental Excellence Program established.

The Department may establish programs to recognize facilities and persons that have demonstrated a commitment to enhanced environmental performance and to encourage innovations in environmental protection.

2005, c. 705.

§ 10.1-1187.3. Program categories and criteria.

A. The Director shall establish different categories of participation and the criteria and benefits for each category. Such categories shall include, but not be limited to: (i) E2 facilities, (ii) E3 facilities, and (iii) E4 facilities.

B. In order to participate as an E2 facility, a person or facility shall demonstrate that it (i) is developing an environmental management system or has initiated implementation of an environmental management system, (ii) has a commitment to pollution prevention and a plan to reduce environmental impacts from its operations, and (iii) has a record of sustained compliance with environmental requirements. To apply to become an E2 facility, an applicant shall submit the following information to the Department: (a) a policy statement outlining the applicant's commitment to improving environmental quality, (b) an evaluation of the applicant's environmental impacts, (c) the applicant's objectives and targets for addressing significant environmental impacts, and (d) a description of the applicant's pollution prevention program. A person or facility may participate in this program for up to three years, and may apply to renew its participation at the expiration of each three-year period. Incentives for E2 facilities may include, but are not limited to, the following: public recognition of facility performance and reduced fees.

C. In order to participate as an E3 facility, a person or facility shall demonstrate that it has (i) a fully-implemented environmental management system, (ii) a pollution prevention program with documented results, and (iii) a record of sustained compliance with environmental requirements. To apply to become an E3 facility, an applicant shall submit the following information to the Department: (a) a policy statement outlining the applicant's commitment to improving environmental quality; (b) an evaluation of the applicant's actual and potential environmental impacts; (c) the applicant's objectives and targets for addressing significant environmental impacts; (d) a description of the applicant's pollution prevention program; (e) identification of the applicant's environmental legal requirements; (f) a description of the applicant's environmental management system that identifies roles, responsibilities and authorities, reporting and record-keeping, emergency response procedures, staff training, monitoring, and corrective action processes for noncompliance with the environmental management system; (g) voluntary self-assessments; and (h) procedures for internal and external communications. A person or facility may participate in this program for up to three years, and may apply to renew its participation at the expiration of each three-year period. Incentives for E3 facilities may include, but are not limited to, the following: public recognition of facility performance, reduced fees, reduced inspection priority, a single point-of-contact between the facility and the Department, streamlined environmental reporting, reduced monitoring requirements, prioritized permit and permit amendment review, and the ability to implement alternative compliance measures approved by the appropriate Board in accordance with § 10.1-1187.6.

D. In order to participate as an E4 facility, a person or facility shall meet the criteria for participation as an E3 facility, and shall have (i) implemented and completed at least one full cycle of an environmental management system as verified by an unrelated third-party qualified to audit environmental management systems and (ii) committed to measures for continuous and sustainable environmental progress and community involvement. To apply to become an E4 facility, an applicant shall submit (a) the information required to apply to become an E3 facility, (b) documentation evidencing implementation and completion of at least one full cycle of an environmental management system and evidencing review and verification by an unrelated third party, and (c) documentation that the applicant has committed to measures for continuous and sustainable environmental progress and community involvement. A person or facility may participate in this program for up to three years, and may apply to renew its participation at the expiration of each three-year period. Incentives for E4 facilities may include all of the incentives available to E3 facilities. Any facility or person that has been accepted into the National Performance Track Programs by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shall be deemed to be an E4 facility. If acceptance in the Program is revoked or suspended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, participation as an E4 facility shall also be terminated or suspended.

2005, c. 705.

§ 10.1-1187.4. Procedures for participation.

A. The Director shall develop guidelines and procedures for implementation of the program, including procedures for submitting applications, guidelines for annual reports from participating persons or facilities, and procedures for reviewing program implementation.

B. Upon review of an application, the Director may approve or deny the person's or facility's participation in the appropriate category within the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program. The denial of a person's or facility's participation in the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program shall not be with prejudice or otherwise prevent reapplication by the person or facility. If a participant fails to maintain a record of sustained compliance, fails to resolve an alleged environmental violation within 180 days, or fails to meet the requirements or criteria for participation in the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program or any category within the program, the Director may revoke or suspend their participation in the program or revoke participation in a higher level and approve its participation in a lower level of the program. The Director shall provide reasonable notice of the reasons for the suspension or revocation and allow the participant to respond prior to making such a decision.

C. The Director's decision to approve, deny, revoke, or suspend a person's or facility's participation in any category of the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program is discretionary, shall not be a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001, and shall be exempt from judicial review.

2005, c. 705.

§ 10.1-1187.5. Reporting.

A. Participants shall submit annual reports in a format and schedule prescribed by the Director, including information on environmental performance relevant to the program.

B. The Department shall submit a report to the Governor and to the members of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and the members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources by December 1 of every even-numbered year, with the last report due on December 1, 2010. The report shall include the information from the participants' reports as well as information on the incentives that have been provided and the innovations that have been developed by the agency and participants.

2005, c. 705.

§ 10.1-1187.6. Approval of alternate compliance methods.

A. To the extent consistent with federal law and notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Air Pollution Control Board, the Waste Management Board, and the State Water Control Board may grant alternative compliance methods to the regulations adopted pursuant to their authorities, respectively, under §§ 10.1-1308, 10.1-1402, and 62.1-44.15 for persons or facilities that have been accepted by the Department as meeting the criteria for E3 and E4 facilities under § 10.1-1187.3, including but not limited to changes to monitoring and reporting requirements and schedules, streamlined submission requirements for permit renewals, the ability to make certain operational changes without prior approval, and other changes that would not increase a facility's impact on the environment. Such alternative compliance methods may allow alternative methods for achieving compliance with prescribed regulatory standards, provided that the person or facility requesting the alternative compliance method demonstrates that the method will (i) meet the purpose of the applicable regulatory standard, (ii) promote achievement of those purposes through increased reliability, efficiency, or cost effectiveness, and (iii) afford environmental protection equal to or greater than that provided by the applicable regulatory standard. No alternative compliance method shall be approved that would alter an ambient air quality standard, ground water protection standard, or water quality standard and no alternative compliance method shall be approved that would increase the pollutants released to the environment, increase impacts to state waters, or otherwise result in a loss of wetland acreage.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alternate compliance method may be approved under this section after at least 30 days' public notice and opportunity for comment, and a determination that the alternative compliance method meets the requirements of this section.

C. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted or applied in a manner inconsistent with the applicable federal law or other requirement necessary for the Commonwealth to obtain or retain federal delegation or approval of any regulatory program. Before approving an alternate compliance method affecting any such program, each Board may obtain the approval of the federal agency responsible for such delegation or approval. Any one of the Boards may withdraw approval of the alternate compliance method at any time if any conditions under which the alternate compliance method was originally approved change, or if the recipient has failed to comply with any of the alternative compliance method requirements.

D. Upon approval of the alternative compliance method under this section, the alternative compliance method shall be incorporated into the relevant permits as a minor permit modification with no associated fee. The permits shall also contain any such provisions that shall go into effect in the event that the participant fails to fulfill its obligations under the variance, or is removed from the program for reasons specified by the Director under subsection B of § 10.1-1187.4.

2005, c. 705.

§ 10.1-1187.7. Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards.

The Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards shall be awarded each year to recognize participants in the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program that have demonstrated extraordinary leadership, innovation, and commitment to implementation of pollution prevention practices and other efforts to reduce environmental impacts and improve Virginia's natural environment.

2005, c. 705.

Article 2. Environmental Impact Reports of State Agencies.

§ 10.1-1188. State agencies to submit environmental impact reports on major projects.

A. All state agencies, boards, authorities and commissions or any branch of the state government shall prepare and submit an environmental impact report to the Department on each major state project.

"Major state project" means the acquisition of an interest in land for any state facility construction, or the construction of any facility or expansion of an existing facility which is hereafter undertaken by any state agency, board, commission, authority or any branch of state government, including public institutions of higher education, which costs $500,000 or more. For the purposes of this chapter, authority shall not include any industrial development authority created pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 49 (§ 15.2-4900 et seq.) of Title 15.2 or Chapter 643, as amended, of the 1964 Acts of Assembly. Nor shall it include the Virginia Port Authority created pursuant to the provisions of § 62.1-128, unless such project is a capital project that costs in excess of $5 million. Nor shall authority include any housing development or redevelopment authority established pursuant to state law. For the purposes of this chapter, branch of state government shall include any county, city or town of the Commonwealth only in connection with highway construction, reconstruction, or improvement projects affecting highways or roads undertaken by the county, city, or town on projects estimated to cost more than $2 million. For projects undertaken by any locality costing more than $500,000 and less than $2 million, the locality shall consult with the Department of Historic Resources to consider and make reasonable efforts to avoid or minimize impacts to historic resources if the project involves a new location or a new disturbance that extends outside the area or depth of a prior disturbance, or otherwise has the potential to affect such resources adversely.

Such environmental impact report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1. The environmental impact of the major state project, including the impact on wildlife habitat;

2. Any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided if the major state project is undertaken;

3. Measures proposed to minimize the impact of the major state project;

4. Any alternatives to the proposed construction; and

5. Any irreversible environmental changes which would be involved in the major state project.

For the purposes of subdivision 4, the report shall contain all alternatives considered and the reasons why the alternatives were rejected. If a report does not set forth alternatives, it shall state why alternatives were not considered.

B. For purposes of this chapter, this subsection shall only apply to the review of highway and road construction projects or any part thereof. The Secretaries of Transportation and Natural and Historic Resources shall jointly establish procedures for review and comment by state natural and historic resource agencies of highway and road construction projects. Such procedures shall provide for review and comment on appropriate projects and categories of projects to address the environmental impact of the project, any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided if the project is undertaken, the measures proposed to minimize the impact of the project, any alternatives to the proposed construction, and any irreversible environmental changes which would be involved in the project.

1973, c. 384, § 10-17.108; 1974, c. 270, § 10.1-1208; 1977, c. 667; 1988, c. 891; 1991, c. 289; 1992, c. 887; 1997, c. 268; 2007, c. 896; 2008, cc. 45, 225, 473; 2012, cc. 846, 849; 2013, c. 758; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 401.

§ 10.1-1188.1. Department of Transportation to consider wildlife corridors.

The Department of Transportation (VDOT) shall, as part of the environmental review it conducts for a road or highway construction project, include in an environmental impact statement a list of any existing terrestrial or aquatic wildlife corridor identified in the Wildlife Corridor Action Plan (the Plan) created pursuant to Article 8 (§ 29.1-578 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 29.1 that will be affected by such construction project. In the design options for any road or highway construction project that threatens wildlife connectivity in a corridor identified in the Plan, VDOT shall consider measures for the mitigation of harm caused by such road to terrestrial and aquatic wildlife.

2020, cc. 323, 672.

§ 10.1-1189. Department to review report and make statement to Governor.

Within sixty days of the receipt of the environmental impact report by the Department, the Department shall review and make a statement to the Governor commenting on the environmental impact of each major state facility. The statement of the Department shall be available to the General Assembly and to the general public at the time of submission by the Department to the Governor.

1973, c. 384, § 10-17.109; 1974, c. 270, § 10.1-1209; 1977, c. 667; 1988, c. 891; 1992, c. 887.

§ 10.1-1190. Approval of Governor required for construction of facility.

The State Comptroller shall not authorize payments of funds from the state treasury for a major state project unless the request is accompanied by the written approval of the Governor after his consideration of the comments of the Department on the environmental impact of the facility. This section shall not apply to funds appropriated by the General Assembly prior to June 1, 1973, or any reappropriation of such funds.

1973, c. 384, § 10-17.110; 1974, c. 270, § 10.1-1210; 1977, c. 667; 1988, c. 891; 1991, c. 289; 1992, c. 887.

§ 10.1-1191. Development of procedures, etc., for administration of chapter.

The Department shall, in conjunction with other state agencies, coordinate the development of objectives, criteria and procedures to ensure the orderly preparation and evaluation of environmental impact reports required by this article. These procedures shall provide for submission of impact statements in sufficient time to permit any modification of the major state project which may be necessitated because of environmental impact.

1973, c. 384, § 10-17.111; 1974, c. 270, § 10.1-1211; 1977, c. 667; 1988, c. 891; 1992, c. 887.

§ 10.1-1192. Cooperation of state agencies.

All departments, commissions, boards, authorities, agencies, offices and institutions within any branch of the state government shall cooperate with the Department in carrying out the purposes of this article.

1973, c. 384, § 10-17.112; 1974, c. 270, § 10.1-1212; 1977, c. 667; 1988, c. 891; 1992, c. 887.

Article 3. Watershed Planning and Permitting Promotion and Coordination.

§ 10.1-1193. Watershed planning; watershed permitting; promotion and coordination.

A. The Department, with the assistance of the Watershed Planning and Permitting Coordination Task Force, shall undertake such efforts it deems necessary and appropriate to coordinate the watershed-level activities conducted by state and local agencies and authorities and to foster the development of watershed planning by localities. To aid in the coordination and promotion of these activities, the Department shall to the extent practicable in its discretion:

1. Promote and coordinate state and local agencies' and authorities' efforts to undertake watershed planning and watershed permitting;

2. Acquire, maintain and make available informational resources on watershed planning;

3. Promote the continuation of research and dialogue on what is entailed in watershed planning and watershed permitting;

4. Identify sources and methods for providing local officials with technical assistance in watershed planning;

5. Encourage and foster training of local officials in watershed planning;

6. Develop recommendations for needed regulatory and legislative changes to assist local governments in developing and implementing watershed planning;

7. Identify barriers to watershed planning and watershed permitting, including state policies, regulations and procedures, and recommend alternatives to overcome such obstacles; and

8. Develop, foster and coordinate approaches to watershed permitting.

B. The Department shall report annually its watershed planning and permitting activities, findings and recommendations and those of the Task Force to the Governor and the General Assembly. This annual report may be incorporated as part of the report required by § 62.1-44.118.

C. Nothing in this article shall be construed as requiring additional permitting or planning requirements on agricultural or forestal activities.

1995, c. 793; 2007, c. 637.

§ 10.1-1194. (Effective until October 1, 2021) Watershed Planning and Permitting Coordination Task Force created; membership; duties.

A. There is hereby created the Watershed Planning and Permitting Coordination Task Force, which shall be referred to in this article as the Task Force. The Task Force shall be composed of the Directors, or their designees, of the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Forestry, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, and the Commissioner, or his designee, of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

B. The Task Force shall meet at least quarterly on such dates and times as the members determine. A majority of the Task Force shall constitute a quorum.

C. The Task Force shall undertake such measures and activities it deems necessary and appropriate to see that the functions of the agencies represented therein, and to the extent practicable of other agencies of the Commonwealth, and the efforts of state and local agencies and authorities in watershed planning and watershed permitting are coordinated and promoted.

1995, c. 793; 2005, c. 41.

§ 10.1-1194. (Effective October 1, 2021) Watershed Planning and Permitting Coordination Task Force created; membership; duties.

A. There is hereby created the Watershed Planning and Permitting Coordination Task Force, which shall be referred to in this article as the Task Force. The Task Force shall be composed of the Directors, or their designees, of the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Forestry, the Department of Energy, and the Commissioner, or his designee, of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

B. The Task Force shall meet at least quarterly on such dates and times as the members determine. A majority of the Task Force shall constitute a quorum.

C. The Task Force shall undertake such measures and activities it deems necessary and appropriate to see that the functions of the agencies represented therein, and to the extent practicable of other agencies of the Commonwealth, and the efforts of state and local agencies and authorities in watershed planning and watershed permitting are coordinated and promoted.

1995, c. 793; 2005, c. 41; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 532.

§ 10.1-1195. Watershed planning and permitting advisory panels.

The Task Force may name qualified persons to advisory panels to assist it in carrying out its responsibilities. Panels shall include members representing different areas of interest and expertise in watershed planning and watershed permitting including representatives of local governments, planning district commissions, industry, development interests, education, environmental and public interest groups and the scientific community found in baccalaureate institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth.

1995, c. 793.

§ 10.1-1196. Guiding definition and principles.

A. The Department, the Task Force and any advisory panels appointed by the Task Force shall be guided by the following definition of watershed planning: "Watershed planning" is the process of studying the environmental and land use features of a watershed to identify those areas that should be protected and preserved, measures to be utilized to protect such areas, and the character of development in order to avoid and minimize disruption of natural systems. Its focus is not on directing development to particular parcels of land but rather to identify critical resources, and measures to protect those resources, so that development, when it does occur, will not negatively impact water resources. In so doing watershed planning uses and protects ecological processes to lessen the need for structural control methods that require capital costs and maintenance. By including consideration of a watershed and its characteristics, cumulative impacts and interjurisdictional issues are more effectively managed than when solely relying on single-site-permit approaches. Watershed planning can be an important tool for maintaining environmental integrity, economic development and watershed permitting.

B. The Department, the Task Force and any advisory panels appointed by the Task Force shall be guided by the principles contained in the following statement: Stream systems tend to reflect the character of the watershed they drain. Unchecked physical conversion in a watershed accompanying urbanization leads to degraded streams and wetlands. As urbanization continues to spread across the state, natural vegetation, slope and water retention characteristics are replaced by impervious surfaces disrupting the dynamic balance of the natural hydrologic cycle. Poorly planned development can increase peak storm flows and runoff volume, lower water quality and aesthetics, and cause flooding and degradation of downstream communities and ecosystems.

1995, c. 793.

§ 10.1-1197. Cooperation of state agencies.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall cooperate with the Department and the Task Force and, upon request, assist the Department and the Task Force in the performance of their efforts in coordinating and promoting watershed planning and watershed permitting.

1995, c. 793.

Article 4. Small Business Environmental Compliance Assistance Fund.

§ 10.1-1197.1. Definitions.

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

"Fund" means the Small Business Environmental Compliance Assistance Fund.

"Small business" means a business located in Virginia that (i) employs 100 or fewer people and (ii) is a small business concern as defined in the federal Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. § 631 et seq.) as amended.

"Voluntary pollution prevention measures" means operational or equipment changes that meet the definition of pollution prevention contained in § 10.1-1425.10 and are not otherwise required by law.

1997, cc. 624, 850.

§ 10.1-1197.2. Small Business Environmental Compliance Assistance Fund established; administration; collection of money.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Small Business Environmental Compliance Assistance Fund, hereafter referred to as the "Fund." The Fund shall be comprised of (i) moneys appropriated to the Fund by the General Assembly, (ii) receipts by the Fund from loans made by it, (iii) all income from the investment of moneys held by the Fund, (iv) any moneys transferred from the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund as authorized by § 10.1-2502, and (v) any other moneys designated for deposit to the Fund from any source, public or private. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes provided in this article. Any moneys appropriated or otherwise credited to the Fund that were received by the Department pursuant to Title V (42 U.S.C. § 7661 et seq.) of the federal Clean Air Act shall be used solely for purposes associated with Title V of the federal Clean Air Act. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Director of the Department. The Fund shall be administered and managed by the Department, or any entity operating under a contract or agreement with the Department.

B. The Department, or its designated agent, is empowered to collect moneys due to the Fund. Proceedings to recover moneys due to the Fund may be instituted in the name of the Fund in any appropriate circuit court.

1997, cc. 624, 850.

§ 10.1-1197.3. Purposes of Fund; loans to small businesses; administrative costs.

A. Moneys in the Fund shall be used to make loans or to guarantee loans to small businesses for the purchase and installation of environmental pollution control and prevention equipment certified by the Department as meeting the following requirements:

1. The air pollution control equipment is needed by the small business to comply with the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.); or

2. The pollution control equipment will allow the small business to implement voluntary pollution prevention measures.

Moneys in the Fund may also be used to make loans or to guarantee loans to small businesses for the installation of voluntary agricultural best management practices, as defined in § 58.1-339.3.

B. The Department or its designated agent shall determine the terms and conditions of any loan. All loans shall be evidenced by appropriate security as determined by the Department or its designated agent. The Department, or its agent, may require any documents, instruments, certificates, or other information deemed necessary or convenient in connection with any loan from the Fund.

C. A portion of the Fund balance may be used to cover the reasonable and necessary costs of administering the Fund. Unless otherwise authorized by the Governor or his designee, the costs of administering the Fund shall not exceed a base year amount of $65,000 per year, using fiscal year 2000 as the base year, adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index.

D. The Fund shall not be used to make loans to small businesses for the purchase and installation of equipment needed to comply with an enforcement action by the Department, the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, or the Virginia Waste Management Board.

1997, cc. 624, 850; 1999, c. 893; 2000, c. 131.

§ 10.1-1197.4. Annual audit.

The Auditor of Public Accounts shall annually audit the accounts of the Fund when the records of the Department are audited.

1997, cc. 624, 850.

Article 5. Small Renewable Energy Projects.

§ 10.1-1197.5. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Energy storage facility" means energy storage equipment or technology that is capable of absorbing energy, storing such energy for a period of time, and redelivering energy after it has been stored.

"Small renewable energy project" means (i) an electrical generation facility with a rated capacity not exceeding 150 megawatts that generates electricity only from sunlight or wind; (ii) an electrical generation facility with a rated capacity not exceeding 100 megawatts that generates electricity only from falling water, wave motion, tides, or geothermal power; (iii) an electrical generation facility with a rated capacity not exceeding 20 megawatts that generates electricity only from biomass, energy from waste, or municipal solid waste; (iv) an energy storage facility that uses electrochemical cells to convert chemical energy with a rated capacity not exceeding 150 megawatts; or (v) a hybrid project composed of an electrical generation facility that meets the parameters established in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) and an energy storage facility that meets the parameters established in clause (iv).

2009, cc. 808, 854; 2017, c. 368; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 419.

§ 10.1-1197.6. Permit by rule for small renewable energy projects.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 10.1-1186.2:1, the Department shall develop, by regulations to be effective as soon as practicable, but not later than July 1, 2012, a permit by rule or permits by rule if it is determined by the Department that one or more such permits by rule are necessary for the construction and operation of small renewable energy projects, including such conditions and standards necessary to protect the Commonwealth's natural resources. If the Department determines that more than a single permit by rule is necessary, the Department initially shall develop the permit by rule for wind energy, which shall be effective as soon as practicable, but not later than January 1, 2011. Subsequent permits by rule regulations shall be effective as soon as practicable.

B. The conditions for issuance of the permit by rule for small renewable energy projects shall include:

1. A notice of intent provided by the applicant, to be published in the Virginia Register, that a person intends to submit the necessary documentation for a permit by rule for a small renewable energy project;

2. A certification by the governing body of the locality or localities wherein the small renewable energy project will be located that the project complies with all applicable land use ordinances;

3. Copies of all interconnection studies undertaken by the regional transmission organization or transmission owner, or both, on behalf of the small renewable energy project;

4. A copy of the final interconnection agreement between the small renewable energy project and the regional transmission organization or transmission owner indicating that the connection of the small renewable energy project will not cause a reliability problem for the system. If the final agreement is not available, the most recent interconnection study shall be sufficient for the purposes of this section. When a final interconnection agreement is complete, it shall be provided to the Department. The Department shall forward a copy of the agreement or study to the State Corporation Commission;

5. A certification signed by a professional engineer licensed in Virginia that the maximum generation capacity of the small renewable energy project by (i) an electrical generation facility that generates electricity only from sunlight or wind as designed does not exceed 150 megawatts; (ii) an electrical generation facility that generates electricity only from falling water, wave motion, tides, or geothermal power as designed does not exceed 100 megawatts; or (iii) an electrical generation facility that generates electricity only from biomass, energy from waste, or municipal solid waste as designed does not exceed 20 megawatts;

6. An analysis of potential environmental impacts of the small renewable energy project's operations on attainment of national ambient air quality standards;

7. Where relevant, an analysis of the beneficial and adverse impacts of the proposed project on natural resources. For wildlife, that analysis shall be based on information on the presence, activity, and migratory behavior of wildlife to be collected at the site for a period of time dictated by the site conditions and biology of the wildlife being studied, not exceeding 12 months;

8. If the Department determines that the information collected pursuant to subdivision B 7 indicates that significant adverse impacts to wildlife or historic resources are likely, the submission of a mitigation plan detailing reasonable actions to be taken by the owner or operator to avoid, minimize, or otherwise mitigate such impacts, and to measure the efficacy of those actions;

9. A certification signed by a professional engineer licensed in Virginia that the small renewable energy project is designed in accordance with all of the standards that are established in the regulations applicable to the permit by rule;

10. An operating plan describing how any standards established in the regulations applicable to the permit by rule will be achieved;

11. A detailed site plan with project location maps that show the location of all components of the small renewable energy project, including any towers. Changes to the site plan that occur after the applicant has submitted an application shall be allowed by the Department without restarting the application process, if the changes were the result of optimizing technical, environmental, and cost considerations, do not materially alter the environmental effects caused by the facility, or do not alter any other environmental permits that the Commonwealth requires the applicant to obtain;

12. A certification signed by the applicant that the small renewable energy project has applied for or obtained all necessary environmental permits;

13. A requirement that the applicant hold a public meeting. The public meeting shall be held in the locality or, if the project is located in more than one locality in a place proximate to the location of the proposed project. Following the public meeting, the applicant shall prepare a report summarizing the issues raised at the meeting, including any written comments received. The report shall be provided to the Department; and

14. A 30-day public review and comment period prior to authorization of the project.

C. The Department's regulations shall establish a schedule of fees, to be payable by the owner or operator of the small renewable energy project regulated under this article, which fees shall be assessed for the purpose of funding the costs of administering and enforcing the provisions of this article associated with such operations including, but not limited to, the inspection and monitoring of such projects to ensure compliance with this article.

D. The owner or operator of a small renewable energy project regulated under this article shall be assessed a permit fee in accordance with the criteria set forth in the Department's regulations. Such fees shall include an additional amount to cover the Department's costs of inspecting such projects.

E. The fees collected pursuant to this article shall be used only for the purposes specified in this article and for funding purposes authorized by this article to abate impairments or impacts on the Commonwealth's natural resources directly caused by small renewable energy projects.

F. There is hereby established a special, nonreverting fund in the state treasury to be known as the Small Renewable Energy Project Fee Fund, hereafter referred to as the Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 2.2-1802, all moneys collected pursuant to this § 10.1-1197.6 shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the Fund. Any moneys remaining in the Fund shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Interest earned on such moneys shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. The Fund shall be exempt from statewide indirect costs charged and collected by the Department of Accounts.

G. After the effective date of regulations adopted pursuant to this section, no person shall erect, construct, materially modify or operate a small renewable energy project except in accordance with this article or Title 56 if the small renewable energy project was approved pursuant to Title 56.

H. Any small renewable energy project shall be eligible for permit by rule under this section if the project is proposed, developed, constructed, or purchased by a person that is not a utility regulated pursuant to Title 56.

I. Any small renewable energy project commencing operations after July 1, 2017, shall be eligible for permits by rule under this section and is exempt from State Corporation Commission environmental review or permitting in accordance with subsection B of § 10.1-1197.8 or other applicable law if the project is proposed, developed, constructed, or purchased by:

1. A public utility if the project's costs are not recovered from Virginia jurisdictional customers under base rates, a fuel factor charge under § 56-249.6, or a rate adjustment clause under subdivision A 6 of § 56-585.1; or

2. A utility aggregation cooperative formed under Article 2 (§ 56-231.38 et seq.) of Chapter 9.1 of Title 56.

2009, cc. 808, 854; 2017, c. 368.

§ 10.1-1197.7. Review and authorization of projects.

A. Upon submission of a complete application, the Department, after consultation with other agencies in the Secretariat of Natural and Historic Resources before authorizing the project, shall conduct an assessment of whether the application meets the requirements of the applicable permit by rule regulations. If the Department determines that the application is deficient, it promptly shall notify the applicant in writing and specify the deficiencies.

B. Any interested party, including an applicant for a permit, who has participated in a proceeding for a permit to construct or operate a small renewable energy project under procedures adopted by the Department pursuant to this section, and who is aggrieved by the final decision of the Department, shall have the remedies provided by the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

2009, cc. 808, 854.

§ 10.1-1197.8. Limitation of State Corporation Commission authority.

A. If the owner or operator of a small renewable energy project to whom the Department has authorized a permit by rule pursuant to this article is not a utility regulated pursuant to Title 56, then the State Corporation Commission shall not have jurisdiction to review the small renewable energy project or to condition the construction or operation of a small renewable energy project upon the State Corporation Commission's issuance of any permit or certificate under any provision of Title 56, provided that the State Corporation Commission shall retain jurisdiction to resolve requests for joint use of the rights of way of public service corporations pursuant to § 56-259 and denials of requests for interconnection of facilities pursuant to § 56-578.

B. If the owner or operator of a small renewable energy project for which the Department has authorized a permit by rule pursuant to this article is a utility regulated pursuant to Title 56, such small renewable energy project shall be exempt from any provision of § 56-46.1 and any corresponding provision of subsection D of § 56-580 or Chapter 10.1 (§ 56-265.1 et seq.) of Title 56 that requires environmental review and permitting by the State Corporation Commission. An owner or operator of a small renewable energy project that is granted a permit by rule pursuant to subsection I of § 10.1-1197.6, shall not be required to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to subsection D of § 56-580 or the Utility Facilities Act (§ 56-265.1 et seq.). Nothing in this section shall affect the jurisdiction of the State Corporation Commission regarding a utility that is not eligible for a permit by rule, or the requirement of such utility to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

2009, cc. 808, 854; 2017, c. 368.

§ 10.1-1197.9. Enforcement; civil penalties; criminal penalties; injunctive relief.

A. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any provision of this article, any regulation, case decision, or order, or any certification or permit-by-rule condition may be compelled to comply by injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy.

B. Without limiting the remedies that may be obtained under subsection A, any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any regulation, case decision, or order, any provision of this article, or any certification or permit-by-rule condition shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $32,500 for each violation. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund pursuant to Chapter 25 (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.). Such civil penalties may, in the discretion of the court assessing them, be directed to be paid into the treasury of the county, city, or town in which the violation occurred, to be used to abate environmental pollution in such manner as the court may, by order, direct, except that where the person in violation is the county, city, or town 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 Environmental Emergency Response Fund pursuant to Chapter 25.

C. 1. Nothing in this article shall affect the enforcement authorities in laws administered by the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, or the Virginia Waste Management Board, nor shall it affect enforcement authorities of the Department as described in § 10.1-1186.

2. The Department is authorized to issue orders to require any person to comply with the provisions of this article, any condition of a permit by rule or certification, or any regulations promulgated by the Department or to comply with any order or case decision, as defined in § 2.2-4001, of the Department. Any such order shall be issued only after a proceeding or hearing in accordance with § 2.2-4019 or 2.2-4020 with reasonable notice to the affected person of the time, place and purpose thereof. The provisions of this section shall not affect the authority of the Department to issue separate orders and regulations to meet any emergency as described in subsection C 5.

3. With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Department, any condition of a permit by rule, certification or any provision of this article, the Department may provide, in an order issued by the Department against such person, for the payment of civil charges for past violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limits specified in this section. Such civil charges shall be levied instead of any appropriate civil penalty, which could be imposed under this section. Such civil charges shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund pursuant to Chapter 25 of this title.

4. In addition to all other available remedies, the Department may issue administrative orders for the violation of (i) any law or regulation administered by the Department; (ii) any condition of a permit by rule or certificate issued pursuant to this article; or (iii) any case decision or order of the Department. Issuance of an administrative order shall be a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001 and shall be issued only after a hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the Supreme Court in accordance with § 2.2-4020. Orders issued pursuant to this subsection may include civil penalties of up to $32,500 per violation not to exceed $100,000 per order, and may compel the taking of corrective actions or the cessation of any activity upon which the order is based. The Department may assess penalties under this subsection if (a) the person has been issued at least two written notices of alleged violation by the Department for the same or substantially related violations at the same site, (b) such violations have not been resolved by demonstration that there was no violation, by an order issued by the Department or the Director, or by other means, (c) at least 130 days have passed since the issuance of the first notice of alleged violation, and (d) there is a finding that such violations have occurred after a hearing conducted in accordance with this subsection. The actual amount of any penalty assessed shall be based upon the severity of the violations, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the facility or person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty. The Department shall provide the person with the calculation for the proposed penalty prior to any hearing conducted for the issuance of an order that assesses penalties pursuant to this subsection. Penalties shall be paid to the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.). The issuance of a notice of alleged violation by the Department shall not be considered a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. Any notice of alleged violation shall include a description of each violation, the specific provision of law violated, and information on the process for obtaining a final decision or fact finding from the Department on whether or not a violation has occurred, and nothing in this section shall preclude an owner from seeking such a determination. Orders issued pursuant to this subsection shall become effective five days after having been delivered to the affected persons or mailed by certified mail to the last known address of such persons. The Department shall develop and provide an opportunity for public comment on guidelines and procedures that contain specific criteria for calculating the appropriate penalty for each violation based upon the severity of the violations, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the facility or person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty.

5. Should the Department find that any person is grossly affecting the public health, safety or welfare, or the health of animals, fish or aquatic life or the environment, or such effects are imminent, the Department shall issue, without a hearing, an emergency administrative order directing the person to cease the activity immediately and undertake any needed corrective action, and shall within 10 days hold a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof to the person, to affirm, modify, amend or cancel the emergency administrative order. If the Department finds that a person who has been issued an administrative order or an emergency administrative order is not complying with the order's terms, the Department may utilize the enforcement and penalty provisions of this article to secure compliance.

6. The Department shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorneys' fees and costs in any action brought by the Department under this article in which it substantially prevails on the merits of the case, unless special circumstances would make an award unjust.

D. Any person willfully violating or refusing, failing, or neglecting to comply with any provision of this article or any regulation, permit by rule, order, or certification under this article shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor unless a different penalty is specified.

E. In addition to the penalties provided above, any person who knowingly violates or refuses, fails, or neglects to comply with any provision of this article or any regulation, permit by rule, order, or certification under this article shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years and a fine of not more than $32,500 for each violation, either or both. The provisions of this subsection shall be deemed to constitute a lesser included offense of the violation set forth under subsection F.

F. Any person who knowingly violates or refuses, fails, or neglects to comply with any provision of this article or any regulation, permit by rule, order, or certification under this article and who knows at the time that he thereby places another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury, 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 violating this section, be subject to 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.

G. Criminal prosecutions under this article shall be commenced within three years after discovery of the offense, notwithstanding the provisions of any other statute.

2009, cc. 808, 854.

§ 10.1-1197.10. Right of entry to inspect, etc.; warrants.

Upon presentation of appropriate credentials and upon consent of the owner or custodian, the Director or his designee shall have the right to enter at any reasonable time onto any property to inspect, investigate, evaluate, conduct tests or take samples for testing as he reasonably deems necessary in order to determine whether the provisions of any law administered by the Director or the Department, any regulations of the Department, any order of the Department or Director or any conditions in a permit by rule, license or certificate issued by the Director are being complied with. If the Director or his designee is denied entry, he may apply to an appropriate circuit court for an inspection warrant authorizing such investigation, evaluation, inspection, testing or taking of samples for testing as provided in Chapter 24 (§ 19.2-393 et seq.) of Title 19.2.

2009, cc. 808, 854.

§ 10.1-1197.11. Information to be furnished to Department.

Except as otherwise specified in this article, the Department may require every owner or operator of a small renewable energy project to furnish when requested such plans, specifications, and other pertinent information as may be necessary to determine the compliance status of the project and the effect of the project on human health or the environment.

2009, cc. 808, 854.