Code of Virginia

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

Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 6. Flood Protection and Dam Safety
12/7/2022

Article 6. Comprehensive Flood Control Program.

§ 10.1-658. State interest in resilience and flood control.

A. The General Assembly declares that storm events and rising tidal waters cause recurrent flooding of Virginia's land resources and result in the loss of life, damage to property, unsafe and unsanitary conditions and the disruption of commerce and government services, placing at risk the health, safety and welfare of those citizens living in flood-prone areas of the Commonwealth. Flood waters disregard jurisdictional boundaries, and the public interest requires the management of flood-prone areas in a manner which prevents injuries to persons, damage to property and pollution of state waters.

B. The General Assembly supports and encourages those measures which prevent, mitigate, and alleviate the effects of sea level rise, stormwater surges, and all causes of recurrent flooding and declares that the expenditure of public funds and any obligations incurred in the development of flood control and other civil works projects, the benefits of which may accrue to any county, municipality, or region in the Commonwealth, are necessary expenses of local and state government. The General Assembly shall prioritize measures that use community-scale and regional-scale planning, protect and enhance natural and nature-based approaches, address socioeconomic inequities, and enhance equity through flood resilience and preparedness.

C. The General Assembly supports and encourages flood resilience through implementation of the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan and implementation of the Virginia Flood Protection Master Plan developed pursuant to § 10.1-602.

D. The Department shall be responsible for the implementation of the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan and Virginia Flood Protection Master Plan and shall serve as the lead administrator.

E. The Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan shall be updated at least every five years; shall, at a minimum, be a place-specific plan for mitigating severe and repetitive flooding; and shall, at a minimum, (i) base decision making on the best-available science; (ii) identify and address socioeconomic inequities and strive to enhance equity through the adaptation and protection measures by considering all areas of recurrent flooding; (iii) recognize the importance of protecting and enhancing natural infrastructure and nature-based approaches to flood mitigation, when possible; (iv) utilize community and regional scale planning to the maximum extent possible, seeking region-specific approaches tailored to the needs of individual communities; and (v) include an understanding of fiscal realities and focus on cost-effective solutions for the protection and adaptation of communities, businesses, and critical infrastructure.

1989, cc. 468, 497; 2020, c. 493; 2022, cc. 494, 495.

§ 10.1-659. Flood protection programs; coordination.

A. The provisions of this chapter shall be coordinated with the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan, the Virginia Flood Protection Master Plan, and federal, state, and local flood prevention and water quality programs to minimize loss of life, property damage, and negative impacts on the environment. This program coordination shall include but not be limited to the following: flood prevention, flood plain management, small watershed protection, dam safety, shoreline erosion and public beach preservation, and soil conservation programs of the Department of Conservation and Recreation; the construction activities of the Department of Transportation, including projects that result in hydrologic modification of rivers, streams, and flood plains; the nontidal wetlands, water quality, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area criteria, stormwater management, erosion and sediment control, and other water management programs of the State Water Control Board; the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Department of Environmental Quality; forested watershed management programs of the Department of Forestry; the agricultural stewardship, farmland preservation, and disaster assistance programs of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; the statewide building code and other land use control programs of the Department of Housing and Community Development; the habitat management programs of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission; the hazard mitigation planning and disaster response programs of the Department of Emergency Management; the fish and wildlife habitat protection programs of the Department of Wildlife Resources; the mineral extraction regulatory program of the Department of Energy; the flood plain restrictions of the Virginia Waste Management Board; flooding-related research programs of the state universities; local government assistance programs of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board; the Virginia Antiquities Act program of the Department of Historic Resources; the public health and preparedness programs of the Virginia Department of Health; the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; the State Corporation Commission; and any other state agency programs deemed necessary by the Director, the Chief Resilience Officer of the Commonwealth, and the Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection. The Department shall also coordinate with soil and water conservation districts, Virginia Cooperative Extension agents, and planning district commissions, and shall coordinate and cooperate with localities in rendering assistance to such localities in their efforts to comply with the planning, subdivision of land, and zoning provisions of Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 15.2.

B. The Director, in coordination with the Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection and the Chief Resilience Officer, shall hold meetings of representatives of the programs, entities, and localities described in subsection A at least annually in order to determine, coordinate, and prioritize the Commonwealth's efforts and expenditures to increase flooding resilience and flood preparedness and to implement the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan and the Virginia Flood Protection Master Plan. The Department shall review any revisions to the Virginia Flood Protection Master Plan and provide an update on the progress of the implementation of the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan at any such meetings. The Department shall cooperate with other public and private agencies having flood plain management programs and shall coordinate its responsibilities under this article and any other law. These activities shall constitute the Commonwealth's flood resilience, preparedness, prevention, and protection program.

C. 1. The Chief Resilience Officer, in coordination with the Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection and the Director, shall establish the Virginia Coastal Resilience Technical Advisory Committee (the Committee) to assist with developing, updating, and implementing the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan.

2. The Committee shall be comprised of representatives of state agencies, coastal planning district commissions, regional commissions, academic advisors, and any other representatives as needed. Members shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor and shall include the following individuals or their designees: the executive directors of coastal planning district commissions and regional commissions; the Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection; the Director; the Director of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management; the Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development; the Executive Director of the Virginia Resources Authority; the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality; the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation; the Director of the Virginia Transportation Research Council; the Commissioner of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission; the Director of the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience; the Associate Dean for Research and Advisory Services at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science; the Director of the William and Mary School of Law Coastal Policy Center; the Director of the Virginia Tech Center for Coastal Studies; the Director of the Environmental Resilience Institute at the University of Virginia; the Director of Virginia Sea Grant; the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and the Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth. The Chief Resilience Officer shall serve as chairman of the Committee.

3. The Chief Resilience Officer shall invite participation by the Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District; the Commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic; and representatives of the seven federally recognized Tribal Nations indigenous to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

4. Appointed members shall serve in an advisory role without compensation.

5. The Committee shall meet at least quarterly.

6. The Department, the Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection, and the Coastal Zone Management Program shall provide staff support to the Committee.

7. The Committee shall ensure that (i) risk evaluations and project prioritization protocols are regularly updated and are informed by the best applicable scientific and technical data; (ii) statewide and regional needs are addressed using the best applicable science and long-term resilience approaches; and (iii) the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework is adhered to in the development and updating of the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan. The Committee shall also review updates to the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan and receive updates about the progress of the Virginia Flood Protection Master Plan at each meeting. Additionally, the Committee may be called upon to assist the Department with the development and updating of the Virginia Flood Protection Master Plan.

1989, cc. 468, 497; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2020, cc. 493, 958; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 532; 2022, cc. 494, 495.