Code of Virginia

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

Article 2.4. Erosion and Sediment Control Law.

§ 62.1-44.15:51. (For contingent expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Definitions.

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

"Agreement in lieu of a plan" means a contract between the plan-approving authority and the owner that specifies conservation measures that must be implemented in the construction of a single-family residence; this contract may be executed by the plan-approving authority in lieu of a formal site plan.

"Applicant" means any person submitting an erosion and sediment control plan for approval or requesting the issuance of a permit, when required, authorizing land-disturbing activities to commence.

"Certified inspector" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of project inspection or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for project inspection and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Certified plan reviewer" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of plan review, (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for plan review and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment, or (iii) is licensed as a professional engineer, architect, landscape architect, land surveyor pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1, or professional soil scientist as defined in § 54.1-2200.

"Certified program administrator" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of program administration or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for program administration and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

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

"District" or "soil and water conservation district" means a political subdivision of the Commonwealth organized in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 (§ 10.1-506 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 10.1.

"Erosion and sediment control plan" or "plan" means a document containing material for the conservation of soil and water resources of a unit or group of units of land. It may include appropriate maps, an appropriate soil and water plan inventory and management information with needed interpretations, and a record of decisions contributing to conservation treatment. The plan shall contain all major conservation decisions to ensure that the entire unit or units of land will be so treated to achieve the conservation objectives.

"Erosion impact area" means an area of land not associated with current land-disturbing activity but subject to persistent soil erosion resulting in the delivery of sediment onto neighboring properties or into state waters. This definition shall not apply to any lot or parcel of land of 10,000 square feet or less used for residential purposes or to shorelines where the erosion results from wave action or other coastal processes.

"Land-disturbing activity" means any man-made change to the land surface that may result in soil erosion from water or wind and the movement of sediments into state waters or onto lands in the Commonwealth, including, but not limited to, clearing, grading, excavating, transporting, and filling of land, except that the term shall not include:

1. Minor land-disturbing activities such as home gardens and individual home landscaping, repairs, and maintenance work;

2. Individual service connections;

3. Installation, maintenance, or repair of any underground public utility lines when such activity occurs on an existing hard surfaced road, street, or sidewalk, provided the land-disturbing activity is confined to the area of the road, street, or sidewalk that is hard surfaced;

4. Septic tank lines or drainage fields unless included in an overall plan for land-disturbing activity relating to construction of the building to be served by the septic tank system;

5. Permitted surface or deep mining operations and projects, or oil and gas operations and projects conducted pursuant to Title 45.1;

6. Tilling, planting, or harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, or forest crops, livestock feedlot operations, or as additionally set forth by the Board in regulation, including engineering operations as follows: construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds, ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation; however, this exception shall not apply to harvesting of forest crops unless the area on which harvesting occurs is reforested artificially or naturally in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 10.1 or is converted to bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use as described in subsection B of § 10.1-1163;

7. Repair or rebuilding of the tracks, rights-of-way, bridges, communication facilities, and other related structures and facilities of a railroad company;

8. Agricultural engineering operations, including but not limited to the construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds not required to comply with the provisions of the Dam Safety Act (§ 10.1-604 et seq.), ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation;

9. Disturbed land areas of less than 10,000 square feet in size or 2,500 square feet in all areas of the jurisdictions designated as subject to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations; however, the governing body of the program authority may reduce this exception to a smaller area of disturbed land or qualify the conditions under which this exception shall apply;

10. Installation of fence and sign posts or telephone and electric poles and other kinds of posts or poles;

11. Shoreline erosion control projects on tidal waters when all of the land-disturbing activities are within the regulatory authority of and approved by local wetlands boards, the Marine Resources Commission, or the United States Army Corps of Engineers; however, any associated land that is disturbed outside of this exempted area shall remain subject to this article and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto; and

12. Emergency work to protect life, limb, or property, and emergency repairs; however, if the land-disturbing activity would have required an approved erosion and sediment control plan, if the activity were not an emergency, then the land area disturbed shall be shaped and stabilized in accordance with the requirements of the VESCP authority.

"Natural channel design concepts" means the utilization of engineering analysis and fluvial geomorphic processes to create, rehabilitate, restore, or stabilize an open conveyance system for the purpose of creating or recreating a stream that conveys its bankfull storm event within its banks and allows larger flows to access its bankfull bench and its floodplain.

"Owner" means the owner or owners of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee, or other person, firm, or corporation in control of a property.

"Peak flow rate" means the maximum instantaneous flow from a given storm condition at a particular location.

"Permittee" means the person to whom the local permit authorizing land-disturbing activities is issued or the person who certifies that the approved erosion and sediment control plan will be followed.

"Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, association, joint venture, public or private corporation, trust, estate, commission, board, public or private institution, utility, cooperative, county, city, town, or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth, governmental body, including a federal or state entity as applicable, any interstate body, or any other legal entity.

"Runoff volume" means the volume of water that runs off the land development project from a prescribed storm event.

"Town" means an incorporated town.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program" or "VESCP" means a program approved by the Board that has been established by a VESCP authority for the effective control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff associated with a land-disturbing activity to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters, and other natural resources and shall include such items where applicable as local ordinances, rules, permit requirements, annual standards and specifications, policies and guidelines, technical materials, and requirements for plan review, inspection, enforcement where authorized in this article, and evaluation consistent with the requirements of this article and its associated regulations.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program authority" or "VESCP authority" means an authority approved by the Board to operate a Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program. An authority may include a state entity, including the Department; a federal entity; a district, county, city, or town; or for linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications, electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, railroad companies, or authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102.

"Water quality volume" means the volume equal to the first one-half inch of runoff multiplied by the impervious surface of the land development project.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.3; 1974, c. 265; 1977, c. 149; 1980, c. 305; 1988, cc. 690, 732, 891, § 10.1-560; 1990, c. 491; 1991, c. 469; 1992, c. 184; 1993, c. 925; 1994, c. 703; 2003, c. 423; 2004, c. 476; 2005, c. 107; 2006, c. 21; 2009, c. 309; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:51. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Definitions.

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

"Agreement in lieu of a plan" means a contract between the VESCP authority and the owner that specifies conservation measures that must be implemented in the construction of a single-family detached residential structure; this contract may be executed by the VESCP authority in lieu of a formal site plan.

"Applicant" means any person submitting an erosion and sediment control plan for approval in order to obtain authorization for land-disturbing activities to commence.

"Certified inspector" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certification from the Board in the area of project inspection or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for project inspection and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Certified plan reviewer" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certification from the Board in the area of plan review, (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for plan review and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment, or (iii) is licensed as a professional engineer, architect, landscape architect, land surveyor pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1, or professional soil scientist as defined in § 54.1-2200.

"Certified program administrator" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certification from the Board in the area of program administration or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for program administration and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

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

"District" or "soil and water conservation district" means a political subdivision of the Commonwealth organized in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 (§ 10.1-506 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 10.1.

"Erosion and sediment control plan" or "plan" means a document containing material for the conservation of soil and water resources of a unit or group of units of land. It may include appropriate maps, an appropriate soil and water plan inventory and management information with needed interpretations, and a record of decisions contributing to conservation treatment. The plan shall contain all major conservation decisions to ensure that the entire unit or units of land will be so treated to achieve the conservation objectives.

"Erosion impact area" means an area of land that is not associated with a current land-disturbing activity but is subject to persistent soil erosion resulting in the delivery of sediment onto neighboring properties or into state waters. This definition shall not apply to any lot or parcel of land of 10,000 square feet or less used for residential purposes or to shorelines where the erosion results from wave action or other coastal processes.

"Land disturbance" or "land-disturbing activity" means any man-made change to the land surface that may result in soil erosion or has the potential to change its runoff characteristics, including the clearing, grading, excavating, transporting, and filling of land.

"Natural channel design concepts" means the utilization of engineering analysis and fluvial geomorphic processes to create, rehabilitate, restore, or stabilize an open conveyance system for the purpose of creating or recreating a stream that conveys its bankfull storm event within its banks and allows larger flows to access its bankfull bench and its floodplain.

"Owner" means the same as provided in § 62.1-44.3. For a land-disturbing activity that is regulated under this article, "owner" also includes the owner or owners of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee, or other person, firm, or corporation in control of a property.

"Peak flow rate" means the maximum instantaneous flow from a given storm condition at a particular location.

"Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, association, joint venture, public or private corporation, trust, estate, commission, board, public or private institution, utility, cooperative, county, city, town, or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth, governmental body, including a federal or state entity as applicable, any interstate body, or any other legal entity.

"Runoff volume" means the volume of water that runs off the land development project from a prescribed storm event.

"Soil erosion" means the movement of soil by wind or water into state waters or onto lands in the Commonwealth.

"Town" means an incorporated town.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program" or "VESCP" means a program approved by the Board that has been established by a VESCP authority for the effective control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff associated with a land-disturbing activity to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters, and other natural resources and shall include such items where applicable as local ordinances, rules, policies and guidelines, technical materials, and requirements for plan review, inspection, and evaluation consistent with the requirements of this article.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program authority" or "VESCP authority" means a locality approved by the Board to operate a Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program. A locality that has chosen not to establish a Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program pursuant to subdivision B 3 of § 62.1-44.15:27 is required to become a VESCP authority in accordance with this article.

"Virginia Stormwater Management Program" or "VSMP" means a program established by the Board pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:27.1 on behalf of a locality on or after July 1, 2014, to manage the quality and quantity of runoff resulting from any land-disturbing activity that (i) disturbs one acre or more of land or (ii) disturbs less than one acre of land and is part of a larger common plan of development or sale that results in one acre or greater of land disturbance.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.3; 1974, c. 265; 1977, c. 149; 1980, c. 305; 1988, cc. 690, 732, 891, § 10.1-560; 1990, c. 491; 1991, c. 469; 1992, c. 184; 1993, c. 925; 1994, c. 703; 2003, c. 423; 2004, c. 476; 2005, c. 107; 2006, c. 21; 2009, c. 309; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:51.1. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Applicability.

The requirements of this article shall apply in any locality that has chosen not to establish a Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program (VESMP) pursuant to subdivision B 3 of § 62.1-44.15:27. Each such locality shall be required to adopt and administer a Board-approved VESCP.

2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:52. (For contingent expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program.

A. The Board shall develop a program and adopt regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) for the effective control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff that shall be met in any control program to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters, and other natural resources. Stream restoration and relocation projects that incorporate natural channel design concepts are not man-made channels and shall be exempt from any flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels as defined in any regulations promulgated pursuant to this section or § 62.1-44.15:54 or 62.1-44.15:65. Any plan approved prior to July 1, 2014, that provides for stormwater management that addresses any flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels shall satisfy the flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels if the practices are designed to (i) detain the water quality volume and to release it over 48 hours; (ii) detain and release over a 24-hour period the expected rainfall resulting from the one-year, 24-hour storm; and (iii) reduce the allowable peak flow rate resulting from the 1.5-year, two-year, and 10-year, 24-hour storms to a level that is less than or equal to the peak flow rate from the site assuming it was in a good forested condition, achieved through multiplication of the forested peak flow rate by a reduction factor that is equal to the runoff volume from the site when it was in a good forested condition divided by the runoff volume from the site in its proposed condition, and shall be exempt from any flow rate capacity and velocity requirement for natural or man-made channels as defined in regulations promulgated pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:54 or 62.1-44.15:65. For plans approved on and after July 1, 2014, the flow rate capacity and velocity requirements of this subsection shall be satisfied by compliance with water quantity requirements in the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and attendant regulations, unless such land-disturbing activities (a) are in accordance with the grandfathering or time limits on applicability of approved design criteria provisions of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Regulations, in which case the flow rate capacity and velocity requirements of this subsection shall apply, or (b) are exempt pursuant to subdivision C 7 of § 62.1-44.15:34.

The regulations shall:

1. Be based upon relevant physical and developmental information concerning the watersheds and drainage basins of the Commonwealth, including, but not limited to, data relating to land use, soils, hydrology, geology, size of land area being disturbed, proximate water bodies and their characteristics, transportation, and public facilities and services;

2. Include such survey of lands and waters as may be deemed appropriate by the Board or required by any applicable law to identify areas, including multijurisdictional and watershed areas, with critical erosion and sediment problems; and

3. Contain conservation standards for various types of soils and land uses, which shall include criteria, techniques, and methods for the control of erosion and sediment resulting from land-disturbing activities.

B. The Board shall provide technical assistance and advice to, and conduct and supervise educational programs for VESCP authorities.

C. The Board shall adopt regulations establishing minimum standards of effectiveness of erosion and sediment control programs, and criteria and procedures for reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of VESCPs. In developing minimum standards for program effectiveness, the Board shall consider information and standards on which the regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection A are based.

D. The Board shall approve VESCP authorities and shall periodically conduct a comprehensive program compliance review and evaluation to ensure that all VESCPs operating under the jurisdiction of this article meet minimum standards of effectiveness in controlling soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff. The Department shall develop a schedule for conducting periodic reviews and evaluations of the effectiveness of VESCPs unless otherwise directed by the Board. Such reviews where applicable shall be coordinated with those being implemented in accordance with the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and associated regulations and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) and associated regulations. The Department may also conduct a comprehensive or partial program compliance review and evaluation of a VESCP at a greater frequency than the standard schedule.

E. The Board shall issue certificates of competence concerning the content, application, and intent of specified subject areas of this article and accompanying regulations, including program administration, plan review, and project inspection, to personnel of program authorities and to any other persons who have completed training programs or in other ways demonstrated adequate knowledge. The Department shall administer education and training programs for specified subject areas of this article and accompanying regulations, and is authorized to charge persons attending such programs reasonable fees to cover the costs of administering the programs. Such education and training programs shall also contain expanded components to address plan review and project inspection elements of the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and attendant regulations in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:30.

F. Department personnel conducting inspections pursuant to this article shall hold a certificate of competence as provided in subsection E.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.4; 1988, cc. 732, 891, § 10.1-561; 1993, c. 925; 2004, c. 431; 2005, c. 107; 2006, c. 21; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2015, c. 497; 2016, c. 66.

§ 62.1-44.15:52. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program.

A. The Board shall develop a program and adopt regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) for the effective control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff that shall be met in any control program to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters, and other natural resources. Stream restoration and relocation projects that incorporate natural channel design concepts are not man-made channels and shall be exempt from any flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels as defined in any regulations promulgated pursuant to this section or § 62.1-44.15:54 or 62.1-44.15:65. Any plan approved prior to July 1, 2014, that provides for stormwater management that addresses any flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels shall satisfy the flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels if the practices are designed to (i) detain the water volume equal to the first one-half inch of runoff multiplied by the impervious surface of the land development project and to release it over 48 hours; (ii) detain and release over a 24-hour period the expected rainfall resulting from the one-year, 24-hour storm; and (iii) reduce the allowable peak flow rate resulting from the 1.5-year, two-year, and 10-year, 24-hour storms to a level that is less than or equal to the peak flow rate from the site assuming it was in a good forested condition, achieved through multiplication of the forested peak flow rate by a reduction factor that is equal to the runoff volume from the site when it was in a good forested condition divided by the runoff volume from the site in its proposed condition, and shall be exempt from any flow rate capacity and velocity requirement for natural or man-made channels as defined in regulations promulgated pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:54 or 62.1-44.15:65. For plans approved on and after July 1, 2014, the flow rate capacity and velocity requirements of this subsection shall be satisfied by compliance with water quantity requirements in the Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and attendant regulations unless such land-disturbing activities (a) are in accordance with the grandfathering or time limits on applicability of approved design criteria provisions of the Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program (VESMP) Regulations, in which case the flow rate capacity and velocity requirements of this subsection shall apply, or (b) are exempt pursuant to subdivision G 2 of § 62.1-44.15:34.

The regulations shall:

1. Be based upon relevant physical and developmental information concerning the watersheds and drainage basins of the Commonwealth, including, but not limited to, data relating to land use, soils, hydrology, geology, size of land area being disturbed, proximate water bodies and their characteristics, transportation, and public facilities and services;

2. Include such survey of lands and waters as may be deemed appropriate by the Board or required by any applicable law to identify areas, including multijurisdictional and watershed areas, with critical erosion and sediment problems; and

3. Contain conservation standards for various types of soils and land uses, which shall include criteria, techniques, and methods for the control of erosion and sediment resulting from land-disturbing activities.

B. The Board shall provide technical assistance and advice to, and conduct and supervise educational programs for VESCP authorities.

C. The Board shall adopt regulations establishing minimum standards of effectiveness of erosion and sediment control programs, and criteria and procedures for reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of VESCPs. In developing minimum standards for program effectiveness, the Board shall consider information and standards on which the regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection A are based.

D. The Board shall approve VESCP authorities and shall periodically conduct a comprehensive program compliance review and evaluation pursuant to subdivision (19) of § 62.1-44.15.

E. The Board shall issue certifications concerning the content, application, and intent of specified subject areas of this article and accompanying regulations, including program administration, plan review, and project inspection, to personnel of program authorities and to any other persons who have completed training programs or in other ways demonstrated adequate knowledge. The Department shall administer education and training programs for specified subject areas of this article and accompanying regulations, and is authorized to charge persons attending such programs reasonable fees to cover the costs of administering the programs. Such education and training programs shall also contain expanded components to address plan review and project inspection elements of the Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:30.

F. Department personnel conducting inspections pursuant to this article shall hold a certification as provided in subsection E.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.4; 1988, cc. 732, 891, § 10.1-561; 1993, c. 925; 2004, c. 431; 2005, c. 107; 2006, c. 21; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2015, c. 497; 2016, cc. 66, 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:53. Certification of program personnel.

A. The minimum standards of VESCP effectiveness established by the Board pursuant to subsection C of § 62.1-44.15:52 shall provide that (i) an erosion and sediment control plan shall not be approved until it is reviewed by a certified plan reviewer; (ii) inspections of land-disturbing activities shall be conducted by a certified inspector; and (iii) a VESCP shall contain a certified program administrator, a certified plan reviewer, and a certified project inspector, who may be the same person.

B. Any person who holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of plan review, project inspection, or program administration that was attained prior to the adoption of the mandatory certification provisions of subsection A shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of that area of certification.

C. (For expiration date -- see note) Professionals registered in the Commonwealth pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1 or a professional soil scientist as defined in § 54.1-2200 shall be deemed to satisfy the certification requirements for the purposes of renewals.

C. (For effective date -- see notes) Professionals registered in the Commonwealth pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1 or a professional soil scientist as defined in § 54.1-2200 shall be deemed to have met the provisions of this section for the purposes of renewals of certifications.

1993, c. 925, § 10.1-561.1; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:54. (For contingent expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Establishment of Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program.

A. Counties and cities shall adopt and administer a VESCP.

Any town lying within a county that has adopted its own VESCP may adopt its own program or shall become subject to the county program. If a town lies within the boundaries of more than one county, the town shall be considered for the purposes of this article to be wholly within the county in which the larger portion of the town lies.

B. A VESCP authority may enter into agreements or contracts with soil and water conservation districts, adjacent localities, or other public or private entities to assist with carrying out the provisions of this article, including the review and determination of adequacy of erosion and sediment control plans submitted for land-disturbing activities on a unit or units of land as well as for monitoring, reports, inspections, and enforcement where authorized in this article, of such land-disturbing activities.

C. Any VESCP adopted by a county, city, or town shall be approved by the Board if it establishes by ordinance requirements that are consistent with this article and associated regulations.

D. Each approved VESCP operated by a county, city, or town shall include provisions for the integration of the VESCP with Virginia stormwater management, flood insurance, flood plain management, and other programs requiring compliance prior to authorizing a land-disturbing activity in order to make the submission and approval of plans, issuance of permits, payment of fees, and coordination of inspection and enforcement activities more convenient and efficient both for the local governments and those responsible for compliance with the programs.

E. The Board may approve a state entity, federal entity, or, for linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications, electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, railroad companies, or authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102 to operate a VESCP consistent with the requirements of this article and its associated regulations and the VESCP authority's Department-approved annual standards and specifications. For these programs, enforcement shall be administered by the Department and the Board where applicable in accordance with the provisions of this article.

F. Following completion of a compliance review of a VESCP in accordance with subsection D of § 62.1-44.15:52, the Department shall provide results and compliance recommendations to the Board in the form of a corrective action agreement if deficiencies are found; otherwise, the Board may find the program compliant. If a comprehensive or partial program compliance review conducted by the Department of a VESCP indicates that the VESCP authority has not administered, enforced where authorized to do so, or conducted its VESCP in a manner that satisfies the minimum standards of effectiveness established pursuant to subsection C of § 62.1-44.15:52, the Board shall establish a schedule for the VESCP authority to come into compliance. The Board shall provide a copy of its decision to the VESCP authority that specifies the deficiencies, actions needed to be taken, and the approved compliance schedule required to attain the minimum standard of effectiveness and shall include an offer to provide technical assistance to implement the corrective action. If the VESCP authority has not implemented the necessary compliance actions identified by the Board within 30 days following receipt of the corrective action agreement, or such additional period as is granted to complete the implementation of the corrective action, then the Board shall have the authority to (i) issue a special order to any VESCP, imposing a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 per day with the maximum amount not to exceed $20,000 per violation for noncompliance with the state program, to be paid into the state treasury and deposited in the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established by § 62.1-44.15:29 or (ii) revoke its approval of the VESCP. The Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) shall govern the activities and proceedings of the Board and the judicial review thereof.

In lieu of issuing a special order or revoking the program, the Board is authorized to take legal action against a VESCP to ensure compliance.

G. If the Board revokes its approval of the VESCP of a county, city, or town, and the locality is in a district, the district, upon approval of the Board, shall adopt and administer a VESCP for the locality. To carry out its program, the district shall adopt regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) consistent with this article and associated regulations. The regulations may be revised from time to time as necessary. The program and regulations shall be available for public inspection at the principal office of the district.

H. If the Board (i) revokes its approval of a VESCP of a district, or of a county, city, or town not in a district, or (ii) finds that a local program consistent with this article and associated regulations has not been adopted by a district or a county, city, or town that is required to adopt and administer a VESCP, the Board shall find the VESCP authority provisional, and have the Department assist with the administration of the program until the Board finds the VESCP authority compliant with the requirements of this article and associated regulations. "Assisting with administration" includes but is not limited to the ability to review and comment on plans to the VESCP authority, to conduct inspections with the VESCP authority, and to conduct enforcement in accordance with this article and associated regulations.

I. If the Board revokes its approval of a state entity, federal entity, or, for linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications, electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, railroad companies, or authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102, the Board shall find the VESCP authority provisional, and have the Department assist with the administration of the program until the Board finds the VESCP authority compliant with the requirements of this article and associated regulations. "Assisting with administration" includes the ability to review and comment on plans to the VESCP authority and to conduct inspections with the VESCP authority in accordance with this article and associated regulations.

J. Any VESCP authority that administers an erosion and sediment control program may charge applicants a reasonable fee to defray the cost of program administration. Such fee may be in addition to any fee charged for administration of a Virginia Stormwater Management Program, although payment of fees may be consolidated in order to provide greater convenience and efficiency for those responsible for compliance with the programs. A VESCP authority shall hold a public hearing prior to establishing a schedule of fees. The fee shall not exceed an amount commensurate with the services rendered, taking into consideration the time, skill, and the VESCP authority's expense involved.

K. The governing body of any county, city, or town, or a district board that is authorized to administer a VESCP, may adopt an ordinance or regulation where applicable providing that violations of any regulation or order of the Board, any provision of its program, any condition of a permit, or any provision of this article shall be subject to a civil penalty. The civil penalty for any one violation shall be not less than $100 nor more than $1,000. Each day during which the violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. In no event shall a series of specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $10,000, except that a series of violations arising from the commencement of land-disturbing activities without an approved plan for any site shall not result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $10,000. Adoption of such an ordinance providing that violations are subject to a civil penalty shall be in lieu of criminal sanctions and shall preclude the prosecution of such violation as a misdemeanor under subsection A of § 62.1-44.15:63. The penalties set out in this subsection are also available to the Board in its enforcement actions.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.5; 1976, c. 653; 1978, c. 450; 1980, c. 35; 1983, c. 189; 1988, cc. 732, 891, § 10.1-562; 1992, c. 298; 1993, c. 925; 2005, c. 129; 2007, cc. 51, 204; 2010, c. 275; 2012, cc. 785, 819.2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:54. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program.

A. Any locality that has chosen not to establish a Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program (VESMP) pursuant to subdivision B 3 of § 62.1-44.15:27 shall administer a VESCP in accordance with this article; however, a town may enter into an agreement with a county to administer the town's VESCP pursuant to subsection C of § 62.1-44.15:27.

B. A VESCP authority may enter into agreements or contracts with soil and water conservation districts, adjacent localities, or other public or private entities to assist with carrying out the provisions of this article, including the review and determination of adequacy of erosion and sediment control plans submitted for land-disturbing activities on a unit or units of land as well as for monitoring, reports, inspections, and enforcement of such land-disturbing activities.

C. Any VESCP adopted by a county, city, or town shall be approved by the Board if it establishes by ordinance requirements that are consistent with this article and associated regulations.

D. Each approved VESCP operated by a county, city, or town shall include provisions for the coordination of the VESCP with flood insurance, flood plain management, and other programs requiring compliance prior to authorizing a land-disturbing activity in order to make the submission and approval of plans, payment of fees, and coordination of inspection and enforcement activities more convenient and efficient both for the local governments and those responsible for compliance with the programs.

E. The Board shall conduct compliance reviews of VESCPs in accordance with subdivision (19) of § 62.1-44.15. The Board or Department also may require any locality that is a VESCP authority to furnish when requested any information as may be required to accomplish the purposes of this article.

F. Any VESCP authority that administers an erosion and sediment control program may charge applicants a reasonable fee to defray the cost of program administration. A VESCP authority shall hold a public hearing prior to establishing a schedule of fees. The fee shall not exceed an amount commensurate with the services rendered, taking into consideration the time, skill, and the VESCP authority's expense involved.

G. Any locality that is authorized to administer a VESCP may adopt an ordinance or regulation where applicable providing that violations of any regulation or order of the Board, any provision of its program, any condition of a land-disturbance approval, or any provision of this article shall be subject to a civil penalty. The civil penalty for any one violation shall be not less than $100 nor more than $1,000. Each day during which the violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. In no event shall a series of specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $10,000, except that a series of violations arising from the commencement of land-disturbing activities without an approved plan for any site shall not result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $10,000. The penalties set out in this subsection are also available to the Board in its enforcement actions.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.5; 1976, c. 653; 1978, c. 450; 1980, c. 35; 1983, c. 189; 1988, cc. 732, 891, § 10.1-562; 1992, c. 298; 1993, c. 925; 2005, c. 129; 2007, cc. 51, 204; 2010, c. 275; 2012, cc. 785, 819.2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:55. (For contingent expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Regulated land-disturbing activities; submission and approval of erosion and sediment control plan.

A. Except as provided in § 62.1-44.15:56 for state agency and federal entity land-disturbing activities, no person shall engage in any land-disturbing activity until he has submitted to the VESCP authority an erosion and sediment control plan for the land-disturbing activity and the plan has been reviewed and approved. Upon the development of an online reporting system by the Department, but no later than July 1, 2014, a VESCP authority shall then be required to obtain evidence of Virginia Stormwater Management Program permit coverage where it is required prior to providing approval to begin land disturbance. Where land-disturbing activities involve lands under the jurisdiction of more than one VESCP, an erosion and sediment control plan may, at the request of one or all of the VESCP authorities, be submitted to the Department for review and approval rather than to each jurisdiction concerned. The Department may charge the jurisdictions requesting the review a fee sufficient to cover the cost associated with conducting the review. A VESCP may enter into an agreement with an adjacent VESCP regarding the administration of multijurisdictional projects whereby the jurisdiction that contains the greater portion of the project shall be responsible for all or part of the administrative procedures. Where the land-disturbing activity results from the construction of a single-family residence, an agreement in lieu of a plan may be substituted for an erosion and sediment control plan if executed by the VESCP authority.

B. The VESCP authority shall review erosion and sediment control plans submitted to it and grant written approval within 60 days of the receipt of the plan if it determines that the plan meets the requirements of this article and the Board's regulations and if the person responsible for carrying out the plan certifies that he will properly perform the erosion and sediment control measures included in the plan and shall comply with the provisions of this article. In addition, as a prerequisite to engaging in the land-disturbing activities shown on the approved plan, the person responsible for carrying out the plan shall provide the name of an individual holding a certificate of competence to the VESCP authority, as provided by § 62.1-44.15:52, who will be in charge of and responsible for carrying out the land-disturbing activity. However, any VESCP authority may waive the certificate of competence requirement for an agreement in lieu of a plan for construction of a single-family residence. If a violation occurs during the land-disturbing activity, then the person responsible for carrying out the agreement in lieu of a plan shall correct the violation and provide the name of an individual holding a certificate of competence, as provided by § 62.1-44.15:52. Failure to provide the name of an individual holding a certificate of competence prior to engaging in land-disturbing activities may result in revocation of the approval of the plan and the person responsible for carrying out the plan shall be subject to the penalties provided in this article.

When a plan is determined to be inadequate, written notice of disapproval stating the specific reasons for disapproval shall be communicated to the applicant within 45 days. The notice shall specify the modifications, terms, and conditions that will permit approval of the plan. If no action is taken by the VESCP authority within the time specified in this subsection, the plan shall be deemed approved and the person authorized to proceed with the proposed activity. The VESCP authority shall act on any erosion and sediment control plan that has been previously disapproved within 45 days after the plan has been revised, resubmitted for approval, and deemed adequate.

C. The VESCP authority may require changes to an approved plan in the following cases:

1. Where inspection has revealed that the plan is inadequate to satisfy applicable regulations; or

2. Where the person responsible for carrying out the approved plan finds that because of changed circumstances or for other reasons the approved plan cannot be effectively carried out, and proposed amendments to the plan, consistent with the requirements of this article and associated regulations, are agreed to by the VESCP authority and the person responsible for carrying out the plan.

D. Electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, and railroad companies shall, and authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102 may, file general erosion and sediment control standards and specifications annually with the Department for review and approval. Such standards and specifications shall be consistent with the requirements of this article and associated regulations and the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and associated regulations where applicable. The specifications shall apply to:

1. Construction, installation, or maintenance of electric transmission, natural gas, and telephone utility lines and pipelines, and water and sewer lines; and

2. Construction of the tracks, rights-of-way, bridges, communication facilities, and other related structures and facilities of the railroad company.

The Department shall have 60 days in which to approve the standards and specifications. If no action is taken by the Department within 60 days, the standards and specifications shall be deemed approved. Individual approval of separate projects within subdivisions 1 and 2 is not necessary when approved specifications are followed. Projects not included in subdivisions 1 and 2 shall comply with the requirements of the appropriate VESCP. The Board shall have the authority to enforce approved specifications and charge fees equal to the lower of (i) $1,000 or (ii) an amount sufficient to cover the costs associated with standard and specification review and approval, project inspections, and compliance.

E. Any person engaging, in more than one jurisdiction, in the creation and operation of a wetland mitigation or stream restoration bank or banks, which have been approved and are operated in accordance with applicable federal and state guidance, laws, or regulations for the establishment, use, and operation of (i) wetlands mitigation or stream restoration banks, pursuant to a mitigation banking instrument signed by the Department of Environmental Quality, the Marine Resources Commission, or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or (ii) a stream restoration project for purposes of reducing nutrients or sediment entering state waters may, at the option of that person, file general erosion and sediment control standards and specifications for wetland mitigation or stream restoration banks annually with the Department for review and approval consistent with guidelines established by the Board.

The Department shall have 60 days in which to approve the specifications. If no action is taken by the Department within 60 days, the specifications shall be deemed approved. Individual approval of separate projects under this subsection is not necessary when approved specifications are implemented through a project-specific erosion and sediment control plan. Projects not included in this subsection shall comply with the requirements of the appropriate local erosion and sediment control program. The Board shall have the authority to enforce approved specifications and charge fees equal to the lower of (i) $1,000 or (ii) an amount sufficient to cover the costs associated with standard and specification review and approval, projection inspections, and compliance. Approval of general erosion and sediment control specifications by the Department does not relieve the owner or operator from compliance with any other local ordinances and regulations including requirements to submit plans and obtain permits as may be required by such ordinances and regulations.

F. In order to prevent further erosion, a VESCP authority may require approval of an erosion and sediment control plan for any land identified by the VESCP authority as an erosion impact area.

G. For the purposes of subsections A and B, when land-disturbing activity will be required of a contractor performing construction work pursuant to a construction contract, the preparation, submission, and approval of an erosion and sediment control plan shall be the responsibility of the owner.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.6; 1979, c. 432; 1988, cc. 732, 891, § 10.1-563; 1993, c. 925; 1999, c. 555; 2001, c. 490; 2003, cc. 827, 966; 2006, c. 466; 2008, c. 23; 2011, cc. 720, 721; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2018, c. 627.

§ 62.1-44.15:55. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Regulated land-disturbing activities; submission and approval of erosion and sediment control plan.

A. Except as provided in § 62.1-44.15:31 for a land-disturbing activity conducted by a state agency, federal entity, or other specified entity, no person shall engage in any land-disturbing activity until he has submitted to the VESCP authority an erosion and sediment control plan for the land-disturbing activity and the plan has been reviewed and approved. Where Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit coverage is required, a VESCP authority shall be required to obtain evidence of such coverage from the Department's online reporting system prior to approving the erosion and sediment control plan. A VESCP authority may enter into an agreement with an adjacent VESCP or VESMP authority regarding the administration of multijurisdictional projects specifying who shall be responsible for all or part of the administrative procedures. Should adjacent authorities fail to come to such an agreement, each shall be responsible for administering the area of the multijurisdictional project that lies within its jurisdiction. Where the land-disturbing activity results from the construction of a single-family residence, an agreement in lieu of a plan may be substituted for an erosion and sediment control plan if executed by the VESCP authority.

B. The VESCP authority shall review erosion and sediment control plans submitted to it and grant written approval within 60 days of the receipt of the plan if it determines that the plan meets the requirements of this article and the Board's regulations and if the person responsible for carrying out the plan certifies that he will properly perform the erosion and sediment control measures included in the plan and shall comply with the provisions of this article. In addition, as a prerequisite to engaging in the land-disturbing activities shown on the approved plan, the person responsible for carrying out the plan shall provide the name of an individual holding a certificate to the VESCP authority, as provided by § 62.1-44.15:52, who will be in charge of and responsible for carrying out the land-disturbing activity. However, any VESCP authority may waive the certificate requirement for an agreement in lieu of a plan for construction of a single-family residence. If a violation occurs during the land-disturbing activity, then the person responsible for carrying out the agreement in lieu of a plan shall correct the violation and provide the name of an individual holding a certificate, as provided by § 62.1-44.15:52. Failure to provide the name of an individual holding a certificate prior to engaging in land-disturbing activities may result in revocation of the approval of the plan and the person responsible for carrying out the plan shall be subject to the penalties provided in this article.

When a plan is determined to be inadequate, written notice of disapproval stating the specific reasons for disapproval shall be communicated to the applicant within 45 days. The notice shall specify the modifications, terms, and conditions that will permit approval of the plan. If no action is taken by the VESCP authority within the time specified in this subsection, the plan shall be deemed approved and the person authorized to proceed with the proposed activity. The VESCP authority shall act on any erosion and sediment control plan that has been previously disapproved within 45 days after the plan has been revised, resubmitted for approval, and deemed adequate.

C. The VESCP authority may require changes to an approved plan in the following cases:

1. Where inspection has revealed that the plan is inadequate to satisfy applicable regulations; or

2. Where the person responsible for carrying out the approved plan finds that because of changed circumstances or for other reasons the approved plan cannot be effectively carried out, and proposed amendments to the plan, consistent with the requirements of this article and associated regulations, are agreed to by the VESCP authority and the person responsible for carrying out the plan.

D. In order to prevent further erosion, a VESCP authority may require approval of an erosion and sediment control plan for any land identified by the VESCP authority as an erosion impact area.

E. For the purposes of subsections A and B, when land-disturbing activity will be required of a contractor performing construction work pursuant to a construction contract, the preparation, submission, and approval of an erosion and sediment control plan shall be the responsibility of the owner.

F. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, the following activities are not required to comply with the requirements of this article unless otherwise required by federal law:

1. Disturbance of a land area of less than 10,000 square feet in size or less than 2,500 square feet in an area designated as a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.). However, the governing body of the program authority may reduce this exception to a smaller area of disturbed land or qualify the conditions under which this exception shall apply;

2. Minor land-disturbing activities such as home gardens and individual home landscaping, repairs, and maintenance work;

3. Installation, maintenance, or repair of any individual service connection;

4. Installation, maintenance, or repair of any underground utility line when such activity occurs on an existing hard surfaced road, street, or sidewalk, provided the land-disturbing activity is confined to the area of the road, street, or sidewalk that is hard surfaced;

5. Installation, maintenance, or repair of any septic tank line or drainage field unless included in an overall plan for land-disturbing activity relating to construction of the building to be served by the septic tank system;

6. Permitted surface or deep mining operations and projects, or oil and gas operations and projects conducted pursuant to Title 45.1;

7. Clearing of lands specifically for bona fide agricultural purposes; the management, tilling, planting, or harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, or forest crops; livestock feedlot operations; agricultural engineering operations, including construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds, ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation; or as additionally set forth by the Board in regulations. However, this exception shall not apply to harvesting of forest crops unless the area on which harvesting occurs is reforested artificially or naturally in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 10.1 or is converted to bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use as described in subsection B of § 10.1-1163;

8. Installation of fence and sign posts or telephone and electric poles and other kinds of posts or poles;

9. Shoreline erosion control projects on tidal waters when all of the land-disturbing activities are within the regulatory authority of and approved by local wetlands boards, the Marine Resources Commission, or the United States Army Corps of Engineers; however, any associated land that is disturbed outside of this exempted area shall remain subject to this article and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto;

10. Land-disturbing activities in response to a public emergency where the related work requires immediate authorization to avoid imminent endangerment to human health or the environment. In such situations, the VESMP authority shall be advised of the disturbance within seven days of commencing the land-disturbing activity, and compliance with the administrative requirements of subsection A is required within 30 days of commencing the land-disturbing activity;

11. Discharges to a sanitary sewer or a combined sewer system that are not from a land-disturbing activity; and

12. Repair or rebuilding of the tracks, rights-of-way, bridges, communication facilities, and other related structures and facilities of a railroad company.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.6; 1979, c. 432; 1988, cc. 732, 891, § 10.1-563; 1993, c. 925; 1999, c. 555; 2001, c. 490; 2003, cc. 827, 966; 2006, c. 466; 2008, c. 23; 2011, cc. 720, 721; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:56. (For repeal date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) State agency and federal entity projects.

A. A state agency shall not undertake a project involving a land-disturbing activity unless (i) the state agency has submitted annual standards and specifications for its conduct of land-disturbing activities that have been reviewed and approved by the Department as being consistent with this article and associated regulations or (ii) the state agency has submitted an erosion and sediment control plan for the project that has been reviewed and approved by the Department. When a federal entity submits an erosion and sediment control plan for a project, land disturbance shall not commence until the Department has reviewed and approved the plan.

B. The Department shall not approve an erosion and sediment control plan submitted by a state agency or federal entity for a project involving a land-disturbing activity (i) in any locality that has not adopted a local program with more stringent regulations than those of the state program or (ii) in multiple jurisdictions with separate local programs, unless the erosion and sediment control plan is consistent with the requirements of the state program.

C. The Department shall not approve an erosion and sediment control plan submitted by a state agency or federal entity for a project involving a land-disturbing activity in one locality with a local program with more stringent ordinances than those of the state program unless the erosion and sediment control plan is consistent with the requirements of the local program. If a locality has not submitted a copy of its local program regulations to the Department, the provisions of subsection B shall apply.

D. The Department shall have 60 days in which to comment on any standards and specifications or erosion and sediment control plan submitted to it for review, and its comments shall be binding on the state agency and any private business hired by the state agency.

E. As onsite changes occur, the state agency shall submit changes in an erosion and sediment control plan to the Department.

F. The state agency responsible for the land-disturbing activity shall ensure compliance with an approved plan, and the Department and Board, where applicable, shall provide project oversight and enforcement as necessary.

G. If the state agency or federal entity has developed, and the Department has approved, annual standards and specifications, and the state agency or federal entity has been approved by the Board to operate a VESCP as a VESCP authority, erosion and sediment control plan review and approval and land-disturbing activity inspections shall be conducted by such entity. The Department and the Board, where applicable, shall provide project oversight and enforcement as necessary and comprehensive program compliance review and evaluation. Such standards and specifications shall be consistent with the requirements of this article and associated regulations and the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and associated regulations when applicable.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.6; 1979, c. 432; 1988, c. 891, § 10.1-564; 1993, c. 925; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:56.1. Department acceptance of plans in lieu of plan review.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the Department, when administering a VESCP pursuant to Article 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), may choose to accept a set of plans and supporting calculations for any land-disturbing activity determined to be de minimis using a risk-based approach established by the Board.

B. The Department is authorized to accept such plans and supporting calculations in satisfaction of the requirement of this article that it retain a certified plan reviewer or conduct a plan review. This section shall not excuse any applicable performance bond requirement pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:57.

2020, c. 812.

§ 62.1-44.15:57. (For contingent expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Approved plan required for issuance of grading, building, or other permits; security for performance.

Agencies authorized under any other law to issue grading, building, or other permits for activities involving land-disturbing activities regulated under this article shall not issue any such permit unless the applicant submits with his application an approved erosion and sediment control plan and certification that the plan will be followed and, upon the development of an online reporting system by the Department but no later than July 1, 2014, evidence of Virginia Stormwater Management Program permit coverage where it is required. Prior to issuance of any permit, the agency may also require an applicant to submit a reasonable performance bond with surety, cash escrow, letter of credit, any combination thereof, or such other legal arrangement acceptable to the agency, to ensure that measures could be taken by the agency at the applicant's expense should he fail, after proper notice, within the time specified to initiate or maintain appropriate conservation action that may be required of him by the approved plan as a result of his land-disturbing activity. The amount of the bond or other security for performance shall not exceed the total of the estimated cost to initiate and maintain appropriate conservation action based on unit price for new public or private sector construction in the locality and a reasonable allowance for estimated administrative costs and inflation, which shall not exceed 25 percent of the estimated cost of the conservation action. If the agency takes such conservation action upon such failure by the permittee, the agency may collect from the permittee the difference should the amount of the reasonable cost of such action exceed the amount of the security held. Within 60 days of the achievement of adequate stabilization of the land-disturbing activity in any project or section thereof, the bond, cash escrow, letter of credit, or other legal arrangement, or the unexpended or unobligated portion thereof, shall be refunded to the applicant or terminated based upon the percentage of stabilization accomplished in the project or section thereof. These requirements are in addition to all other provisions of law relating to the issuance of such permits and are not intended to otherwise affect the requirements for such permits.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.7; 1980, c. 35; 1988, cc. 694, 891, § 10.1-565; 1996, c. 275; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:57. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Approved plan required for issuance of grading, building, or other permits; security for performance.

Agencies authorized under any other law to issue grading, building, or other permits for activities involving land-disturbing activities regulated under this article shall not issue any such permit unless the applicant submits with his application an approved erosion and sediment control plan, certification that the plan will be followed, and evidence of Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit coverage where it is required. Prior to issuance of any permit, the agency may also require an applicant to submit a reasonable performance bond with surety, cash escrow, letter of credit, any combination thereof, or such other legal arrangement acceptable to the agency, to ensure that measures could be taken by the agency at the applicant's expense should he fail, after proper notice, within the time specified to initiate or maintain appropriate conservation action that may be required of him by the approved plan as a result of his land-disturbing activity. The amount of the bond or other security for performance shall not exceed the total of the estimated cost to initiate and maintain appropriate conservation action based on unit price for new public or private sector construction in the locality and a reasonable allowance for estimated administrative costs and inflation, which shall not exceed 25 percent of the estimated cost of the conservation action. If the agency takes such conservation action upon such failure by the permittee, the agency may collect from the permittee the difference should the amount of the reasonable cost of such action exceed the amount of the security held. Within 60 days of the achievement of adequate stabilization of the land-disturbing activity in any project or section thereof, the bond, cash escrow, letter of credit, or other legal arrangement, or the unexpended or unobligated portion thereof, shall be refunded to the applicant or terminated based upon the percentage of stabilization accomplished in the project or section thereof. These requirements are in addition to all other provisions of law relating to the issuance of such permits and are not intended to otherwise affect the requirements for such permits.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.7; 1980, c. 35; 1988, cc. 694, 891, § 10.1-565; 1996, c. 275; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:58. (For contingent expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Monitoring, reports, and inspections.

A. The VESCP authority (i) shall provide for periodic inspections of the land-disturbing activity and require that an individual holding a certificate of competence, as provided by § 62.1-44.15:52, who will be in charge of and responsible for carrying out the land-disturbing activity and (ii) may require monitoring and reports from the person responsible for carrying out the erosion and sediment control plan, to ensure compliance with the approved plan and to determine whether the measures required in the plan are effective in controlling erosion and sediment. However, any VESCP authority may waive the certificate of competence requirement for an agreement in lieu of a plan for construction of a single-family residence. The owner, permittee, or person responsible for carrying out the plan shall be given notice of the inspection. If the VESCP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, or the Department determines that there is a failure to comply with the plan following an inspection, notice shall be served upon the permittee or person responsible for carrying out the plan by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the permit application or in the plan certification, or by delivery at the site of the land-disturbing activities to the agent or employee supervising such activities. The notice shall specify the measures needed to comply with the plan and shall specify the time within which such measures shall be completed. Upon failure to comply within the time specified, the permit may be revoked and the VESCP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, the Department, or the Board may pursue enforcement as provided by § 62.1-44.15:63.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, a VESCP authority is authorized to enter into agreements or contracts with districts, adjacent localities, or other public or private entities to assist with the responsibilities of this article, including but not limited to the review and determination of adequacy of erosion and sediment control plans submitted for land-disturbing activities as well as monitoring, reports, inspections, and enforcement where an authority is granted such powers by this article.

C. Upon issuance of an inspection report denoting a violation of this section, § 62.1-44.15:55 or 62.1-44.15:56, in conjunction with or subsequent to a notice to comply as specified in subsection A, a VESCP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, or the Department may issue an order requiring that all or part of the land-disturbing activities permitted on the site be stopped until the specified corrective measures have been taken or, if land-disturbing activities have commenced without an approved plan as provided in § 62.1-44.15:55, requiring that all of the land-disturbing activities be stopped until an approved plan or any required permits are obtained. Where the alleged noncompliance is causing or is in imminent danger of causing harmful erosion of lands or sediment deposition in waters within the watersheds of the Commonwealth, or where the land-disturbing activities have commenced without an approved erosion and sediment control plan or any required permits, such an order may be issued whether or not the alleged violator has been issued a notice to comply as specified in subsection A. Otherwise, such an order may be issued only after the alleged violator has failed to comply with a notice to comply. The order for noncompliance with a plan shall be served in the same manner as a notice to comply, and shall remain in effect for seven days from the date of service pending application by the VESCP authority, the Department, or alleged violator for appropriate relief to the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court. The order for disturbance without an approved plan or permits shall be served upon the owner by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the land records of the locality, shall be posted on the site where the disturbance is occurring, and shall remain in effect until such time as permits and plan approvals are secured, except in such situations where an agricultural exemption applies. If the alleged violator has not obtained an approved erosion and sediment control plan or any required permit within seven days from the date of service of the order, the Department or the chief administrative officer or his designee on behalf of the VESCP authority may issue a subsequent order to the owner requiring that all construction and other work on the site, other than corrective measures, be stopped until an approved erosion and sediment control plan and any required permits have been obtained. The subsequent order shall be served upon the owner by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the permit application or the land records of the locality in which the site is located. The owner may appeal the issuance of any order to the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey an order issued by the Department or the chief administrative officer or his designee on behalf of the VESCP authority may be compelled in a proceeding instituted in the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court to obey same and to comply therewith by injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy. Upon completion and approval of corrective action or obtaining an approved plan or any required permits, the order shall immediately be lifted. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Department, the Board, or the chief administrative officer or his designee on behalf of the VESCP authority from taking any other action specified in § 62.1-44.15:63.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.8; 1986, c. 328; 1988, cc. 694, 891, § 10.1-566; 1992, c. 298; 1993, c. 925; 2001, c. 490; 2003, c. 827; 2012, cc. 249, 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:58. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Monitoring, reports, and inspections.

A. The VESCP authority (i) shall provide for periodic inspections of the land-disturbing activity and require that an individual holding a certificate, as provided by § 62.1-44.15:52, will be in charge of and responsible for carrying out the land-disturbing activity and (ii) may require monitoring and reports from the person responsible for carrying out the erosion and sediment control plan, to ensure compliance with the approved plan and to determine whether the measures required in the plan are effective in controlling erosion and sediment. However, any VESCP authority may waive the certificate requirement for an agreement in lieu of a plan for construction of a single-family detached residential structure. The owner shall be given notice of the inspection. When the VESCP authority or the Board determines that there is a failure to comply with the conditions of land-disturbance approval or to obtain an approved plan or a land-disturbance approval prior to commencing land-disturbing activity, the VESCP authority or the Board may serve a notice to comply upon the owner or person responsible for carrying out the land-disturbing activity. Such notice to comply shall be served by delivery by facsimile, e-mail, or other technology; by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the plan or land-disturbance application, if available, or in the land records of the locality; or by delivery at the site to a person previously identified to the VESCP authority by the owner. The notice to comply shall specify the measures needed to comply with the land-disturbance approval conditions or shall identify the plan approval or land-disturbance approval needed to comply with this article and shall specify a reasonable time within which such measures shall be completed. In any instance in which a required land-disturbance approval has not been obtained, the VESCP authority or the Board may require immediate compliance. In any other case, the VESCP authority or the Board may establish the time for compliance by taking into account the risk of damage to natural resources and other relevant factors. Notwithstanding any other provision in this subsection, a VESCP authority or the Board may count any days of noncompliance as days of violation should the VESCP authority or the Board take an enforcement action. The issuance of a notice to comply by the Board shall not be considered a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. Upon failure to comply within the time specified, any plan approval or land-disturbance approval may be revoked and the VESCP authority or the Board may pursue enforcement as provided by § 62.1-44.15:63.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, a VESCP authority is authorized to enter into agreements or contracts with districts, adjacent localities, or other public or private entities to assist with the responsibilities of this article, including but not limited to the review and determination of adequacy of erosion and sediment control plans submitted for land-disturbing activities as well as monitoring, reports, inspections, and enforcement.

C. Upon issuance of an inspection report denoting a violation of this section or § 62.1-44.15:55, in conjunction with or subsequent to a notice to comply as specified in subsection A, a VESCP authority or the Board may issue a stop work order requiring that all or part of the land-disturbing activities on the site be stopped until the specified corrective measures have been taken or, if land-disturbing activities have commenced without an approved plan as provided in § 62.1-44.15:55, requiring that all of the land-disturbing activities be stopped until an approved plan is obtained. When such an order is issued by the Board, it shall be issued in accordance with the procedures of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). Where the alleged noncompliance is causing or is in imminent danger of causing harmful erosion of lands or sediment deposition in waters within the watersheds of the Commonwealth, or where the land-disturbing activities have commenced without an approved erosion and sediment control plan, such a stop work order may be issued whether or not the alleged violator has been issued a notice to comply as specified in subsection A. Otherwise, such an order may be issued only after the alleged violator has failed to comply with a notice to comply. The order for noncompliance with a plan shall be served in the same manner as a notice to comply, and shall remain in effect for seven days from the date of service pending application by the VESCP authority, the Board, or alleged violator for appropriate relief to the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court. The stop work order for disturbance without an approved plan shall be served upon the owner by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the land records of the locality, shall be posted on the site where the disturbance is occurring, and shall remain in effect until such time as plan approvals are secured, except in such situations where an agricultural exemption applies. If the alleged violator has not obtained an approved erosion and sediment control plan within seven days from the date of service of the stop work order, the Board or the chief administrative officer or his designee on behalf of the VESCP authority may issue a subsequent order to the owner requiring that all construction and other work on the site, other than corrective measures, be stopped until an approved erosion and sediment control plan has been obtained. The subsequent order shall be served upon the owner by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the plan or the land records of the locality in which the site is located. The owner may appeal the issuance of any order to the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey an order issued by the Board or the chief administrative officer or his designee on behalf of the VESCP authority may be compelled in a proceeding instituted in the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court to obey same and to comply therewith by injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy. Upon completion and approval of corrective action or obtaining an approved plan, the order shall immediately be lifted. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Board or the chief administrative officer or his designee on behalf of the VESCP authority from taking any other action specified in § 62.1-44.15:63.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.8; 1986, c. 328; 1988, cc. 694, 891, § 10.1-566; 1992, c. 298; 1993, c. 925; 2001, c. 490; 2003, c. 827; 2012, cc. 249, 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

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

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

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

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

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

2018, c. 297.

§ 62.1-44.15:59. Reporting.

Each VESCP authority shall report to the Department, in a method such as an online reporting system and on a time schedule established by the Department, a listing of each land-disturbing activity for which a plan has been approved by the VESCP under this article.

2005, c. 102, § 10.1-566.1; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:60. (For contingent expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Right of entry.

The Department, the VESCP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, or any duly authorized agent of the Department or such VESCP authority may, at reasonable times and under reasonable circumstances, enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of obtaining information or conducting surveys or investigations necessary in the enforcement of the provisions of this article.

In accordance with a performance bond with surety, cash escrow, letter of credit, any combination thereof, or such other legal arrangement, a VESCP authority may also enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of initiating or maintaining appropriate actions that are required by the permit conditions associated with a land-disturbing activity when a permittee, after proper notice, has failed to take acceptable action within the time specified.

2012, cc. 785, 819, § 10.1-566.2; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:60. (For contingent effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Right of entry.

In addition to the Board's authority set forth in § 62.1-44.20, a locality serving as a VESCP authority or any duly authorized agent thereof may, at reasonable times and under reasonable circumstances, enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of obtaining information or conducting surveys or investigations necessary in the enforcement of the provisions of this article.

In accordance with a performance bond with surety, cash escrow, letter of credit, any combination thereof, or such other legal arrangement, a VESCP authority may also enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of initiating or maintaining appropriate actions that are required by the conditions imposed by the VESCP authority on a land-disturbing activity when an owner, after proper notice, has failed to take acceptable action within the time specified.

2012, cc. 785, 819, § 10.1-566.2; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:61. (For repeal date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Cooperation with federal and state agencies.

A VESCP authority and the Board are authorized to cooperate and enter into agreements with any federal or state agency in connection with the requirements for erosion and sediment control with respect to land-disturbing activities.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.9; 1988, c. 891, § 10.1-567; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:62. Judicial appeals.

A. A final decision by a county, city, or town, when serving as a VESCP authority under this article, shall be subject to judicial review, provided that an appeal is filed within 30 days from the date of any written decision adversely affecting the rights, duties, or privileges of the person engaging in or proposing to engage in land-disturbing activities.

B. (For expiration date -- see notes) Final decisions of the Board, Department, or district shall be subject to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

B. (For effective date -- see notes) Final decisions of the Board shall be subject to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.10; 1986, c. 615; 1988, c. 891, § 10.1-568; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:63. (For expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Penalties, injunctions and other legal actions.

A. Violators of § 62.1-44.15:55, 62.1-44.15:56, or 62.1-44.15:58 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the Department or VESCP authority, any condition of a permit, or any provision of this article or associated regulation shall, upon a finding of an appropriate court, be assessed a civil penalty. If a locality or district serving as a VESCP authority has adopted a uniform schedule of civil penalties as permitted by subsection K of § 62.1-44.15:54, such assessment shall be in accordance with the schedule. The VESCP authority or the Department may issue a summons for collection of the civil penalty. In any trial for a scheduled violation, it shall be the burden of the locality or Department to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. An admission or finding of liability shall not be a criminal conviction for any purpose. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies, except that where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or where the Department is issuing the summons, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury.

C. The VESCP authority, the Department, or the owner of property that has sustained damage or which is in imminent danger of being damaged may apply to the circuit court in any jurisdiction wherein the land lies or other appropriate court to enjoin a violation or a threatened violation under § 62.1-44.15:55, 62.1-44.15:56, or 62.1-44.15:58 without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist; however, an owner of property shall not apply for injunctive relief unless (i) he has notified in writing the person who has violated the VESCP, the Department, and the VESCP authority that a violation of the VESCP has caused, or creates a probability of causing, damage to his property, and (ii) neither the person who has violated the VESCP, the Department, nor the VESCP authority has taken corrective action within 15 days to eliminate the conditions that have caused, or create the probability of causing, damage to his property.

D. In addition to any criminal or civil penalties provided under this article, any person who violates any provision of this article may be liable to the VESCP authority or the Department, as appropriate, in a civil action for damages.

E. Without limiting the remedies that may be obtained in this section, any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to this section shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. A civil action for such violation or failure may be brought by the VESCP authority wherein the land lies or the Department. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies, except that where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or other VESCP authority, or where the penalties are assessed as the result of an enforcement action brought by the Department, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury.

F. With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the Department or VESCP authority, any condition of a permit, or any provision of this article or associated regulations, the Board, the Director, or VESCP authority may provide, in an order issued by the Board or VESCP authority against such person, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in subsection E. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under subsection B or E.

G. Upon request of a VESCP authority, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall take legal action to enforce the provisions of this article. Upon request of the Board, the Department, or the district, the Attorney General shall take appropriate legal action on behalf of the Board, the Department, or the district to enforce the provisions of this article.

H. Compliance with the provisions of this article shall be prima facie evidence in any legal or equitable proceeding for damages caused by erosion or sedimentation that all requirements of law have been met and the complaining party must show negligence in order to recover any damages.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.11; 1988, cc. 694, 891, § 10.1-569; 1992, c. 298; 1993, c. 925; 1995, c. 832; 1996, c. 518; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:63. (For effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Penalties, injunctions and other legal actions.

A. Any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the VESCP authority, any condition of a land-disturbance approval, or any provision of this article or associated regulation shall, upon a finding of an appropriate court, be assessed a civil penalty. If a locality serving as a VESCP authority has adopted a uniform schedule of civil penalties as permitted by subsection G of § 62.1-44.15:54, such assessment shall be in accordance with the schedule. The VESCP authority or the Board may issue a summons for collection of the civil penalty. In any trial for a scheduled violation, it shall be the burden of the Board or the VESCP authority to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies and are to be used solely for stormwater management capital projects, including (i) new stormwater best management practices; (ii) stormwater best management practice maintenance, inspection, or retrofitting; (iii) stream restoration; (iv) low-impact development projects; (v) buffer restoration; (vi) pond retrofitting; and (vii) wetlands restoration. Where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or where the Board is issuing the summons, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29.1.

B. The VESCP authority, the Board, or the owner of property that has sustained damage or which is in imminent danger of being damaged may apply to the circuit court in any jurisdiction wherein the land lies or other appropriate court to enjoin a violation or a threatened violation under § 62.1-44.15:55 or 62.1-44.15:58 without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist; however, an owner of property shall not apply for injunctive relief unless (i) he has notified in writing the person who has violated the VESCP, the Board, and the VESCP authority that a violation of the VESCP has caused, or creates a probability of causing, damage to his property, and (ii) neither the person who has violated the VESCP, the Board, nor the VESCP authority has taken corrective action within 15 days to eliminate the conditions that have caused, or create the probability of causing, damage to his property.

C. In addition to any civil penalties provided under this article, any person who violates any provision of this article may be liable to the VESCP authority or the Board, as appropriate, in a civil action for damages.

D. Without limiting the remedies that may be obtained in this section, any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to this section shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. A civil action for such violation or failure may be brought by the VESCP authority wherein the land lies or the Board. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies and used pursuant to requirements of subsection A. Where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or where the penalties are assessed as the result of an enforcement action brought by the Board, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (§ 62.1-44.15:29.1).

E. With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the VESCP authority, any condition of a land-disturbance approval, or any provision of this article or associated regulations, the Board, the Director, or VESCP authority may provide, in an order issued by the Board or VESCP authority against such person, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in subsection D. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under subsection A or D.

F. Upon request of a VESCP authority, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall take legal action to enforce the provisions of this article. Upon request of the Board, the Attorney General shall take appropriate legal action on behalf of the Board to enforce the provisions of this article.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.11; 1988, cc. 694, 891, § 10.1-569; 1992, c. 298; 1993, c. 925; 1995, c. 832; 1996, c. 518; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:64. (For expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Stop work orders by Department; civil penalties.

A. An aggrieved owner of property sustaining pecuniary damage resulting from a violation of an approved erosion and sediment control plan or required permit, or from the conduct of land-disturbing activities commenced without an approved plan or required permit, may give written notice of the alleged violation to the VESCP authority and to the Director.

B. Upon receipt of the notice from the aggrieved owner and notification to the VESCP authority, the Director shall conduct an investigation of the aggrieved owner's complaint.

C. If the VESCP authority has not responded to the alleged violation in a manner that causes the violation to cease and abates the damage to the aggrieved owner's property within 30 days following receipt of the notice from the aggrieved owner, the aggrieved owner may request that the Director require the violator to stop the violation and abate the damage to his property.

D. If (i) the Director's investigation of the complaint indicates that the VESCP authority has not responded to the alleged violation as required by the VESCP, (ii) the VESCP authority has not responded to the alleged violation within 30 days from the date of the notice given pursuant to subsection A, and (iii) the Director is requested by the aggrieved owner to require the violator to cease the violation, then the Director shall give written notice to the VESCP authority that the Department intends to issue an order pursuant to subsection E.

E. If the VESCP authority has not instituted action to stop the violation and abate the damage to the aggrieved owner's property within 10 days following receipt of the notice from the Director, the Department is authorized to issue an order requiring the owner, permittee, person responsible for carrying out an approved erosion and sediment control plan, or person conducting the land-disturbing activities without an approved plan or required permit to cease all land-disturbing activities until the violation of the plan or permit has ceased or an approved plan and required permits are obtained, as appropriate, and specified corrective measures have been completed. The Department also may immediately initiate a program review of the VESCP.

F. Such orders are to be issued after a hearing held in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), and they shall become effective upon service on the person by mailing with confirmation of delivery, sent to his address specified in the land records of the locality, or by personal delivery by an agent of the Director. Any subsequent identical mail or notice that is sent by the Department may be sent by regular mail. However, if the Department finds that any such violation is grossly affecting or presents an imminent and substantial danger of causing harmful erosion of lands or sediment deposition in waters within the watersheds of the Commonwealth, it may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency order directing such person to cease all land-disturbing activities on the site immediately and shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof, to such person, to affirm, modify, amend, or cancel such emergency order.

G. If a person who has been issued an order or emergency order is not complying with the terms thereof, the Board may institute a proceeding in the appropriate circuit court for an injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy compelling the person to comply with such order.

H. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to subsection G shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the state treasury.

1993, c. 925, § 10.1-569.1; 2012, cc. 785, 819.2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:64. (For effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Stop work orders by Board; civil penalties.

A. An aggrieved owner of property sustaining pecuniary damage resulting from a violation of an approved erosion and sediment control plan or required land-disturbance approval, or from the conduct of land-disturbing activities commenced without an approved plan or required land-disturbance approval, may give written notice of the alleged violation to the VESCP authority and to the Board.

B. If the VESCP authority has not responded to the alleged violation in a manner that causes the violation to cease and abates the damage to the aggrieved owner's property within 30 days following receipt of the notice from the aggrieved owner, the aggrieved owner may request that the Board conduct an investigation and, if necessary, require the violator to stop the alleged violation and abate the damage to his property.

C. If the Board's investigation of the complaint indicates that (i) the VESCP authority has not responded to the alleged violation as required by the VESCP, (ii) the VESCP authority has not responded to the alleged violation within 30 days from the date of the notice given pursuant to subsection A, and (iii) there is a violation and it is necessary to require the violator to cease the violation as requested by the aggrieved owner, then the Board shall give written notice to the VESCP authority that the Board intends to issue an order pursuant to subsection D.

D. If the VESCP authority has not instituted action to stop the violation and abate the damage to the aggrieved owner's property within 10 days following receipt of the notice from the Board, the Board is authorized to issue an order requiring the owner, person responsible for carrying out an approved erosion and sediment control plan, or person conducting the land-disturbing activities without an approved plan or required land-disturbance approval to cease all land-disturbing activities until the violation of the plan has ceased or an approved plan and required land-disturbance approval are obtained, as appropriate, and specified corrective measures have been completed. The Board also may immediately initiate a program review of the VESCP.

E. Such orders are to be issued in accordance with the procedures of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), and they shall become effective upon service on the person by mailing with confirmation of delivery, sent to his address specified in the land records of the locality, or by personal delivery by an agent of the Board. Any subsequent identical mail or notice that is sent by the Board may be sent by regular mail. However, if the Board finds that any such violation is grossly affecting or presents an imminent and substantial danger of causing harmful erosion of lands or sediment deposition in waters within the watersheds of the Commonwealth, it may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency order directing such person to cease all land-disturbing activities on the site immediately and shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof, to such person, to affirm, modify, amend, or cancel such emergency order.

F. If a person who has been issued an order or emergency order is not complying with the terms thereof, the Board may institute a proceeding in the appropriate circuit court for an injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy compelling the person to comply with such order.

G. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to subsection G shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (§ 62.1-44.15:29.1).

1993, c. 925, § 10.1-569.1; 2012, cc. 785, 819.2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:65. (For expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Authorization for more stringent regulations.

A. As part of a VESCP, a district or locality is authorized to adopt more stringent soil erosion and sediment control regulations or ordinances than those necessary to ensure compliance with the Board's regulations, provided that the more stringent regulations or ordinances are based upon factual findings of local or regional comprehensive watershed management studies or findings developed through the implementation of an MS4 permit or a locally adopted watershed management study and are determined by the district or locality to be necessary to prevent any further degradation to water resources, to address total maximum daily load requirements, to protect exceptional state waters, or to address specific existing water pollution including nutrient and sediment loadings, stream channel erosion, depleted groundwater resources, or excessive localized flooding within the watershed and that prior to adopting more stringent regulations or ordinances, a public hearing is held after giving due notice. The VESCP authority shall report to the Board when more stringent stormwater management regulations or ordinances are determined to be necessary pursuant to this section. However, this section shall not be construed to authorize any district or locality to impose any more stringent regulations for plan approval or permit issuance than those specified in §§ 62.1-44.15:55 and 62.1-44.15:57.

B. Any provisions of an erosion and sediment control program in existence before July 1, 2012, that contains more stringent provisions than this article shall be exempt from the analysis requirements of subsection A.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.12; 1988, c. 891, § 10.1-570; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:65. (For effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Authorization for more stringent ordinances.

A. As part of a VESCP, a locality is authorized to adopt more stringent soil erosion and sediment control ordinances than those necessary to ensure compliance with the Board's regulations, provided that the more stringent ordinances are based upon factual findings of local or regional comprehensive watershed management studies or findings developed through the implementation of a locally adopted watershed management study and are determined by the locality to be necessary to prevent any further degradation to water resources, to address total maximum daily load requirements, to protect exceptional state waters, or to address specific existing water pollution including nutrient and sediment loadings, stream channel erosion, depleted groundwater resources, or excessive localized flooding within the watershed and that prior to adopting more stringent ordinances, a public hearing is held after giving due notice. The VESCP authority shall report to the Board when more stringent erosion and sediment control ordinances are determined to be necessary pursuant to this section. This process shall not be required when a VESCP authority chooses to reduce the threshold for regulating land-disturbing activities to a smaller area of disturbed land pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:55. This section shall not be construed to authorize any VESCP authority to impose any more stringent ordinances for land-disturbance review and approval than those specified in § 62.1-44.15:55.

B. Any provisions of an erosion and sediment control program in existence before July 1, 2012, that contains more stringent provisions than this article shall be exempt from the analysis requirements of subsection A.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.12; 1988, c. 891, § 10.1-570; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

§ 62.1-44.15:66. No limitation on authority of Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

The provisions of this article shall not limit the powers or duties of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy as they relate to strip mine reclamation under Chapters 16 (§ 45.1-180 et seq.) and 19 (§ 45.1-226 et seq.) of Title 45.1 or oil or gas exploration under the Virginia Gas and Oil Act (§ 45.1-361.1 et seq.).

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.13; 1988, c. 891, § 10.1-571; 1996, c. 688; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 47, 129, 756, 793.