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. Control Board Generally.

§ 62.1-44.7. Board continued.

The State Water Control Board established in the Executive Department of the Commonwealth, is continued.

Code 1950, § 62.1-19; 1968, c. 659; 1970, c. 638.

§ 62.1-44.8. Number, appointment and terms of members.

The Board shall consist of seven members appointed by the Governor subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. Members shall be appointed for the terms of four years each. Vacancies other than by expiration of a term shall be filled by the Governor by appointment for the unexpired term.

Code 1950, § 62.1-20; 1968, c. 659; 1970, c. 638; 2008, cc. 276, 557.

§ 62.1-44.9. Qualifications of members.

A. Members of the Board shall be citizens of the Commonwealth; shall be selected from the Commonwealth at large for merit without regard to political affiliation; and shall, by character and reputation, reasonably be expected to inspire the highest degree of cooperation and confidence in the work of the Board. Members shall, by their education, training, or experience, be knowledgeable of water quality control and regulation and shall be fairly representative of conservation, public health, business, land development, and agriculture. In making appointments, the Governor shall endeavor to ensure balanced geographical representation. No person shall become a member of the Board who receives, or during the previous two years has received, a significant portion of his income directly or indirectly from certificate or permit holders or applicants for a certificate or permit.

For the purposes of this section, "significant portion of income" means 10 percent or more of gross personal income for a calendar year, except that it means 50 percent or more of gross personal income for a calendar year if the recipient is over 60 years of age and is receiving that portion under retirement, pension, or similar arrangement. Income includes retirement benefits, consultant fees, and stock dividends. Income is not received directly or indirectly from certificate or permit holders or applicants for certificates or permits when it is derived from mutual fund payments, or from other diversified investments for which the recipient does not know the identity of the primary sources of income.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section relating to Board membership, the qualifications for Board membership shall not be more strict than those that are required by federal statute or regulations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Code 1950, § 62.1-21; 1968, c. 659; 1970, c. 638; 1994, c. 461; 2008, cc. 276, 557; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2014, c. 150.

§ 62.1-44.10. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1980, c. 728.

§ 62.1-44.11. Meetings.

The Board shall meet at least four times a year, and other meetings may be held at any time or place determined by the Board or upon call of the chairman or upon written request of any two members. All members shall be duly notified of the time and place of any regular or other meeting at least five days in advance of such meeting.

Code 1950, § 62.1-23; 1968, c. 659; 1970, c. 638.

§ 62.1-44.12. Records of proceedings; special orders, standards, policies, rules and regulations.

The Board shall keep a complete and accurate record of the proceedings at all its meetings, a copy of which shall be kept on file in the office of the Executive Director and open to public inspection. Any standards, policies, rules or regulations adopted by the Board to have general effect in part or all of the Commonwealth shall be filed in accordance with the Virginia Register Act (§ 2.2-4100 et seq.). The owner to whom any special order is issued under the provisions of § 62.1-44.15 shall be notified by certified mail sent to the last known address of such owner and the time limits specified shall be counted from the date of mailing.

Code 1950, § 62.1-24; 1968, c. 659; 1970, c. 638; 1977, c. 32; 1981, c. 620.

§ 62.1-44.13. Inspections and investigations, etc.

The Board shall make such inspections, conduct such investigations and do such other things as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, within the limits of appropriation, funds, or personnel which are, or become, available from any source for this purpose.

Code 1950, § 62.1-25; 1968, c. 659; 1970, c. 638.

§ 62.1-44.14. Chairman; Executive Director; employment of personnel; supervision; budget preparation.

The Board shall elect its chairman, and the Executive Director shall be appointed as set forth in § 2.2-106. The Executive Director shall serve as executive officer and devote his whole time to the performance of his duties, and he shall have such administrative powers as are conferred upon him by the Board; and, further, the Board may delegate to its Executive Director any of the powers and duties invested in it by this chapter except the adoption and promulgation of standards, rules and regulations; and the revocation of certificates. The Executive Director is authorized to issue, modify or revoke orders in cases of emergency as described in §§ 62.1-44.15 (8b) and 62.1-44.34:20 of this chapter. The Executive Director is further authorized to employ such consultants and full-time technical and clerical workers as are necessary and within the available funds to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

It shall be the duty of the Executive Director to exercise general supervision and control over the quality and management of all state waters and to administer and enforce this chapter, and all certificates, standards, policies, rules, regulations, rulings and special orders promulgated by the Board. The Executive Director shall prepare, approve, and submit all requests for appropriations and be responsible for all expenditures pursuant to appropriations. The Executive Director shall be vested with all the authority of the Board when it is not in session, except for the Board's authority to consider permits pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:02 and to issue special orders pursuant to subdivisions (8a) and (8b) of § 62.1-44.15 and subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by the Board. In no event shall the Executive Director have the authority to adopt or promulgate any regulation.

Code 1950, § 62.1-26; 1968, c. 659; 1970, c. 638; 1981, c. 620; 1984, c. 444; 1985, c. 397; 1992, c. 456; 2005, c. 706; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15. (For expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Powers and duties; civil penalties.

It shall be the duty of the Board and it shall have the authority:

(1) [Repealed.]

(2) To study and investigate all problems concerned with the quality of state waters and to make reports and recommendations.

(2a) To study and investigate methods, procedures, devices, appliances, and technologies that could assist in water conservation or water consumption reduction.

(2b) To coordinate its efforts toward water conservation with other persons or groups, within or without the Commonwealth.

(2c) To make reports concerning, and formulate recommendations based upon, any such water conservation studies to ensure that present and future water needs of the citizens of the Commonwealth are met.

(3a) To establish such standards of quality and policies for any state waters consistent with the general policy set forth in this chapter, and to modify, amend or cancel any such standards or policies established and to take all appropriate steps to prevent quality alteration contrary to the public interest or to standards or policies thus established, except that a description of provisions of any proposed standard or policy adopted by regulation which are more restrictive than applicable federal requirements, together with the reason why the more restrictive provisions are needed, shall be provided to the standing committee of each house of the General Assembly to which matters relating to the content of the standard or policy are most properly referable. The Board shall, from time to time, but at least once every three years, hold public hearings pursuant to § 2.2-4007.01 but, upon the request of an affected person or upon its own motion, hold hearings pursuant to § 2.2-4009, for the purpose of reviewing the standards of quality, and, as appropriate, adopting, modifying, or canceling such standards. Whenever the Board considers the adoption, modification, amendment or cancellation of any standard, it shall give due consideration to, among other factors, the economic and social costs and benefits which can reasonably be expected to obtain as a consequence of the standards as adopted, modified, amended or cancelled. The Board shall also give due consideration to the public health standards issued by the Virginia Department of Health with respect to issues of public health policy and protection. If the Board does not follow the public health standards of the Virginia Department of Health, the Board's reason for any deviation shall be made in writing and published for any and all concerned parties.

(3b) Except as provided in subdivision (3a), such standards and policies are to be adopted or modified, amended or cancelled in the manner provided by the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

(4) To conduct or have conducted scientific experiments, investigations, studies, and research to discover methods for maintaining water quality consistent with the purposes of this chapter. To this end the Board may cooperate with any public or private agency in the conduct of such experiments, investigations and research and may receive in behalf of the Commonwealth any moneys that any such agency may contribute as its share of the cost under any such cooperative agreement. Such moneys shall be used only for the purposes for which they are contributed and any balance remaining after the conclusion of the experiments, investigations, studies, and research, shall be returned to the contributors.

(5) To issue, revoke or amend certificates under prescribed conditions for: (a) the discharge of sewage, industrial wastes and other wastes into or adjacent to state waters; (b) the alteration otherwise of the physical, chemical or biological properties of state waters; (c) excavation in a wetland; or (d) on and after October 1, 2001, the conduct of the following activities in a wetland: (i) new activities to cause draining that significantly alters or degrades existing wetland acreage or functions, (ii) filling or dumping, (iii) permanent flooding or impounding, or (iv) new activities that cause significant alteration or degradation of existing wetland acreage or functions. However, to the extent allowed by federal law, any person holding a certificate issued by the Board that is intending to upgrade the permitted facility by installing technology, control equipment, or other apparatus that the permittee demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Director will result in improved energy efficiency, reduction in the amount of nutrients discharged, and improved water quality shall not be required to obtain a new, modified, or amended permit. The permit holder shall provide the demonstration anticipated by this subdivision to the Department no later than 30 days prior to commencing construction.

(5a) All certificates issued by the Board under this chapter shall have fixed terms. The term of a Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit shall not exceed five years. The term of a Virginia Water Protection Permit shall be based upon the projected duration of the project, the length of any required monitoring, or other project operations or permit conditions; however, the term shall not exceed 15 years. The term of a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit shall not exceed 10 years, except that the term of a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit for confined animal feeding operations shall be 10 years. The Department of Environmental Quality shall inspect all facilities for which a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit has been issued to ensure compliance with statutory, regulatory, and permit requirements. Department personnel performing inspections of confined animal feeding operations shall be certified under the voluntary nutrient management training and certification program established in § 10.1-104.2. The term of a certificate issued by the Board shall not be extended by modification beyond the maximum duration and the certificate shall expire at the end of the term unless an application for a new permit has been timely filed as required by the regulations of the Board and the Board is unable, through no fault of the permittee, to issue a new permit before the expiration date of the previous permit.

(5b) Any certificate issued by the Board under this chapter may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, be amended or revoked on any of the following grounds or for good cause as may be provided by the regulations of the Board:

1. The owner has violated any regulation or order of the Board, any condition of a certificate, any provision of this chapter, or any order of a court, where such violation results in a release of harmful substances into the environment or poses a substantial threat of release of harmful substances into the environment or presents a hazard to human health or the violation is representative of a pattern of serious or repeated violations which, in the opinion of the Board, demonstrates the owner's disregard for or inability to comply with applicable laws, regulations, or requirements;

2. The owner has failed to disclose fully all relevant material facts or has misrepresented a material fact in applying for a certificate, or in any other report or document required under this law or under the regulations of the Board;

3. The activity for which the certificate was issued endangers human health or the environment and can be regulated to acceptable levels by amendment or revocation of the certificate; or

4. There exists a material change in the basis on which the permit was issued that requires either a temporary or a permanent reduction or elimination of any discharge controlled by the certificate necessary to protect human health or the environment.

(5c) Any certificate issued by the Board under this chapter relating to dredging projects governed under Chapter 12 (§ 28.2-1200 et seq.) or Chapter 13 (§ 28.2-1300 et seq.) of Title 28.2 may be conditioned upon a demonstration of financial responsibility for the completion of compensatory mitigation requirements. Financial responsibility may be demonstrated by a letter of credit, a certificate of deposit or a performance bond executed in a form approved by the Board. If the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requires demonstration of financial responsibility for the completion of compensatory mitigation required for a particular project, then the mechanism and amount approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shall be used to meet this requirement.

(6) To make investigations and inspections, to ensure compliance with any certificates, standards, policies, rules, regulations, rulings and special orders which it may adopt, issue or establish and to furnish advice, recommendations, or instructions for the purpose of obtaining such compliance. In recognition of §§ 32.1-164 and 62.1-44.18, the Board and the State Department of Health shall enter into a memorandum of understanding establishing a common format to consolidate and simplify inspections of sewage treatment plants and coordinate the scheduling of the inspections. The new format shall ensure that all sewage treatment plants are inspected at appropriate intervals in order to protect water quality and public health and at the same time avoid any unnecessary administrative burden on those being inspected.

(7) To adopt rules governing the procedure of the Board with respect to: (a) hearings; (b) the filing of reports; (c) the issuance of certificates and special orders; and (d) all other matters relating to procedure; and to amend or cancel any rule adopted. Public notice of every rule adopted under this section shall be by such means as the Board may prescribe.

(8a) Except as otherwise provided in Articles 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) and 2.5 (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), to issue special orders to owners who (i) are permitting or causing the pollution, as defined by § 62.1-44.3, of state waters to cease and desist from such pollution, (ii) have failed to construct facilities in accordance with final approved plans and specifications to construct such facilities in accordance with final approved plans and specifications, (iii) have violated the terms and provisions of a certificate issued by the Board to comply with such terms and provisions, (iv) have failed to comply with a directive from the Board to comply with such directive, (v) have contravened duly adopted and promulgated water quality standards and policies to cease and desist from such contravention and to comply with such water quality standards and policies, (vi) have violated the terms and provisions of a pretreatment permit issued by the Board or by the owner of a publicly owned treatment works to comply with such terms and provisions or (vii) have contravened any applicable pretreatment standard or requirement to comply with such standard or requirement; and also to issue such orders to require any owner to comply with the provisions of this chapter and any decision of the Board. Except as otherwise provided by a separate article, orders issued pursuant to this subdivision may include civil penalties of up to $32,500 per violation, not to exceed $100,000 per order. The Board may assess penalties under this subdivision if (a) the person has been issued at least two written notices of alleged violation by the Department for the same or substantially related violations at the same site, (b) such violations have not been resolved by demonstration that there was no violation, by an order issued by the Board or the Director, or by other means, (c) at least 130 days have passed since the issuance of the first notice of alleged violation, and (d) there is a finding that such violations have occurred after a hearing conducted in accordance with subdivision (8b). The actual amount of any penalty assessed shall be based upon the severity of the violations, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the facility or person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty. The Board shall provide the person with the calculation for the proposed penalty prior to any hearing conducted for the issuance of an order that assesses penalties pursuant to this subdivision. The issuance of a notice of alleged violation by the Department shall not be considered a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. Any notice of alleged violation shall include a description of each violation, the specific provision of law violated, and information on the process for obtaining a final decision or fact finding from the Department on whether or not a violation has occurred, and nothing in this section shall preclude an owner from seeking such a determination. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.), except that civil penalties assessed for violations of Article 9 (§ 62.1-44.34:8 et seq.) or Article 11 (§ 62.1-44.34:14 et seq.) shall be paid into the Virginia Petroleum Storage Tank Fund in accordance with § 62.1-44.34:11, and except that civil penalties assessed for violations of Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of § 62.1-44.15:48.

(8b) Such special orders are to be issued only after a hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the Supreme Court in accordance with § 2.2-4020 or, if requested by the person, before a quorum of the Board with at least 30 days' notice to the affected owners, of the time, place and purpose thereof, and they shall become effective not less than 15 days after service as provided in § 62.1-44.12; provided that if the Board finds that any such owner is grossly affecting or presents an imminent and substantial danger to (i) the public health, safety or welfare, or the health of animals, fish or aquatic life; (ii) a public water supply; or (iii) recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural or other reasonable uses, it may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency special order directing the owner to cease such pollution or discharge immediately, and shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof to the owner, to affirm, modify, amend or cancel such emergency special order. If an owner who has been issued such a special order or an emergency special order is not complying with the terms thereof, the Board may proceed in accordance with § 62.1-44.23, and where the order is based on a finding of an imminent and substantial danger, the court shall issue an injunction compelling compliance with the emergency special order pending a hearing by the Board. If an emergency special order requires cessation of a discharge, the Board shall provide an opportunity for a hearing within 48 hours of the issuance of the injunction.

(8c) The provisions of this section notwithstanding, the Board may proceed directly under § 62.1-44.32 for any past violation or violations of any provision of this chapter or any regulation duly promulgated hereunder.

(8d) With the consent of any owner who has violated or failed, neglected or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any condition of a permit or any provision of this chapter, the Board may provide, in an order issued by the Board against such person, for the payment of civil charges for past violations in specific sums not to exceed the limit specified in § 62.1-44.32 (a). Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty which could be imposed under § 62.1-44.32 (a) and shall not be subject to the provisions of § 2.2-514. Such civil charges shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.), excluding civil charges assessed for violations of Article 9 (§ 62.1-44.34:8 et seq.) or 10 (§ 62.1-44.34:10 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1, or a regulation, administrative or judicial order, or term or condition of approval relating to or issued under those articles, or civil charges assessed for violations of Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.), or a regulation, administrative or judicial order, or term or condition of approval relating to or issued under that article.

The amendments to this section adopted by the 1976 Session of the General Assembly shall not be construed as limiting or expanding any cause of action or any other remedy possessed by the Board prior to the effective date of said amendments.

(8e) The Board shall develop and provide an opportunity for public comment on guidelines and procedures that contain specific criteria for calculating the appropriate penalty for each violation based upon the severity of the violations, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the facility or person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty.

(8f) Before issuing a special order under subdivision (8a) or by consent under (8d), with or without an assessment of a civil penalty, to an owner of a sewerage system requiring corrective action to prevent or minimize overflows of sewage from such system, the Board shall provide public notice of and reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed order. Any such order under subdivision (8d) may impose civil penalties in amounts up to the maximum amount authorized in § 309(g) of the Clean Water Act. Any person who comments on the proposed order shall be given notice of any hearing to be held on the terms of the order. In any hearing held, such person shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to present evidence. If no hearing is held before issuance of an order under subdivision (8d), any person who commented on the proposed order may file a petition, within 30 days after the issuance of such order, requesting the Board to set aside such order and provide a formal hearing thereon. If the evidence presented by the petitioner in support of the petition is material and was not considered in the issuance of the order, the Board shall immediately set aside the order, provide a formal hearing, and make such petitioner a party. If the Board denies the petition, the Board shall provide notice to the petitioner and make available to the public the reasons for such denial, and the petitioner shall have the right to judicial review of such decision under § 62.1-44.29 if he meets the requirements thereof.

(8g) To issue special orders for violations of this chapter to persons constructing or operating any natural gas transmission pipeline greater than 36 inches inside diameter. An order issued pursuant to this subdivision may include a civil penalty of up to $50,000 per violation, not to exceed $500,000 per order. The Board may assess a penalty under this subdivision if (i) the person has been issued at least two written notices of alleged violation by the Department for violations involving the same pipeline; (ii) such violations have not been resolved by a demonstration that there was no violation, by an order issued by the Board or the Director, including an order pursuant to subdivision (8d), or by other means; and (iii) there is a finding that such violation occurred after a hearing was conducted (a) before a hearing officer appointed by the Supreme Court, (b) in accordance with § 2.2-4020, and (c) with at least 30 days' notice to such person of the time, place, and purpose thereof. Such order shall become effective not less than 15 days after service as provided in § 62.1-44.12. The actual amount of any penalty assessed shall be based upon the severity of the violation, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty. The Board shall provide the person with the calculation for the proposed penalty prior to any hearing conducted for the issuance of an order that assesses penalties pursuant to this subdivision. The issuance of a notice of alleged violation by the Department shall not be a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. Any notice of alleged violation shall include a description of each violation, the specific provision of law violated, and information on the process for obtaining a final decision or fact-finding from the Department on whether or not a violation has occurred, and nothing in this subdivision shall preclude a person from seeking such a determination. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.), except that civil penalties assessed for violations of Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) or 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund (§ 62.1-44.15:29).

(9) To make such rulings under §§ 62.1-44.16, 62.1-44.17, and 62.1-44.19 as may be required upon requests or applications to the Board, the owner or owners affected to be notified by certified mail as soon as practicable after the Board makes them and such rulings to become effective upon such notification.

(10) To adopt such regulations as it deems necessary to enforce the general water quality management program of the Board in all or part of the Commonwealth, except that a description of provisions of any proposed regulation which are more restrictive than applicable federal requirements, together with the reason why the more restrictive provisions are needed, shall be provided to the standing committee of each house of the General Assembly to which matters relating to the content of the regulation are most properly referable.

(11) To investigate any large-scale killing of fish.

(a) Whenever the Board shall determine that any owner, whether or not he shall have been issued a certificate for discharge of waste, has discharged sewage, industrial waste, or other waste into state waters in such quantity, concentration or manner that fish are killed as a result thereof, it may effect such settlement with the owner as will cover the costs incurred by the Board and by the Department of Wildlife Resources in investigating such killing of fish, plus the replacement value of the fish destroyed, or as it deems proper, and if no such settlement is reached within a reasonable time, the Board shall authorize its executive secretary to bring a civil action in the name of the Board to recover from the owner such costs and value, plus any court or other legal costs incurred in connection with such action.

(b) If the owner is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth, the action may be brought in any circuit court within the territory embraced by such political subdivision. If the owner is an establishment, as defined in this chapter, the action shall be brought in the circuit court of the city or the circuit court of the county in which such establishment is located. If the owner is an individual or group of individuals, the action shall be brought in the circuit court of the city or circuit court of the county in which such person or any of them reside.

(c) For the purposes of this subdivision 11, the State Water Control Board shall be deemed the owner of the fish killed and the proceedings shall be as though the State Water Control Board were the owner of the fish. The fact that the owner has or held a certificate issued under this chapter shall not be raised as a defense in bar to any such action.

(d) The proceeds of any recovery had under this subdivision 11 shall, when received by the Board, be applied, first, to reimburse the Board for any expenses incurred in investigating such killing of fish. The balance shall be paid to the Board of Wildlife Resources to be used for the fisheries' management practices as in its judgment will best restore or replace the fisheries' values lost as a result of such discharge of waste, including, where appropriate, replacement of the fish killed with game fish or other appropriate species. Any such funds received are hereby appropriated for that purpose.

(e) Nothing in this subdivision 11 shall be construed in any way to limit or prevent any other action which is now authorized by law by the Board against any owner.

(f) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the provisions of this subdivision 11 shall not apply to any owner who adds or applies any chemicals or other substances that are recommended or approved by the State Department of Health to state waters in the course of processing or treating such waters for public water supply purposes, except where negligence is shown.

(12) To administer programs of financial assistance for planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of water quality control facilities for political subdivisions in the Commonwealth.

(13) To establish policies and programs for effective area-wide or basin-wide water quality control and management. The Board may develop comprehensive pollution abatement and water quality control plans on an area-wide or basin-wide basis. In conjunction with this, the Board, when considering proposals for waste treatment facilities, is to consider the feasibility of combined or joint treatment facilities and is to ensure that the approval of waste treatment facilities is in accordance with the water quality management and pollution control plan in the watershed or basin as a whole. In making such determinations, the Board is to seek the advice of local, regional, or state planning authorities.

(14) To establish requirements for the treatment of sewage, industrial wastes and other wastes that are consistent with the purposes of this chapter; however, no treatment shall be less than secondary or its equivalent, unless the owner can demonstrate that a lesser degree of treatment is consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

(15) To promote and establish requirements for the reclamation and reuse of wastewater that are protective of state waters and public health as an alternative to directly discharging pollutants into waters of the state. The requirements shall address various potential categories of reuse and may include general permits and provide for greater flexibility and less stringent requirements commensurate with the quality of the reclaimed water and its intended use. The requirements shall be developed in consultation with the Department of Health and other appropriate state agencies. This authority shall not be construed as conferring upon the Board any power or duty duplicative of those of the State Board of Health.

(16) To establish and implement policies and programs to protect and enhance the Commonwealth's wetland resources. Regulatory programs shall be designed to achieve no net loss of existing wetland acreage and functions. Voluntary and incentive-based programs shall be developed to achieve a net resource gain in acreage and functions of wetlands. The Board shall seek and obtain advice and guidance from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in implementing these policies and programs.

(17) To establish additional procedures for obtaining a Virginia Water Protection Permit pursuant to §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22 for a proposed water withdrawal involving the transfer of water resources between major river basins within the Commonwealth that may impact water basins in another state. Such additional procedures shall not apply to any water withdrawal in existence as of July 1, 2012, except where the expansion of such withdrawal requires a permit under §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22, in which event such additional procedures may apply to the extent of the expanded withdrawal only. The applicant shall provide as part of the application (i) an analysis of alternatives to such a transfer, (ii) a comprehensive analysis of the impacts that would occur in the source and receiving basins, (iii) a description of measures to mitigate any adverse impacts that may arise, (iv) a description of how notice shall be provided to interested parties, and (v) any other requirements that the Board may adopt that are consistent with the provisions of this section and §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22 or regulations adopted thereunder. This subdivision shall not be construed as limiting or expanding the Board's authority under §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22 to issue permits and impose conditions or limitations on the permitted activity.

(18) To be the lead agency for the Commonwealth's nonpoint source pollution management program, including coordination of the nonpoint source control elements of programs developed pursuant to certain state and federal laws, including § 319 of the federal Clean Water Act and § 6217 of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. Further responsibilities include the adoption of regulations necessary to implement a nonpoint source pollution management program in the Commonwealth, the distribution of assigned funds, the identification and establishment of priorities to address nonpoint source related water quality problems, the administration of the Statewide Nonpoint Source Advisory Committee, and the development of a program for the prevention and control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff to conserve Virginia's natural resources.

Code 1950, § 62.1-27; 1968, c. 659; 1970, c. 638; 1972, c. 741; 1975, c. 335; 1976, c. 621; 1977, c. 32; 1978, c. 827; 1984, c. 11; 1985, cc. 249, 397; 1988, cc. 167, 328; 1989, c. 389; 1990, c. 717; 1991, cc. 239, 718; 1993, c. 456; 1994, c. 698; 1998, cc. 805, 863; 2000, cc. 972, 1032, 1054; 2002, cc. 49, 396; 2004, c. 431; 2005, c. 706; 2007, cc. 144, 633, 873, 916; 2011, cc. 52, 101; 2012, cc. 574, 581; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2020, cc. 449, 958.

§ 62.1-44.15. (For effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Powers and duties; civil penalties.

It shall be the duty of the Board and it shall have the authority:

(1) [Repealed.]

(2) To study and investigate all problems concerned with the quality of state waters and to make reports and recommendations.

(2a) To study and investigate methods, procedures, devices, appliances, and technologies that could assist in water conservation or water consumption reduction.

(2b) To coordinate its efforts toward water conservation with other persons or groups, within or without the Commonwealth.

(2c) To make reports concerning, and formulate recommendations based upon, any such water conservation studies to ensure that present and future water needs of the citizens of the Commonwealth are met.

(3a) To establish such standards of quality and policies for any state waters consistent with the general policy set forth in this chapter, and to modify, amend, or cancel any such standards or policies established and to take all appropriate steps to prevent quality alteration contrary to the public interest or to standards or policies thus established, except that a description of provisions of any proposed standard or policy adopted by regulation which are more restrictive than applicable federal requirements, together with the reason why the more restrictive provisions are needed, shall be provided to the standing committee of each house of the General Assembly to which matters relating to the content of the standard or policy are most properly referable. The Board shall, from time to time, but at least once every three years, hold public hearings pursuant to § 2.2-4007.01 but, upon the request of an affected person or upon its own motion, hold hearings pursuant to § 2.2-4009, for the purpose of reviewing the standards of quality, and, as appropriate, adopting, modifying, or canceling such standards. Whenever the Board considers the adoption, modification, amendment, or cancellation of any standard, it shall give due consideration to, among other factors, the economic and social costs and benefits which can reasonably be expected to obtain as a consequence of the standards as adopted, modified, amended, or cancelled. The Board shall also give due consideration to the public health standards issued by the Virginia Department of Health with respect to issues of public health policy and protection. If the Board does not follow the public health standards of the Virginia Department of Health, the Board's reason for any deviation shall be made in writing and published for any and all concerned parties.

(3b) Except as provided in subdivision (3a), such standards and policies are to be adopted or modified, amended, or cancelled in the manner provided by the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

(4) To conduct or have conducted scientific experiments, investigations, studies, and research to discover methods for maintaining water quality consistent with the purposes of this chapter. To this end the Board may cooperate with any public or private agency in the conduct of such experiments, investigations, and research and may receive in behalf of the Commonwealth any moneys that any such agency may contribute as its share of the cost under any such cooperative agreement. Such moneys shall be used only for the purposes for which they are contributed and any balance remaining after the conclusion of the experiments, investigations, studies, and research, shall be returned to the contributors.

(5) To issue, revoke, or amend certificates and land-disturbance approvals under prescribed conditions for (a) the discharge of sewage, stormwater, industrial wastes, and other wastes into or adjacent to state waters; (b) the alteration otherwise of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of state waters; (c) excavation in a wetland; or (d) on and after October 1, 2001, the conduct of the following activities in a wetland: (i) new activities to cause draining that significantly alters or degrades existing wetland acreage or functions, (ii) filling or dumping, (iii) permanent flooding or impounding, or (iv) new activities that cause significant alteration or degradation of existing wetland acreage or functions. However, to the extent allowed by federal law, any person holding a certificate issued by the Board that is intending to upgrade the permitted facility by installing technology, control equipment, or other apparatus that the permittee demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Director will result in improved energy efficiency, reduction in the amount of nutrients discharged, and improved water quality shall not be required to obtain a new, modified, or amended permit. The permit holder shall provide the demonstration anticipated by this subdivision to the Department no later than 30 days prior to commencing construction.

(5a) All certificates issued by the Board under this chapter shall have fixed terms. The term of a Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit shall not exceed five years. The term of a Virginia Water Protection Permit shall be based upon the projected duration of the project, the length of any required monitoring, or other project operations or permit conditions; however, the term shall not exceed 15 years. The term of a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit shall not exceed 10 years, except that the term of a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit for confined animal feeding operations shall be 10 years. The Department of Environmental Quality shall inspect all facilities for which a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit has been issued to ensure compliance with statutory, regulatory, and permit requirements. Department personnel performing inspections of confined animal feeding operations shall be certified under the voluntary nutrient management training and certification program established in § 10.1-104.2. The term of a certificate issued by the Board shall not be extended by modification beyond the maximum duration and the certificate shall expire at the end of the term unless an application for a new permit has been timely filed as required by the regulations of the Board and the Board is unable, through no fault of the permittee, to issue a new permit before the expiration date of the previous permit.

(5b) Any certificate or land-disturbance approval issued by the Board under this chapter may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, be amended or revoked on any of the following grounds or for good cause as may be provided by the regulations of the Board:

1. The owner has violated any regulation or order of the Board, any condition of a certificate or land-disturbance approval, any provision of this chapter, or any order of a court, where such violation results in a release of harmful substances into the environment, poses a substantial threat of release of harmful substances into the environment, causes unreasonable property degradation, or presents a hazard to human health or the violation is representative of a pattern of serious or repeated violations which, in the opinion of the Board, demonstrates the owner's disregard for or inability to comply with applicable laws, regulations, or requirements;

2. The owner has failed to disclose fully all relevant material facts or has misrepresented a material fact in applying for a certificate or land-disturbance approval, or in any other report or document required under this law or under the regulations of the Board;

3. The activity for which the certificate or land-disturbance approval was issued endangers human health or the environment or causes unreasonable property degradation and can be regulated to acceptable levels or practices by amendment or revocation of the certificate or land-disturbance approval; or

4. There exists a material change in the basis on which the certificate, land-disturbance approval, or permit was issued that requires either a temporary or a permanent reduction or elimination of any discharge or land-disturbing activity controlled by the certificate, land-disturbance approval, or permit necessary to protect human health or the environment or stop or prevent unreasonable degradation of property.

(5c) Any certificate issued by the Board under this chapter relating to dredging projects governed under Chapter 12 (§ 28.2-1200 et seq.) or Chapter 13 (§ 28.2-1300 et seq.) of Title 28.2 may be conditioned upon a demonstration of financial responsibility for the completion of compensatory mitigation requirements. Financial responsibility may be demonstrated by a letter of credit, a certificate of deposit, or a performance bond executed in a form approved by the Board. If the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requires demonstration of financial responsibility for the completion of compensatory mitigation required for a particular project, then the mechanism and amount approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shall be used to meet this requirement.

(6) To make investigations and inspections, to ensure compliance with the conditions of any certificates, land-disturbance approvals, standards, policies, rules, regulations, rulings, and orders that it may adopt, issue, or establish, and to furnish advice, recommendations, or instructions for the purpose of obtaining such compliance. In recognition of §§ 32.1-164 and 62.1-44.18, the Board and the State Department of Health shall enter into a memorandum of understanding establishing a common format to consolidate and simplify inspections of sewage treatment plants and coordinate the scheduling of the inspections. The new format shall ensure that all sewage treatment plants are inspected at appropriate intervals in order to protect water quality and public health and at the same time avoid any unnecessary administrative burden on those being inspected.

(7) To adopt rules governing the procedure of the Board with respect to (a) hearings; (b) the filing of reports; (c) the issuance of certificates and orders; and (d) all other matters relating to procedure; and to amend or cancel any rule adopted. Public notice of every rule adopted under this section shall be by such means as the Board may prescribe.

(8a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (19) and Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.), to issue special orders to owners, including owners as defined in § 62.1-44.15:24, who (i) are permitting or causing the pollution, as defined by § 62.1-44.3, of state waters or the unreasonable degradation of property to cease and desist from such pollution or degradation, (ii) have failed to construct facilities in accordance with final approved plans and specifications to construct such facilities in accordance with final approved plans and specifications, (iii) have violated the terms and provisions of a certificate or land-disturbance approval issued by the Board to comply with such terms and provisions, (iv) have failed to comply with a directive from the Board to comply with such directive, (v) have contravened duly adopted and promulgated water quality standards and policies to cease and desist from such contravention and to comply with such water quality standards and policies, (vi) have violated the terms and provisions of a pretreatment permit issued by the Board or by the owner of a publicly owned treatment works to comply with such terms and provisions, or (vii) have contravened any applicable pretreatment standard or requirement to comply with such standard or requirement; and also to issue such orders to require any owner to comply with the provisions of this chapter and any decision of the Board. Except as otherwise provided by a separate article, orders issued pursuant to this subdivision may include civil penalties of up to $ 32,500 per violation, not to exceed $ 100,000 per order. The Board may assess penalties under this subdivision if (a) the person has been issued at least two written notices of alleged violation by the Department for the same or substantially related violations at the same site, (b) such violations have not been resolved by demonstration that there was no violation, by an order issued by the Board or the Director, or by other means, (c) at least 130 days have passed since the issuance of the first notice of alleged violation, and (d) there is a finding that such violations have occurred after a hearing conducted in accordance with subdivision (8b). The actual amount of any penalty assessed shall be based upon the severity of the violations, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the facility or person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty. The Board shall provide the person with the calculation for the proposed penalty prior to any hearing conducted for the issuance of an order that assesses penalties pursuant to this subdivision. The issuance of a notice of alleged violation by the Department shall not be considered a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. Any notice of alleged violation shall include a description of each violation, the specific provision of law violated, and information on the process for obtaining a final decision or fact finding from the Department on whether or not a violation has occurred, and nothing in this section shall preclude an owner from seeking such a determination. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.), except that civil penalties assessed for violations of Article 9 (§ 62.1-44.34:8 et seq.) or Article 11 (§ 62.1-44.34:14 et seq.) shall be paid into the Virginia Petroleum Storage Tank Fund in accordance with § 62.1-44.34:11, and except that civil penalties assessed for violations of subdivision (19) or Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) shall be paid into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:29.1.

(8b) Such special orders are to be issued only after a hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the Supreme Court in accordance with § 2.2-4020 or, if requested by the person, before a quorum of the Board with at least 30 days' notice to the affected owners, of the time, place, and purpose thereof, and they shall become effective not less than 15 days after service as provided in 62.1-44.12, provided that if the Board finds that any such owner is grossly affecting or presents an imminent and substantial danger to (i) the public health, safety, or welfare, or the health of animals, fish, or aquatic life; (ii) a public water supply; or (iii) recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other reasonable uses, it may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency special order directing the owner to cease such pollution or discharge immediately, and shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof to the owner, to affirm, modify, amend, or cancel such emergency special order. If an owner who has been issued such a special order or an emergency special order is not complying with the terms thereof, the Board may proceed in accordance with 62.1-44.23, and where the order is based on a finding of an imminent and substantial danger, the court shall issue an injunction compelling compliance with the emergency special order pending a hearing by the Board. If an emergency special order requires cessation of a discharge, the Board shall provide an opportunity for a hearing within 48 hours of the issuance of the injunction.

(8c) The provisions of this section notwithstanding, the Board may proceed directly under § 62.1-44.32 for any past violation or violations of any provision of this chapter or any regulation duly promulgated hereunder.

(8d) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (19), subdivision 2 of § 62.1-44.15:25, or § 62.1-44.15:63, with the consent of any owner who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any condition of a certificate, land-disturbance approval, or permit, or any provision of this chapter, the Board may provide, in an order issued by the Board against such person, for the payment of civil charges for past violations in specific sums not to exceed the limit specified in subsection (a) of § 62.1-44.32. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty which could be imposed under subsection (a) of § 62.1-44.32 and shall not be subject to the provisions of § 2.2-514. Such civil charges shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.), excluding civil charges assessed for violations of Article 9 (§ 62.1-44.34:8 et seq.) or 10 (§ 62.1-44.34:10 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1, or a regulation, administrative or judicial order, or term or condition of approval relating to or issued under those articles, or civil charges assessed for violations of Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) or 2.5 (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) or a regulation, administrative or judicial order, or term or condition of approval relating to or issued under Article 2.3 or 2.5.

The amendments to this section adopted by the 1976 Session of the General Assembly shall not be construed as limiting or expanding any cause of action or any other remedy possessed by the Board prior to the effective date of said amendments.

(8e) The Board shall develop and provide an opportunity for public comment on guidelines and procedures that contain specific criteria for calculating the appropriate penalty for each violation based upon the severity of the violations, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the facility or person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty.

(8f) Before issuing a special order under subdivision (8a) or by consent under (8d), with or without an assessment of a civil penalty, to an owner of a sewerage system requiring corrective action to prevent or minimize overflows of sewage from such system, the Board shall provide public notice of and reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed order. Any such order under subdivision (8d) may impose civil penalties in amounts up to the maximum amount authorized in § 309(g) of the Clean Water Act. Any person who comments on the proposed order shall be given notice of any hearing to be held on the terms of the order. In any hearing held, such person shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to present evidence. If no hearing is held before issuance of an order under subdivision (8d), any person who commented on the proposed order may file a petition, within 30 days after the issuance of such order, requesting the Board to set aside such order and provide a formal hearing thereon. If the evidence presented by the petitioner in support of the petition is material and was not considered in the issuance of the order, the Board shall immediately set aside the order, provide a formal hearing, and make such petitioner a party. If the Board denies the petition, the Board shall provide notice to the petitioner and make available to the public the reasons for such denial, and the petitioner shall have the right to judicial review of such decision under § 62.1-44.29 if he meets the requirements thereof.

(8g) To issue special orders for violations of this chapter to persons constructing or operating any natural gas transmission pipeline greater than 36 inches inside diameter. An order issued pursuant to this subdivision may include a civil penalty of up to $50,000 per violation, not to exceed $500,000 per order. The Board may assess a penalty under this subdivision if (i) the person has been issued at least two written notices of alleged violation by the Department for violations involving the same pipeline; (ii) such violations have not been resolved by a demonstration that there was no violation, by an order issued by the Board or the Director, including an order pursuant to subdivision (8d), or by other means; and (iii) there is a finding that such violation occurred after a hearing was conducted (a) before a hearing officer appointed by the Supreme Court, (b) in accordance with § 2.2-4020, and (c) with at least 30 days' notice to such person of the time, place, and purpose thereof. Such order shall become effective not less than 15 days after service as provided in § 62.1-44.12. The actual amount of any penalty assessed shall be based upon the severity of the violation, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty. The Board shall provide the person with the calculation for the proposed penalty prior to any hearing conducted for the issuance of an order that assesses penalties pursuant to this subdivision. The issuance of a notice of alleged violation by the Department shall not be a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. Any notice of alleged violation shall include a description of each violation, the specific provision of law violated, and information on the process for obtaining a final decision or fact-finding from the Department on whether or not a violation has occurred, and nothing in this subdivision shall preclude a person from seeking such a determination. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.), except that civil penalties assessed for violations of Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) or 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund (§ 62.1-44.15:29).

(9) To make such rulings under §§ 62.1-44.16, 62.1-44.17, and 62.1-44.19 as may be required upon requests or applications to the Board, the owner or owners affected to be notified by certified mail as soon as practicable after the Board makes them and such rulings to become effective upon such notification.

(10) To adopt such regulations as it deems necessary to enforce the general soil erosion control and stormwater management program and water quality management program of the Board in all or part of the Commonwealth, except that a description of provisions of any proposed regulation which are more restrictive than applicable federal requirements, together with the reason why the more restrictive provisions are needed, shall be provided to the standing committee of each house of the General Assembly to which matters relating to the content of the regulation are most properly referable.

(11) To investigate any large-scale killing of fish.

(a) Whenever the Board shall determine that any owner, whether or not he shall have been issued a certificate for discharge of waste, has discharged sewage, industrial waste, or other waste into state waters in such quantity, concentration, or manner that fish are killed as a result thereof, it may effect such settlement with the owner as will cover the costs incurred by the Board and by the Department of Wildlife Resources in investigating such killing of fish, plus the replacement value of the fish destroyed, or as it deems proper, and if no such settlement is reached within a reasonable time, the Board shall authorize its executive secretary to bring a civil action in the name of the Board to recover from the owner such costs and value, plus any court or other legal costs incurred in connection with such action.

(b) If the owner is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth, the action may be brought in any circuit court within the territory embraced by such political subdivision. If the owner is an establishment, as defined in this chapter, the action shall be brought in the circuit court of the city or the circuit court of the county in which such establishment is located. If the owner is an individual or group of individuals, the action shall be brought in the circuit court of the city or circuit court of the county in which such person or any of them reside.

(c) For the purposes of this subdivision 11, the State Water Control Board shall be deemed the owner of the fish killed and the proceedings shall be as though the State Water Control Board were the owner of the fish. The fact that the owner has or held a certificate issued under this chapter shall not be raised as a defense in bar to any such action.

(d) The proceeds of any recovery had under this subdivision 11 shall, when received by the Board, be applied, first, to reimburse the Board for any expenses incurred in investigating such killing of fish. The balance shall be paid to the Board of Wildlife Resources to be used for the fisheries' management practices as in its judgment will best restore or replace the fisheries' values lost as a result of such discharge of waste, including, where appropriate, replacement of the fish killed with game fish or other appropriate species. Any such funds received are hereby appropriated for that purpose.

(e) Nothing in this subdivision 11 shall be construed in any way to limit or prevent any other action which is now authorized by law by the Board against any owner.

(f) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the provisions of this subdivision 11 shall not apply to any owner who adds or applies any chemicals or other substances that are recommended or approved by the State Department of Health to state waters in the course of processing or treating such waters for public water supply purposes, except where negligence is shown.

(12) To administer programs of financial assistance for planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of water quality control facilities for political subdivisions in the Commonwealth.

(13) To establish policies and programs for effective area-wide or basin-wide water quality control and management. The Board may develop comprehensive pollution abatement and water quality control plans on an area-wide or basin-wide basis. In conjunction with this, the Board, when considering proposals for waste treatment facilities, is to consider the feasibility of combined or joint treatment facilities and is to ensure that the approval of waste treatment facilities is in accordance with the water quality management and pollution control plan in the watershed or basin as a whole. In making such determinations, the Board is to seek the advice of local, regional, or state planning authorities.

(14) To establish requirements for the treatment of sewage, industrial wastes, and other wastes that are consistent with the purposes of this chapter; however, no treatment shall be less than secondary or its equivalent, unless the owner can demonstrate that a lesser degree of treatment is consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

(15) To promote and establish requirements for the reclamation and reuse of wastewater that are protective of state waters and public health as an alternative to directly discharging pollutants into waters of the state. The requirements shall address various potential categories of reuse and may include general permits and provide for greater flexibility and less stringent requirements commensurate with the quality of the reclaimed water and its intended use. The requirements shall be developed in consultation with the Department of Health and other appropriate state agencies. This authority shall not be construed as conferring upon the Board any power or duty duplicative of those of the State Board of Health.

(16) To establish and implement policies and programs to protect and enhance the Commonwealth's wetland resources. Regulatory programs shall be designed to achieve no net loss of existing wetland acreage and functions. Voluntary and incentive-based programs shall be developed to achieve a net resource gain in acreage and functions of wetlands. The Board shall seek and obtain advice and guidance from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in implementing these policies and programs.

(17) To establish additional procedures for obtaining a Virginia Water Protection Permit pursuant to §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22 for a proposed water withdrawal involving the transfer of water resources between major river basins within the Commonwealth that may impact water basins in another state. Such additional procedures shall not apply to any water withdrawal in existence as of July 1, 2012, except where the expansion of such withdrawal requires a permit under §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22, in which event such additional procedures may apply to the extent of the expanded withdrawal only. The applicant shall provide as part of the application (i) an analysis of alternatives to such a transfer, (ii) a comprehensive analysis of the impacts that would occur in the source and receiving basins, (iii) a description of measures to mitigate any adverse impacts that may arise, (iv) a description of how notice shall be provided to interested parties, and (v) any other requirements that the Board may adopt that are consistent with the provisions of this section and §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22 or regulations adopted thereunder. This subdivision shall not be construed as limiting or expanding the Board's authority under §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22 to issue permits and impose conditions or limitations on the permitted activity.

(18) To be the lead agency for the Commonwealth's nonpoint source pollution management program, including coordination of the nonpoint source control elements of programs developed pursuant to certain state and federal laws, including § 319 of the federal Clean Water Act and § 6217 of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. Further responsibilities include the adoption of regulations necessary to implement a nonpoint source pollution management program in the Commonwealth, the distribution of assigned funds, the identification and establishment of priorities to address nonpoint source related water quality problems, the administration of the Statewide Nonpoint Source Advisory Committee, and the development of a program for the prevention and control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff to conserve Virginia's natural resources.

(19) To review for compliance with the provisions of this chapter the Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Programs adopted by localities pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:27, the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Programs adopted by localities pursuant to subdivision B 3 of § 62.1-44.15:27, and the programs adopted by localities pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.). The Board shall develop and implement a schedule for conducting such program reviews as often as necessary but at least once every five years. Following the completion of a compliance review in which deficiencies are found, the Board shall establish a schedule for the locality to follow in correcting the deficiencies and bringing its program into compliance. If the locality fails to bring its program into compliance in accordance with the compliance schedule, then the Board is authorized to (i) issue a special order to any locality imposing a civil penalty not to exceed $ 5,000 per violation with the maximum amount not to exceed $ 50,000 per order for noncompliance with the state program, to be paid into the state treasury and deposited in the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund established in § 62.1-44.15:29.1 or (ii) with the consent of the locality, provide in an order issued against the locality for the payment of civil charges for violations in lieu of civil penalties, in specific sums not to exceed the limit stated in this subdivision. Such civil charges shall be in lieu of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under subsection (a) of § 62.1-44.32 and shall not be subject to the provisions of § 2.2-514. The Board shall not delegate to the Department its authority to issue special orders pursuant to clause (i). In lieu of issuing an order, the Board is authorized to take legal action against a locality pursuant to § 62.1-44.23 to ensure compliance.

Code 1950, § 62.1-27; 1968, c. 659; 1970, c. 638; 1972, c. 741; 1975, c. 335; 1976, c. 621; 1977, c. 32; 1978, c. 827; 1984, c. 11; 1985, cc. 249, 397; 1988, cc. 167, 328; 1989, c. 389; 1990, c. 717; 1991, cc. 239, 718; 1993, c. 456; 1994, c. 698; 1998, cc. 805, 863; 2000, cc. 972, 1032, 1054; 2002, cc. 49, 396; 2004, c. 431; 2005, c. 706; 2007, cc. 144, 633, 873, 916; 2011, cc. 52, 101; 2012, cc. 574, 581; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758; 2020, cc. 449, 958.

§ 62.1-44.15:01. Further duties of Board; localities particularly affected.

A. After June 30, 1994, before promulgating any regulation under consideration or granting any variance to an existing regulation, or issuing any permit, if the Board finds that there are localities particularly affected by the regulation, variance or permit, the Board shall:

1. Publish, or require the applicant to publish, a notice in a local paper of general circulation in the localities affected at least 30 days prior to the close of any public comment period. Such notice shall contain a statement of the estimated local impact of the proposed action, which at a minimum shall include information on the specific pollutants involved and the total quantity of each that may be discharged.

2. Mail the notice to the chief elected official and chief administrative officer and planning district commission for those localities.

Written comments shall be accepted by the Board for at least 15 days after any hearing on the regulation, variance or permit, unless the Board votes to shorten the period.

For the purposes of this section, the term "locality particularly affected" means any locality that bears any identified disproportionate material water quality impact that would not be experienced by other localities.

B. On or after January 1, 2007, the Board shall ensure that all wetland inventory maps that identify the location of wetlands in the Commonwealth and that are maintained by the Board be made readily available to the public. The Board shall notify the circuit court clerk's office and other appropriate officials in each locality of the availability of the wetland inventory maps and request that the locality provide information in the location where the land records of the locality are maintained on the availability of the wetland inventory maps as well as the potential Virginia Water Protection Permit requirements.

1993, c. 944; 2005, c. 478.

§ 62.1-44.15:02. Permits; procedures for public hearings and permits before the Board.

A. During the public comment period on a permit action, interested persons may request a public hearing to contest such action or the terms and conditions thereof. Where public hearings are mandatory under state or federal law or regulation, interested persons may request, during the public comment period on the permit action, that the Board consider the permit action pursuant to the requirements of this section.

B. Requests for a public hearing or Board consideration shall contain the following information:

1. The name, mailing address, and telephone number of the requester;

2. The names and addresses of all persons for whom the requester is acting as a representative (for the purposes of this requirement, an unincorporated association is a person);

3. The reason why a public hearing or Board consideration is requested;

4. A brief, informal statement setting forth the factual nature and the extent of the interest of the requester or of the persons for whom the requester is acting as representative in the application or tentative determination, including an explanation of how and to what extent such interest would be directly and adversely affected by the issuance, denial, modification, or revocation of the permit in question; and

5. Where possible, specific references to the terms and conditions of the permit in question, together with suggested revisions and alterations of those terms and conditions that the requester considers are needed to conform the permit to the intent and provisions of the State Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.).

C. Upon completion of the public comment period on a permit action, the Director shall review all timely requests for public hearing or Board consideration filed during the public comment period on the permit action and within 30 calendar days following the expiration of the time period for the submission of requests shall grant a public hearing or Board consideration after the public hearing required by state or federal law or regulation, unless the permittee or applicant agrees to a later date, if the Director finds the following:

1. That there is a significant public interest in the issuance, denial, modification, or revocation of the permit in question as evidenced by receipt of a minimum of 25 individual requests for a public hearing or Board consideration;

2. That the requesters raise substantial, disputed issues relevant to the issuance, denial, modification, or revocation of the permit in question; and

3. That the action requested is not on its face inconsistent with, or in violation of, the State Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.), federal law or any regulation promulgated thereunder.

D. Either the Director or a majority of the Board members, acting independently, may request a meeting of the Board to be convened within 20 days of the Director's decision pursuant to subsection C in order to review such decision and determine by a majority vote of the Board whether or not to grant a public hearing or Board consideration, or to delegate the permit to the Director for his decision.

For purposes of this subsection, if a Board meeting is held via electronic communication means, the meeting shall be held in compliance with the provisions of § 2.2-3708.2, except that a quorum of the Board is not required to be physically assembled at one primary or central meeting location. Discussions of the Board held via such electronic communication means shall be specifically limited to a (i) review of the Director's decision pursuant to subsection C, (ii) determination of the Board whether or not to grant a public hearing or Board consideration, or (iii) delegation of the permit to the Director for his decision. No other matter of public business shall be discussed or transacted by the Board during any such meeting held via electronic communication means.

E. The Director shall, forthwith, notify by mail at his last known address (i) each requester and (ii) the applicant or permittee of the decision to grant or deny a public hearing or Board consideration.

F. In addition to subsections C, D, and E, the Director may, in his discretion, convene a public hearing on a permit action or submit a permit action to the Board for its consideration.

G. If a determination is made to hold a public hearing, the Director shall schedule the hearing at a time between 45 and 75 days after mailing of the notice required by subsection E.

H. The Director shall cause, or require the applicant to publish, notice of a public hearing to be published once, in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or county where the facility or operation that is the subject of the permit or permit application is located, at least 30 days before the hearing date.

I. The Director may, on his own motion or at the request of the applicant or permittee, for good cause shown, reschedule the date of the public hearing. In the event the Director reschedules the date for the public hearing after notice has been published, he shall, or require the applicant to, provide reasonable notice of the new date of the public hearing. Such notice shall be published once in the same newspaper where the original notice was published.

J. Public hearings held pursuant to these procedures may be conducted by (i) the Board at a regular or special meeting of the Board or (ii) one or more members of the Board. A member of the Board shall preside over the public hearing.

K. The presiding Board member shall have the authority to maintain order, preserve the impartiality of the decision process, and conclude the hearing process expeditiously. The presiding Board member, in order to carry out his responsibilities under this subsection, is authorized to exercise the following powers, including but not limited to:

1. Prescribing the methods and procedures to be used in the presentation of factual data, arguments, and proof orally and in writing including the imposition of reasonable limitations on the time permitted for oral testimony;

2. Consolidating the presentation of factual data, arguments, and proof to avoid repetitive presentation of them;

3. Ruling on procedural matters; and

4. Acting as custodian of the record of the public hearing causing all notices and written submittals to be entered in it.

L. The public comment period will remain open for 15 days after the close of the public hearing if required by § 62.1-44.15:01.

M. When the public hearing is conducted by less than a quorum of the Board, the Department shall, promptly after the close of the public hearing comment period, make a report to the Board.

N. After the close of the public hearing comment period, the Board shall, at a regular or special meeting, take final action on the permit. Such decision shall be issued within 90 days of the close of the public comment period or from a later date, as agreed to by the permittee or applicant and the Board or the Director. The Board shall not take any action on a permit where a public hearing was convened solely to satisfy the requirements of state or federal law or regulation unless the permit was provided to the Board for its consideration pursuant to the provisions of this section.

O. When the public hearing was conducted by less than a quorum of the Board, persons who commented during the public comment period shall be afforded an opportunity at the Board meeting when final action is scheduled to respond to any summaries of the public comments prepared by the Department for the Board's consideration subject to such reasonable limitations on the time permitted for oral testimony or presentation of repetitive material as are determined by the Board.

P. In making its decision, the Board shall consider (i) the verbal and written comments received during the public comment period made part of the record, (ii) any explanation of comments previously received during the public comment period made at the Board meeting, (iii) the comments and recommendation of the Department, and (iv) the agency files. When the decision of the Board is to adopt the recommendation of the Department, the Board shall provide in writing a clear and concise statement of the legal basis and justification for the decision reached. When the decision of the Board varies from the recommendation of the Department, the Board shall, in consultation with legal counsel, provide a clear and concise statement explaining the reason for the variation and how the Board's decision is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The written statement shall be provided contemporaneously with the decision of the Board. Copies of the decision, certified by the Director, shall be mailed by certified mail to the permittee or applicant.

2008, cc. 276, 557; 2009, c. 627; 2018, c. 55.

§ 62.1-44.15:03. Disposal of fill; notice to locality.

The Department shall establish a process whereby any person that receives coverage under the General Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities and that will be transporting fill from a project site for disposal as part of its land-disturbing activities shall disclose to the Department the following information, which the Department shall disclose to every locality where such fill will be disposed of: (i) the source of the fill to be disposed of, (ii) the contents of the fill, and (iii) the location of the disposal.

2020, c. 565.

§ 62.1-44.15:1. Limitation on power to require construction of sewerage systems or sewage or other waste treatment works; ammonia criteria.

A. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to empower the Board to require the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof, or any authority created under the provisions of § 15.2-5102 or §§ 15.2-5152 through 15.2-5158, to construct any sewerage system, sewage treatment works, or water treatment plant waste treatment works or system necessary to (i) upgrade the present level of treatment in existing systems or works to abate existing pollution of state waters or (ii) expand a system or works to accommodate additional growth, unless the Board shall have previously committed itself to provide financial assistance from federal and state funds equal to the maximum amount provided for under § 8 or other applicable sections of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, P.L. 84-660, as amended, or unless the Commonwealth or political subdivision or authority voluntarily agrees, or is directed by the Board with the concurrence of the Governor, to proceed with such construction, subject to reimbursement under § 8 or other applicable sections of such federal act.

The foregoing restriction shall not apply to those cases where existing sewerage systems or sewage or other waste treatment works cease to perform in accordance with their approved certificate requirements.

B. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to empower the Board to require the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof, to upgrade the level of treatment in any works to a level more stringent than that required by applicable provisions of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, P.L. 84-660, as amended.

C. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to empower the Board to adopt the 2013 proposed Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Ammonia of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unless the Board includes in such adoption a phased implementation program consistent with the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.) that includes (i) consideration of the relative priority of ammonia criteria and other water quality and water infrastructure needs of the local community, (ii) mechanisms to coordinate implementation timing with grant funding mechanisms pursuant to § 10.1-2131 and other treatment facility expansion and upgrade plans, (iii) appropriate long-term compliance schedules for facilities or classes of facilities utilizing multiple permit cycles, and (iv) appropriate mechanisms to address affordability limitations and financial hardship situations remaining notwithstanding the other elements of the phased implementation program.

1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 197, 245; 1973, c. 179; 1975, c. 279; 1981, c. 262; 2018, cc. 510, 511.

§ 62.1-44.15:1.1. Special orders; penalties.

The Board is authorized to issue special orders in compliance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) requiring that an owner file with the Board a plan to abate, control, prevent, remove, or contain any substantial and imminent threat to public health or the environment that is reasonably likely to occur if such facility ceases operations. Such plan shall also include a demonstration of financial capability to implement the plan. Financial capability may be demonstrated by the establishment of an escrow account, the creation of a trust fund to be maintained within the Board, submission of a bond, corporate guarantee based upon audited financial statements, or such other instruments as the Board may deem appropriate. The Board may require that such plan and instruments be updated as appropriate. The Board shall give due consideration to any plan submitted by the owner in accordance with §§ 10.1-1309.1, 10.1-1410, and 10.1-1428, in determining the necessity for and suitability of any plan submitted under this section.

For the purposes of this section, "ceases operation" means to cease conducting the normal operation of a facility which is regulated under this chapter under circumstances where it would be reasonable to expect that such operation will not be resumed by the owner at the facility. The term shall not include the sale or transfer of a facility in the ordinary course of business or a permit transfer in accordance with Board regulations.

Any person who ceases operations and who knowingly and willfully fails to implement a closure plan or to provide adequate funds for implementation of such plan shall, if such failure results in a significant harm or an imminent and substantial threat of significant harm to human health or the environment, be liable to the Commonwealth and any political subdivision thereof for the costs incurred in abating, controlling, preventing, removing, or containing such harm or threat.

Any person who ceases operations and who knowingly and willfully fails to implement a closure plan or to provide adequate funds for implementation of such plan shall, if such failure results in a significant harm or an imminent and substantial threat of significant harm to human health or the environment, be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

1991, c. 702.

§ 62.1-44.15:1.2. Lake level contingency plans.

Any Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued for a surface water impoundment whose primary purpose is to provide cooling water to power generators shall include a lake level contingency plan to allow specific reductions in the flow required to be released when the water level above the dam drops below designated levels due to drought conditions. The plan shall take into account and minimize any adverse effects of any release reduction requirements on beneficial uses, as defined in § 62.1-10, within the impoundment, and on downstream users. The reduction in release amounts required by a lake level contingency plan shall not be implemented to the extent they result in an adverse impact to (i) the ability to meet water quality standards based upon permitted discharge amounts, (ii) the ability to provide adequate water supplies for consumptive purposes such as drinking water and fire protection, and (iii) fish and wildlife resources. In the event there is an imminent threat of such an adverse impact, the permit holder and the Department of Environmental Quality shall be notified. Upon such notification, the permit holder may increase release amounts as specified in the permit for up to forty-eight hours or until such time as the Department of Environmental Quality determines whether or not the increase in release amounts is necessary. This section shall not apply to any such facility that addresses releases and flow requirements during drought conditions in a Virginia Water Protection Permit.

2000, cc. 103, 119; 2001, c. 116.

§ 62.1-44.15:2. Extraordinary hardship program.

There is hereby established a supplemental program of financial assistance for the construction of water quality control facilities by political subdivisions of the Commonwealth. All sums appropriated for this program shall be apportioned by the Board among the political subdivisions qualifying, to provide financial assistance in addition to that otherwise available to help relieve extraordinary hardship in local funding of the construction of such facilities.

1975, c. 339.

§ 62.1-44.15:3. When application for permit considered complete.

A. No application submitted to the Board for a new individual Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit authorizing a new discharge of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes shall be considered complete unless it contains notification from the county, city, or town in which the discharge is to take place that the location and operation of the discharging facility are consistent with applicable ordinances adopted pursuant to Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 15.2. The county, city, or town shall inform in writing the applicant and the Board of the discharging facility's compliance or noncompliance not more than thirty days from receipt by the chief administrative officer, or his agent, of a request from the applicant. Should the county, city, or town fail to provide such written notification within thirty days, the requirement for such notification is waived. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any discharge for which a valid certificate had been issued prior to March 10, 2000.

B. No application for a certificate to discharge sewage into or adjacent to state waters from a privately owned wastewater treatment system serving fifty or more residences shall be considered complete unless the applicant has provided the Executive Director with notification from the State Corporation Commission that the applicant is incorporated in the Commonwealth and is in compliance with all regulations and relevant orders of the State Corporation Commission.

1987, c. 132; 1990, c. 14; 1993, c. 606; 1994, cc. 262, 549; 1995, c. 256; 2000, cc. 19, 98; 2001, c. 492.

§ 62.1-44.15:4. Notification of local governments and property owners.

A. Upon determining that there has been a violation of a regulation promulgated under this chapter and such violation poses an imminent threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public, the Executive Director shall immediately notify the chief administrative officer of any potentially affected local government. Neither the Executive Director, the Commonwealth, nor any employee of the Commonwealth shall be liable for a failure to provide, or a delay in providing, the notification required by this subsection.

B. Upon receiving a nomination of a waterway or segment of a waterway for designation as an exceptional state water pursuant to the Board's antidegradation policy, as required by 40 C.F.R. § 131.12, the Board shall notify each locality in which the waterway or segment lies and shall make a good faith effort to provide notice to impacted riparian property owners. The written notice shall include, at a minimum: (i) a description of the location of the waterway or segment; (ii) the procedures and criteria for designation as well as the impact of designation; (iii) the name of the person making the nomination; and (iv) the name of a contact person at the Department of Environmental Quality who is knowledgeable about the nomination and the waterway or segment. Notice to property owners shall be based on names and addresses taken from local tax rolls. Such names and addresses shall be provided by the Commissioners of the Revenue or the tax assessor's office of the affected jurisdictions upon request by the Board. After receipt of the notice of the nomination localities shall be provided sixty days to comment on the consistency of the nomination with the locality's comprehensive plan.

C. Upon determining that a waterway or any segment of a waterway does not meet its water quality standard use designation as set out in the Board's regulations and as required by § 1313 (d) of the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.) and 40 C.F.R. § 130.7 (b), the Board shall notify each locality in which the waterway or segment lies. The written notification shall include, at a minimum: (i) a description of the reasons the waters do not meet the water quality standard including specific parameters and criteria not met; (ii) a layman's description of the location of the waters; (iii) the known sources of the pollution; and (iv) the name of a contact person at the Department of Environmental Quality who is knowledgeable about the failure of the waterway or segment to meet the standards. After receipt of the notification, local governments shall have thirty days to comment.

D. Upon receipt of an application for the issuance of a new or modified permit other than those for agricultural production or aquacultural production activities, the Board shall notify, in writing, the locality wherein the discharge does or is proposed to take place of, at a minimum: (i) the name of the applicant; (ii) the nature of the application and proposed discharge; (iii) the availability and timing of any comment period; and (iv) upon request, any other information known to, or in the possession of, the Board or the Department regarding the applicant not required to be held confidential by this chapter. The Board shall make a good faith effort to provide this same notice and information to (i) each locality and riparian property owner to a distance one quarter mile downstream and one quarter mile upstream or to the fall line whichever is closer on tidal waters, and (ii) each locality and riparian property owner to a distance one half mile downstream on nontidal waters. Distances shall be measured from the point, or proposed point, of discharge. If the receiving river, at the point or proposed point of discharge, is two miles wide or greater, the riparian property owners on the opposite shore need not be notified. Notice to property owners shall be based on names and addresses taken from local tax rolls. Such names and addresses shall be provided by the Commissioners of the Revenue or the tax assessor's office of the affected jurisdictions upon request by the Board.

E. Upon the commencement of public notice of an enforcement action pursuant to this chapter, the Board shall notify, in writing, the locality where the alleged offense has or is taking place of: (i) the name of the alleged violator; (ii) the facts of the alleged violation; (iii) the statutory remedies for the alleged violation; (iv) the availability and timing of any comment period; and (v) the name of a contact person at the Department of Environmental Quality who is knowledgeable about the alleged violation.

F. The comment periods established in subsections B and C shall in no way impact a locality's ability to comment during any additional comment periods established by the Board.

1988, c. 434; 1996, c. 160; 1997, c. 581.

§ 62.1-44.15:4.1. Listing and notice of confirmed oil releases and discharges.

The Department of Environmental Quality shall notify the Department of Health of any confirmed release or discharge of oil, as defined in §§ 62.1-44.34:8 and 62.1-44.34:14, respectively, which requires that a site characterization investigation be conducted. Monthly notification to the Department of Health shall occur within one week from the last day of the previous month and shall include information on the location of the site of each confirmed release or discharge during the monthly reporting period. The reporting of such information shall begin for releases or discharges of oil that have been confirmed on and after January 1, 1999.

1998, c. 795.

§ 62.1-44.15:5. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2007, c. 659, cl. 3.

§ 62.1-44.15:5.01. Coordinated review of water resources projects.

A. Applications for water resources projects that require an individual Virginia Water Protection Permit and a Virginia Marine Resources permit under § 28.2-1205 shall be submitted and processed through a joint application and review process.

B. The Director and the Commissioner of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, in consultation with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Department of Wildlife Resources, the Department of Historic Resources, the Department of Health, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and any other appropriate or interested state agency, shall coordinate the joint review process to ensure the orderly evaluation of projects requiring both permits.

C. The joint review process shall include, but not be limited to, provisions to ensure that: (i) the initial application for the project shall be advertised simultaneously by the Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission; (ii) project reviews shall be completed by all state agencies that have been asked to review and provide comments within 45 days of project notification by the Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission; (iii) the Board and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission shall coordinate permit issuance and, to the extent practicable, shall take action on the permit application no later than one year after the agencies have received complete applications; (iv) to the extent practicable, the Board and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission shall take action concurrently, but no more than six months apart; and (v) upon taking its final action on each permit, the Board and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission shall provide each other with notification of their actions and any and all supporting information, including any background materials or exhibits used in the application. Any state agency asked to review and provide comments in accordance with clause (ii) shall provide such comments within 45 days of project notification by the Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission or be deemed to have waived its right to provide comment.

D. If requested by the applicant, the Department of Environmental Quality shall convene a preapplication review panel to assist applicants for water resources projects in the early identification of issues related to the protection of beneficial instream and offstream uses of state waters. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Department of Wildlife Resources, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Department of Environmental Quality shall participate in the preapplication review panel by providing information and guidance on the potential natural resource impacts and regulatory implications of the options being considered by the applicant. However, the participation by these agencies in such a review process shall not limit any authority they may exercise pursuant to state and federal laws or regulations.

2005, c. 49; 2011, cc. 829, 842; 2020, c. 958.

§ 62.1-44.15:5.02. Low-flow protections in Potomac River.

A. Virginia Water Protection Permits issued after July 1, 2007, authorizing withdrawal of water from the Potomac River or its tributaries between the West Virginia border and Little Falls for any purpose other than municipal water supply, shall incorporate low-flow protection requirements if the maximum consumptive use allowed by the permit exceeds 500,000 gallons per day. Such permits shall require that the permittee provide or secure sufficient offstream storage to augment instream flow during low-flow periods in an amount equal to the amount that the permittee's consumptive use exceeds 500,000 gallons per day. The permit shall specify the instream flow volume at which low-flow protection is to be implemented.

B. Permittees may comply with the requirements of this section by: (i) constructing or acquiring facilities for offstream storage of water that may be used to replace their consumptive use withdrawals exceeding 500,000 gallons per day during low-flow periods; (ii) purchasing storage capacity in facilities owned by another entity, sufficient to replace their consumptive use withdrawals exceeding 500,000 gallons per day during low-flow periods; or (iii) agreeing to a permit condition limiting consumptive use to not more than 500,000 gallons per day during low-flow periods as designated in the permit.

C. No owner who holds a Virginia Water Protection Permit as described in this section shall withdraw water for consumptive use in excess of 500,000 gallons per day, except in compliance with permit requirements for low-flow augmentation.

D. Should the implementation of emergency measures pursuant to applicable law, regulation, or interjurisdictional agreement require more stringent temporary restrictions on consumptive use, those requirements shall override the provisions of permits issued pursuant to this section during the period that such requirements are in effect.

E. The requirements of this section shall not apply to the reissuance or amendment of any Virginia Water Protection Permit issued prior to July 1, 2007, unless such reissuance or amendment: (i) authorizes an increase in the permitted withdrawal in excess of 500,000 gallons per day for consumptive use; or (ii) authorizes a change from nonconsumptive to consumptive use, in excess of 500,000 gallons per day.

2007, c. 656.

§ 62.1-44.15:5.1. General permit for certain water quality improvement activities.

A. The Board shall coordinate the development of a general permit for activities such as bioengineered streambank stabilization projects and livestock stream crossings that: (i) are coverable by the Nationwide Permit Program (33 C.F.R. Part 330) of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and for which certification has not been waived by the Board; (ii) are conservation practices designed and supervised by a soil and water conservation district; (iii) meet the design standards of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service; and (iv) are intended to improve water quality. The development of the general permit shall be exempt from Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act.

B. The development of the general permit shall be a coordinated effort between the Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and such other agencies as may be needed to develop a single, unified, process that will expedite the implementation of the projects described in subsection A and unify and streamline the permitting process for such projects.

C. A general permit pursuant to this section shall be promulgated as final by July 1, 1998.

1997, c. 845.

§ 62.1-44.15:5.2. General permits for ready-mix concrete plant discharges.

Any general permit issued by the Board for discharges of stormwater and process wastewater from industrial activities associated with the manufacture of ready-mix concrete shall apply to both permanent and portable plants. The general permit may include a requirement that settling basins for the treatment and control of process wastewater and commingled stormwater be lined with concrete or other impermeable materials for settling basins constructed on or before February 1, 1998, and shall include such a requirement for all settling basins constructed on or after February 2, 1998.

1998, c. 28.