On May 24, 2011, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board adopted final stormwater management regulations (Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulation). The date for statewide local government implementation of stormwater management programs is July 1, 2014.
As required by of the Code of Virginia, local governments will become the VSMP authorities, except that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will maintain oversight of local programs to ensure compliance with all applicable state regulations. While the local jurisdiction will administer the VSMP, developers/contractors will continue to obtain VSMP General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities (VSMP Permits) coverage from the state by filing a registration statement online using the state’s ePermitting system; the VSMP Permit will continue to be the vehicle for monitoring compliance with the Virginia Stormwater Management Act.
Importantly, the new regulations include a grandfathering provision, which contemplates that state regulations and local ordinance allow for projects to proceed through construction under the old technical criteria for stormwater management if one of several circumstances applies:
- Projects for which plan approval status has been received by July 1, 2012 or before, but for which no VSMP permit is obtained before July 1, 2014 — (A) Documentation may take the form of a locality approved plan, plat, zoning approval, or other approved document determined permissible under the localities ordinance; (B) Any modification to said locality-approved document may call into question the eligibility of the project to be grandfathered; and (C) Construction must be complete by June 30, 2019.
- Projects with government bonds or public debt financing before July 1, 2012.
- Projects that obtain2009 VSMP permit coverage before July 1, 2014 have two 5-year permit cycles (until June 30, 2024) to be completed, if permit coverage is maintained.
If a project does not qualify under the grandfathering clause, the project will required to meet the new regulations regardless of the stormwater management practices shown on the approved plan.