Bill Text: VA SB990 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Stormwater; State Water Control Board to adopt regulations.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-11-30 - Left in Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources [SB990 Detail]

Download: Virginia-2019-SB990-Introduced.html
18105816D
SENATE BILL NO. 990
Offered January 24, 2018
A BILL to amend and reenact §§62.1-44.15:24, as it is currently effective, and 62.1-44.15:28, as it is currently effective and as it shall become effective, of the Code of Virginia, relating to stormwater regulations.
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Patron-- DeSteph
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Unanimous consent to introduce
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Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§62.1-44.15:24, as it is currently effective, and 62.1-44.15:28, as it is currently effective and as it shall become effective, of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§62.1-44.15:24. (For expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Definitions.

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

"Agreement in lieu of a stormwater management plan" means a contract between the VSMP authority and the owner or permittee that specifies methods that shall be implemented to comply with the requirements of a VSMP for the construction of a single-family residence; such contract may be executed by the VSMP authority in lieu of a stormwater management plan.

"Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act land-disturbing activity" means a land-disturbing activity including clearing, grading, or excavation that results in a land disturbance equal to or greater than 2,500 square feet and less than one acre in all areas of jurisdictions designated as subject to the regulations adopted pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation provisions of this chapter.

"CWA" means the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.), formerly referred to as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, P.L. 92-500, as amended by P.L. 95-217, P.L. 95-576, P.L. 96-483, and P.L. 97-117, or any subsequent revisions thereto.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

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

"Flooding" means a volume of water that is too great to be confined within the banks or walls of the stream, water body, or conveyance system and that overflows onto adjacent lands, thereby causing or threatening damage.

"Land disturbance" or "land-disturbing activity" means a man-made change to the land surface that potentially changes its runoff characteristics including clearing, grading, or excavation, except that the term shall not include those exemptions specified in §62.1-44.15:34.

"Municipal separate storm sewer" means a conveyance or system of conveyances otherwise known as a municipal separate storm sewer system or "MS4," including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains:

1. Owned or operated by a federal, state, city, town, county, district, association, or other public body, created by or pursuant to state law, having jurisdiction or delegated authority for erosion and sediment control and stormwater management, or a designated and approved management agency under §208 of the CWA that discharges to surface waters;

2. Designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater;

3. That is not a combined sewer; and

4. That is not part of a publicly owned treatment works.

"Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Management Program" means a management program covering the duration of a state permit for a municipal separate storm sewer system that includes a comprehensive planning process that involves public participation and intergovernmental coordination, to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable, to protect water quality, and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the CWA and regulations, and this article and its attendant regulations, using management practices, control techniques, and system, design, and engineering methods, and such other provisions that are appropriate.

"Nonpoint source pollution" means pollution such as sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and toxics whose sources cannot be pinpointed but rather are washed from the land surface in a diffuse manner by stormwater runoff.

"Peak flow rate" means the maximum instantaneous flow from a prescribed design storm at a particular location.

"Permit" or "VSMP authority permit" means an approval to conduct a land-disturbing activity issued by the VSMP authority for the initiation of a land-disturbing activity after evidence of state VSMP general permit coverage has been provided where applicable.

"Permittee" means the person to which the permit or state permit is issued.

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

"State permit" means an approval to conduct a land-disturbing activity issued by the Board in the form of a state stormwater individual permit or coverage issued under a state general permit or an approval issued by the Board for stormwater discharges from an MS4. Under these permits, the Commonwealth imposes and enforces requirements pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act and regulations and this article and its attendant regulations.

"Stormwater" means precipitation that is discharged across the land surface or through conveyances to one or more waterways and that may include stormwater runoff, snow melt runoff, and surface runoff and drainage.

"Stormwater management plan" means a document containing material describing methods for complying with the requirements of a VSMP.

"Subdivision" means the same as defined in § 15.2-2201.

"Virginia Stormwater Management Program" or "VSMP" means a program approved by the Soil and Water Conservation Board after September 13, 2011, and until June 30, 2013, or the State Water Control Board on and after June 30, 2013, that has been established by a VSMP authority to manage the quality and quantity of runoff resulting from land-disturbing activities and shall include such items as local ordinances, rules, permit requirements, annual standards and specifications, policies and guidelines, technical materials, and requirements for plan review, inspection, enforcement, where authorized in this article, and evaluation consistent with the requirements of this article and associated regulations.

"Virginia Stormwater Management Program authority" or "VSMP authority" means an authority approved by the Board after September 13, 2011, to operate a Virginia Stormwater Management Program or the Department. An authority may include a locality; state entity, including the Department; federal entity; or, for linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications in accordance with subsection B of §62.1-44.15:31, electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, railroad companies, or authorities created pursuant to §15.2-5102.

"Water quality technical criteria" means standards set forth in regulations adopted pursuant to this article that establish minimum design criteria for measures to control nonpoint source pollution.

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

"Watershed" means a defined land area drained by a river or stream, karst system, or system of connecting rivers or streams such that all surface water within the area flows through a single outlet. In karst areas, the karst feature to which water drains may be considered the single outlet for the watershed.

§62.1-44.15:28. (For expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Development of regulations.

A. The Board is authorized to adopt regulations that specify minimum technical criteria and administrative procedures for Virginia Stormwater Management Programs. The regulations shall:

1. Establish standards and procedures for administering a VSMP;

2. Establish minimum design criteria for measures to control nonpoint source pollution and localized flooding, and incorporate the stormwater management regulations adopted pursuant to the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), as they relate to the prevention of stream channel erosion. These criteria shall be periodically modified as required in order to reflect current engineering methods;

3. Require the provision of long-term responsibility for and maintenance of stormwater management control devices and other techniques specified to manage the quality and quantity of runoff;

4. Require as a minimum the inclusion in VSMPs of certain administrative procedures that include, but are not limited to, specifying the time period within which a VSMP authority shall grant land-disturbing activity approval, the conditions and processes under which approval shall be granted, the procedures for communicating disapproval, the conditions under which an approval may be changed, and requirements for inspection of approved projects;

5. Establish by regulations a statewide permit fee schedule to cover all costs associated with the implementation of a VSMP related to land-disturbing activities of one acre or greater. Such fee attributes include the costs associated with plan review, VSMP registration statement review, permit issuance, state-coverage verification, inspections, reporting, and compliance activities associated with the land-disturbing activities as well as program oversight costs. The fee schedule shall also include a provision for a reduced fee for land-disturbing activities between 2,500 square feet and up to one acre in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) localities. The fee schedule shall be governed by the following:

a. The revenue generated from the statewide stormwater permit fee shall be collected utilizing, where practicable, an online payment system, and the Department's portion shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29. However, whenever the Board has approved a VSMP, no more than 30 percent of the total revenue generated by the statewide stormwater permit fees collected shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund, with the balance going to the VSMP authority.

b. Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any general fund appropriation made to the Department or other supporting revenue from a VSMP; however, the fees shall be set at a level sufficient for the Department and the VSMP to fully carry out their responsibilities under this article and its attendant regulations and local ordinances or standards and specifications where applicable. When establishing a VSMP, the VSMP authority shall assess the statewide fee schedule and shall have the authority to reduce or increase such fees, and to consolidate such fees with other program-related charges, but in no case shall such fee changes affect the amount established in the regulations as available to the Department for program oversight responsibilities pursuant to subdivision 5 a. A VSMP's portion of the fees shall be used solely to carry out the VSMP's responsibilities under this article and its attendant regulations, ordinances, or annual standards and specifications.

c. Until July 1, 2014, the fee for coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities issued by the Board, or where the Board has issued an individual permit or coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities for an entity for which it has approved annual standards and specifications, shall be $750 for each large construction activity with sites or common plans of development equal to or greater than five acres and $450 for each small construction activity with sites or common plans of development equal to or greater than one acre and less than five acres. On and after July 1, 2014, such fees shall only apply where coverage has been issued under the Board's General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities to a state agency or federal entity for which it has approved annual standards and specifications. After establishment, such fees may be modified in the future through regulatory actions.

d. Until July 1, 2014, the Department is authorized to assess a $125 reinspection fee for each visit to a project site that was necessary to check on the status of project site items noted to be in noncompliance and documented as such on a prior project inspection.

e. In establishing the fee schedule under this subdivision, the Department shall ensure that the VSMP authority portion of the statewide permit fee for coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities for small construction activity involving a single family detached residential structure with a site or area, within or outside a common plan of development or sale, that is equal to or greater than one acre but less than five acres shall be no greater than the VSMP authority portion of the fee for coverage of sites or areas with a land-disturbance acreage of less than one acre within a common plan of development or sale.

f. When any fees are collected pursuant to this section by credit cards, business transaction costs associated with processing such payments may be additionally assessed;

6. Establish statewide standards for stormwater management from land-disturbing activities of one acre or greater, except as specified otherwise within this article, and allow for the consolidation in the permit of a comprehensive approach to addressing stormwater management and erosion and sediment control, consistent with the provisions of the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) and this article. However, such standards shall also apply to land-disturbing activity exceeding an area of 2,500 square feet in all areas of the jurisdictions designated as subject to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations;

7. Establish a procedure by which a stormwater management plan that is approved for a residential, commercial, or industrial subdivision shall govern the development of the individual parcels, including those parcels developed under subsequent owners;

8. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision A 5, establish a procedure by which neither a registration statement nor payment of the Department's portion of the statewide permit fee established pursuant to that subdivision shall be required for coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities for construction activity involving a single-family detached residential structure, within or outside a common plan of development or sale;

9. Provide for reciprocity with programs in other states for the certification of proprietary best management practices;

10. Require that VSMPs maintain after-development runoff rate of flow and characteristics that replicate, as nearly as practicable, the existing predevelopment runoff characteristics and site hydrology, or improve upon the contributing share of the existing predevelopment runoff characteristics and site hydrology if stream channel erosion or localized flooding is an existing predevelopment condition. Except where more stringent requirements are necessary to address total maximum daily load requirements or to protect exceptional state waters, any land-disturbing activity that provides for stormwater management shall satisfy the conditions of this subsection if the practices are designed to (i) detain the water quality volume and to release it over 48 hours; (ii) detain and release over a 24-hour period the expected rainfall resulting from the one year, 24-hour storm; and (iii) reduce the allowable peak flow rate resulting from the 1.5-year, two-year, and 10-year, 24-hour storms to a level that is less than or equal to the peak flow rate from the site assuming it was in a good forested condition, achieved through multiplication of the forested peak flow rate by a reduction factor that is equal to the runoff volume from the site when it was in a good forested condition divided by the runoff volume from the site in its proposed condition, and shall be exempt from any flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels as defined in any regulations promulgated pursuant to this section or any ordinances adopted pursuant to §62.1-44.15:27 or 62.1-44.15:33;

11. Encourage low-impact development designs, regional and watershed approaches, and nonstructural means for controlling stormwater;

12. Promote the reclamation and reuse of stormwater for uses other than potable water in order to protect state waters and the public health and to minimize the direct discharge of pollutants into state waters;

13. Establish procedures to be followed when a locality that operates a VSMP wishes to transfer administration of the VSMP to the Department;

14. Establish a statewide permit fee schedule for stormwater management related to municipal separate storm sewer system permits;

15. Provide for the evaluation and potential inclusion of emerging or innovative stormwater control technologies that may prove effective in reducing nonpoint source pollution; and

16. Require that all final plan elements, specifications, or calculations whose preparation requires a license under Chapter 4 (§54.1-400 et seq.) or 22 (§54.1-2200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 be appropriately signed and sealed by a professional who is licensed to engage in practice in the Commonwealth. Nothing in this subdivision shall authorize any person to engage in practice outside his area of professional competence.; and

17. Provide any definitions, equations, or protocols necessary to implement the runoff reduction method or other appropriate methodology as determined by the Board to demonstrate compliance with the water quality technical criteria for any land-disturbing activity that requires stormwater management. The Board shall develop guidance to establish (i) a compliance tool for projects that are subject to the runoff reduction method or other appropriate methodology and (ii) the best management practice design specifications that are necessary to effectively implement the water quality technical criteria. These specifications shall be periodically modified as required in order to reflect current scientific practices.

B. The Board may integrate and consolidate components of the regulations implementing the Erosion and Sediment Control program and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management program with the regulations governing the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit program or repeal components so that these programs may be implemented in a consolidated manner that provides greater consistency, understanding, and efficiency for those regulated by and administering a VSMP.

§62.1-44.15:28. (For effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Development of regulations.

The Board is authorized to adopt regulations that establish requirements for the effective control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and stormwater, including nonagricultural runoff, that shall be met in any VESMP to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters, and other natural resources, and that specify minimum technical criteria and administrative procedures for VESMPs. The regulations shall:

1. Establish standards and procedures for administering a VESMP;

2. Establish minimum standards of effectiveness of the VESMP and criteria and procedures for reviewing and evaluating its effectiveness. The minimum standards of program effectiveness established by the Board shall provide that (i) no soil erosion control and stormwater management plan shall be approved until it is reviewed by a plan reviewer certified pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:30, (ii) each inspection of a land-disturbing activity shall be conducted by an inspector certified pursuant to §62.1-44.15:30, and (iii) each VESMP shall contain a program administrator, a plan reviewer, and an inspector, each of whom is certified pursuant to §62.1-44.15:30 and all of whom may be the same person;

3. Be based upon relevant physical and developmental information concerning the watersheds and drainage basins of the Commonwealth, including data relating to land use, soils, hydrology, geology, size of land area being disturbed, proximate water bodies and their characteristics, transportation, and public facilities and services;

4. Include any survey of lands and waters as the Board deems appropriate or as any applicable law requires to identify areas, including multijurisdictional and watershed areas, with critical soil erosion and sediment problems;

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

6. Establish water quality and water quantity technical criteria. These criteria shall be periodically modified as required in order to reflect current engineering methods;

7. Require the provision of long-term responsibility for and maintenance of stormwater management control devices and other techniques specified to manage the quality and quantity of runoff;

8. Require as a minimum the inclusion in VESMPs of certain administrative procedures that include, but are not limited to, specifying the time period within which a VESMP authority shall grant land-disturbance approval, the conditions and processes under which such approval shall be granted, the procedures for communicating disapproval, the conditions under which an approval may be changed, and requirements for inspection of approved projects;

9. Establish a statewide fee schedule to cover all costs associated with the implementation of a VESMP related to land-disturbing activities where permit coverage is required, and for land-disturbing activities where the Board serves as a VESMP authority or VSMP authority. Such fee attributes include the costs associated with plan review, permit registration statement review, permit issuance, permit coverage verification, inspections, reporting, and compliance activities associated with the land-disturbing activities as well as program oversight costs. The fee schedule shall also include a provision for a reduced fee for a land-disturbing activity that disturbs 2,500 square feet or more but less than one acre in an area of a locality designated as a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§62.1-44.15:67 et seq.). The fee schedule shall be governed by the following:

a. The revenue generated from the statewide fee shall be collected utilizing, where practicable, an online payment system, and the Department's portion shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29. However, whenever the Board has approved a VESMP, no more than 30 percent of the total revenue generated by the statewide fees collected shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund, with the balance going to the VESMP authority;

b. Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any general fund appropriation made to the Department or other supporting revenue from a VESMP; however, the fees shall be set at a level sufficient for the Department, the Board, and the VESMP to fully carry out their responsibilities under this article and local ordinances or standards and specifications where applicable. When establishing a VESMP, the VESMP authority shall assess the statewide fees pursuant to the schedule and shall have the authority to reduce or increase such fees, and to consolidate such fees with other program-related charges, but in no case shall such fee changes affect the amount established in the regulations as available to the Department for program oversight responsibilities pursuant to subdivision a. A VESMP's portion of the fees shall be used solely to carry out the VESMP's responsibilities under this article and associated ordinances;

c. In establishing the fee schedule under this subdivision, the Department shall ensure that the VESMP authority portion of the statewide fee for coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities for small construction activity involving a single-family detached residential structure with a site or area, within or outside a common plan of development or sale, that is equal to or greater than one acre but less than five acres shall be no greater than the VESMP authority portion of the fee for coverage of sites or areas with a land-disturbance acreage of less than one acre within a common plan of development or sale;

d. When any fees are collected pursuant to this section by credit cards, business transaction costs associated with processing such payments may be additionally assessed;

e. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subdivision 9, establish a procedure by which neither a registration statement nor payment of the Department's portion of the statewide fee established pursuant to this subdivision 9 shall be required for coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities for construction activity involving a single-family detached residential structure, within or outside a common plan of development or sale;

10. Establish statewide standards for soil erosion control and stormwater management from land-disturbing activities;

11. Establish a procedure by which a soil erosion control and stormwater management plan or stormwater management plan that is approved for a residential, commercial, or industrial subdivision shall govern the development of the individual parcels, including those parcels developed under subsequent owners;

12. Provide for reciprocity with programs in other states for the certification of proprietary best management practices;

13. Require that VESMPs maintain after-development runoff rate of flow and characteristics that replicate, as nearly as practicable, the existing predevelopment runoff characteristics and site hydrology, or improve upon the contributing share of the existing predevelopment runoff characteristics and site hydrology if stream channel erosion or localized flooding is an existing predevelopment condition.

a. Except where more stringent requirements are necessary to address total maximum daily load requirements or to protect exceptional state waters, any land-disturbing activity that was subject to the water quantity requirements that were in effect pursuant to this article prior to July 1, 2014, shall be deemed to satisfy the conditions of this subsection if the practices are designed to (i) detain the water volume equal to the first one-half inch of runoff multiplied by the impervious surface of the land development project and to release it over 48 hours; (ii) detain and release over a 24-hour period the expected rainfall resulting from the one year, 24-hour storm; and (iii) reduce the allowable peak flow rate resulting from the 1.5-year, two-year, and 10-year, 24-hour storms to a level that is less than or equal to the peak flow rate from the site assuming it was in a good forested condition, achieved through multiplication of the forested peak flow rate by a reduction factor that is equal to the runoff volume from the site when it was in a good forested condition divided by the runoff volume from the site in its proposed condition. Any land-disturbing activity that complies with these requirements shall be exempt from any flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels as defined in any regulations promulgated pursuant to this section or any ordinances adopted pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:27 or 62.1-44.15:33;

b. Any stream restoration or relocation project that incorporates natural channel design concepts is not a man-made channel and shall be exempt from any flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels as defined in any regulations promulgated pursuant to this article;

14. Encourage low-impact development designs, regional and watershed approaches, and nonstructural means for controlling stormwater;

15. Promote the reclamation and reuse of stormwater for uses other than potable water in order to protect state waters and the public health and to minimize the direct discharge of pollutants into state waters;

16. Establish procedures to be followed when a locality chooses to change the type of program it administers pursuant to subsection D of §62.1-44.15:27;

17. Establish a statewide permit fee schedule for stormwater management related to MS4 permits;

18. Provide for the evaluation and potential inclusion of emerging or innovative stormwater control technologies that may prove effective in reducing nonpoint source pollution; and

19. Require that all final plan elements, specifications, or calculations whose preparation requires a license under Chapter 4 (§54.1-400 et seq.) or 22 (§54.1-2200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 be appropriately signed and sealed by a professional who is licensed to engage in practice in the Commonwealth. Nothing in this subdivision shall authorize any person to engage in practice outside his area of professional competence.; and

20. Provide any definitions, equations, or protocols necessary to implement the runoff reduction method or other appropriate methodology as determined by the Board to demonstrate compliance with the water quality technical criteria for any land-disturbing activity that requires stormwater management. The Board shall develop guidance to establish (i) a compliance tool for projects that are subject to the runoff reduction method or other appropriate methodology and (ii) the best management practice design specifications that are necessary to effectively implement the water quality technical criteria. These specifications shall be periodically modified as required in order to reflect current scientific practices.

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