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9VAC25-210-310. Exclusions from permits for surface water withdrawals.

A. The following surface water withdrawals are excluded from VWP permit requirements. Activities other than the surface water withdrawal that are contained in 9VAC25-210-50 and are associated with the construction and operation of the surface water withdrawal are subject to VWP permit requirements, unless excluded by 9VAC25-210-60. Other permits under state and federal law may be required.

1. Any surface water withdrawal in existence on July 1, 1989; however, a permit shall be required if a new 401 certification is required to increase a withdrawal. To qualify for this exclusion, the surface water withdrawal shall be deemed to be in existence on July 1, 1989, if there was an actual withdrawal on or before that date and the withdrawal has not been abandoned.

a. Abandonment of a surface water withdrawal. A surface water withdrawal shall be deemed to be abandoned if the owner of the surface water withdrawal system (i) notifies the Department of Environmental Quality in writing that the withdrawal has been abandoned or (ii) removes or disables the surface water withdrawal system with the intent to permanently cease such withdrawal. Transfer of ownership or operational control of the surface water withdrawal system, a change in use of the water, or temporary cessation of the withdrawal shall not be deemed evidence of abandonment. The notification shall be signed by the owner of record or shall include evidence satisfactory to DEQ that the signatory is authorized to submit the notice on behalf of the owner of record. Evidence may include, but shall not be limited to, a resolution of the governing body of the owner or corporate minutes.

b. Information to be furnished to DEQ. Each owner or operator of a permanent surface water withdrawal system engaging in a withdrawal that is subject to this exclusion shall provide DEQ the estimated maximum capacity of the intake structure, the location of the existing intake structure, and any other information that may be required by the board. Each owner or operator of a temporary surface water withdrawal system engaging in a withdrawal that is subject to this exclusion, where the purpose of the withdrawal is for agriculture, shall provide to DEQ the maximum annual surface water withdrawal over the last 10 years. The information shall be provided within one year of the date that notice of such request is received from DEQ and shall be updated when the maximum capacity of the existing intake structure changes. The information provided to DEQ shall not constitute a limit on the exempted withdrawal. Such information shall be utilized by DEQ and board to protect existing beneficial uses and shall be considered when evaluating applications for new withdrawal permits.

2. Any surface water withdrawal not in existence on July 1, 1989, if the person proposing to make the withdrawal received a 401 certification before January 1, 1989, that authorized the installation of any necessary withdrawal structures to make such withdrawal. However, a permit shall be required before any such withdrawal is increased beyond the amount authorized by the certification.

3. Any existing lawful unpermitted surface water withdrawal initiated between July 1, 1989, and July 25, 2007, that has complied with the Water Withdrawal Reporting regulations (9VAC25-200) and that is not subject to other exclusions contained in this section. Any increase in that withdrawal above the limited amount identified in subdivision a of this subdivision A 3 shall require an application for a permit for the surface water withdrawal system.

a. The largest 12-consecutive month surface water withdrawal that occurred in the 10 years prior to July 25, 2007, shall constitute a limit on the withdrawal that is excluded from permit requirements. For agricultural surface water withdrawals that did not report annually as required by the Water Withdrawal Reporting regulations (9VAC25-200) prior to July 25, 2007, the limit excluded from permit requirements was established for the operations that were in existence during the 10 years prior to July 25, 2007, by estimating the largest 12-consecutive month withdrawal based upon the following information associated with that timeframe: the area irrigated, depth of irrigation, and annual number of irrigations; pumping capacity and annual pumping time; annual energy consumption for pumps; number and type of livestock watered annually; and number and type of livestock where water is used for cooling purposes.

b. All owners and operators of surface water withdrawals excluded from permit requirements by this section shall annually report withdrawals as required by the Water Withdrawal Reporting regulations (9VAC25-200). Failure to file annual reports either reporting actual withdrawals or the fact that withdrawals did not occur may result in the owner or operator being required to cease withdrawals, file an application, and receive a permit prior to resuming any withdrawal. Information regarding excluded withdrawal amounts shall be utilized by DEQ and the board to protect existing beneficial uses and shall be considered when evaluating applications for new withdrawal permits.

4. Agricultural surface water withdrawals that total less than:

a. One million gallons in a single month from nontidal waters.

b. 60 million gallons in a single month from tidal waters.

5. Surface water withdrawals from tidal waters for nonconsumptive uses.

6. Surface water withdrawals from nontidal or tidal waters, regardless of the volume withdrawn, for the following uses:

a. Firefighting or for the training activities related to firefighting, such as dry hydrants and emergency surface water withdrawals.

b. Hydrostatic pressure testing of water tight containers, pipelines, and vessels.

c. Normal single-family home residential gardening and lawn and landscape maintenance.

7. Surface water withdrawals placed into portable containers by persons owning property on or holding easements to riparian lands.

8. Surface water withdrawals that return withdrawn water to the stream of origin; do not divert more than half of the instantaneous flow of the stream; have the withdrawal point and the return point not separated by more than 1,000 feet of stream channel; and have both banks of the affected stream segment located within one property boundary.

9. Surface water withdrawals from quarry pits that do not alter the physical, biological, or chemical properties of surface waters connected to the quarry pit.

10. Surface water withdrawals from a privately owned agriculture pond, emergency water storage facility, or other water retention facility, provided that such pond or facility is not placed in the bed of a perennial or intermittent stream or wetland. Surface water withdrawals from such facilities constructed in beds of ephemeral streams are excluded from permit requirements.

11. Surface water withdrawals for all other purposes not otherwise excluded by subdivisions 4 through 10 of this subsection that total less than:

a. 10,000 gallons per day from nontidal waters.

b. Two million gallons per day from tidal waters.

B. DEQ may require any owner or operator of a surface water withdrawal system excluded from permit requirements by subdivisions A 3 through A 11 of this section to cease withdrawals and file an application and receive a permit prior to resuming any withdrawal when the board's assessment indicates that a withdrawal, whether individually or in combination with other existing or proposed projects:

1. Causes or contributes to, or may reasonably be expected to cause or contribute to, a significant impairment of the state waters or fish and wildlife resources;

2. Adversely impacts other existing beneficial uses; or

3. Will cause or contribute to a violation of water quality standards.

Statutory Authority

62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; 401 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1251 et seq.).

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. August 2, 2016.


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