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9VAC25-210-80. Application for a VWP permit.

A. Application for a VWP Permit. Any person who is required to obtain a VWP permit, except those persons applying for an emergency VWP permit for a public water supply emergency, shall submit a complete VWP permit application to the Department of Environmental Quality through the most current Joint Permit Application procedures established within each type of Joint Permit Application. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) may use its Interagency Coordination Meeting (IACM) process for submitting JPAs. There shall be no commencement of any activity subject to this chapter prior to the issuance of a VWP permit or granting VWP general permit coverage.

B. Informational requirements for all VWP individual permit applications are identified in this subsection with the exception of applications for emergency VWP permits to address a public water supply emergency, for which the information required in 9VAC25-210-340 C shall be submitted. In addition to the information in this subsection, applications involving a surface water withdrawal or a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license or relicense associated with a surface water withdrawal shall also submit the information required in 9VAC25-210-340 B.

1. A complete application for a VWP individual permit, at a minimum, consists of the following information, if applicable to the project:

a. The applicant's legal name, mailing address, telephone number, and if applicable, electronic mail address and fax number.

b. If different from applicant, legal name, mailing address, telephone number, and if applicable, electronic mail address and fax number of property owner.

c. If applicable, the authorized agent's name, mailing address, telephone number, and if applicable, fax number and electronic mail address.

d. Project name and proposed project schedule. This schedule will be used to determine the VWP permit term.

e. The following information for the project site location, and any related permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation site:

(1) The physical street address, nearest street, or nearest route number; city or county; zip code; and if applicable, parcel number of the site or sites.

(2) Name of the impacted water body or water bodies, or receiving waters, as applicable, at the site or sites.

(3) The latitude and longitude to the nearest second at the center of the site or sites.

(4) The fourth order subbasin, as defined by the hydrologic unit boundaries of the National Watershed Boundary Dataset, for the site or sites.

(5) A detailed map depicting the location of the site or sites, including the project boundary and existing preservation areas on the site or sites. The map (e.g., a U.S. Geologic Survey topographic quadrangle map) should be of sufficient detail to easily locate the site or sites for inspection.

f. A narrative description of the project, including project purpose and need.

g. An alternatives analysis for the proposed project detailing the specific on-site and off-site measures taken during project design and development to first avoid and then minimize impacts to surface waters to the maximum extent practicable in accordance with the Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material, 40 CFR Part 230. Avoidance and minimization includes, but is not limited to, the specific on-site and off-site measures taken to reduce the size, scope, configuration, or density of the proposed project, including review of alternative sites where required for the project, which would avoid or result in less adverse impact to surface waters, and documentation demonstrating the reason the applicant determined less damaging alternatives are not practicable. The analysis shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that avoidance and minimization opportunities have been identified and measures have been applied to the proposed activity such that the proposed activity in terms of impacts to state waters and fish and wildlife resources is the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative.

h. A narrative description of all impacts proposed to surface waters, including the type of activity to be conducted in surface waters and any physical alteration to surface waters. Surface water impacts shall be identified as follows:

(1) Wetland impacts identified according to their Cowardin classification (i.e., emergent, scrub-shrub, or forested); and for each classification, the individual impacts quantified in square feet to the nearest whole number, cumulatively summed in square feet, and then the sum converted to acres and rounded to two decimal places using commonly accepted arithmetic principles of rounding.

(2) Individual stream impacts (i) quantified by length in linear feet to the nearest whole number and by average width in feet to the nearest whole number; (ii) quantified in square feet to the nearest whole number; and (iii) when compensatory mitigation is required, the impacts identified according to the assessed type using the Unified Stream Methodology.

(3) Open water impacts identified according to type; and for each type, the individual impacts quantified in square feet to the nearest whole number, cumulatively summed in square feet, and then the sum converted to acres and rounded to two decimal places using commonly accepted arithmetic principles of rounding.

(4) A copy of the approved jurisdictional determination when available, or when unavailable, (i) the preliminary jurisdictional determination from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), or DEQ or (ii) other correspondence from the USACE, NRCS, or DEQ indicating approval of the boundary of applicable jurisdictional surface waters, including wetlands data sheets if applicable.

(5) A delineation map that (i) depicts the geographic area or areas of all surface water boundaries delineated in accordance with 9VAC25-210-45 and confirmed in accordance with the jurisdictional determination process; (ii) identifies such areas in accordance with subdivisions 1 h (1), 1 h (2), and 1 h (3) of this subsection; and (iii) quantifies and identifies any other surface waters according to their Cowardin classification (i.e., emergent, scrub-shrub, or forested) or similar terminology.

i. Plan view drawing or drawings of the project site sufficient to assess the project, including at a minimum the following:

(1) North arrow, graphic scale, and existing and proposed topographic or bathymetric contours.

(2) Limits of proposed impacts to surface waters.

(3) Location of all existing and proposed structures.

(4) All delineated wetlands and all jurisdictional surface waters on the site, including the Cowardin classification (i.e., emergent, scrub-shrub, or forested) for those surface waters and waterway name, if designated; ebb and flood or direction of flow; ordinary high water mark in nontidal areas; tidal wetlands boundary; and mean low water and mean high water lines in tidal areas.

(5) The limits of Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Areas (RPAs) as field-verified by the applicant, and if available, the limits as approved by the locality in which the project site is located, unless the proposed use is exempt from the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations (9VAC25-830).

(6) The limits of any areas that are under a deed restriction, conservation easement, restrictive covenant, or other land use protective instrument (i.e., protected areas).

j. Cross-sectional and profile drawing or drawings. Cross-sectional drawing or drawings of each proposed impact area includes at a minimum a graphic scale, existing structures, existing and proposed elevations, limits of surface water areas, ebb and flood or direction of flow (if applicable), ordinary high water mark in nontidal areas, tidal wetland boundary, mean low water and mean high water lines in tidal areas, impact limits, and location of all existing and proposed structures. Profile drawing or drawings with this information may be required on a case-by-case basis to demonstrate minimization of impacts. Any application that proposes piping or culverting stream flows shall provide a longitudinal profile of the pipe or culvert position and stream bed thalweg, or shall provide spot elevations of the stream thalweg at the beginning and end of the pipe or culvert, extending to a minimum of 10 feet beyond the limits of the proposed impact.

k. Materials assessment. Upon request by the board, the applicant shall provide evidence or certification that the material is free from toxic contaminants prior to disposal or that the dredging activity will not cause or contribute to a violation of water quality standards during dredging. The applicant may be required to conduct grain size and composition analyses, tests for specific parameters or chemical constituents, or elutriate tests on the dredge material.

l. An assessment of potential impacts to federal and state listed threatened or endangered species, including any correspondence or documentation from federal or state resource agencies addressing potential impacts to listed species.

m. A compensatory mitigation plan to achieve no net loss of wetland acreage and functions or stream functions and water quality benefits.

(1) If permittee-responsible compensation is proposed for wetland impacts, a conceptual wetland compensatory mitigation plan shall be submitted in order for an application to be deemed complete and shall include at a minimum (i) the goals and objectives in terms of replacement of wetland acreage and functions; (ii) a detailed location map including latitude and longitude to the nearest second and the fourth order subbasin, as defined by the hydrologic unit boundaries of the National Watershed Boundary Dataset, at the center of the site; (iii) a description of the surrounding land use; (iv) a hydrologic analysis including a draft water budget for nontidal areas based on expected monthly inputs and outputs that will project water level elevations for a typical year, a dry year, and a wet year; (v) groundwater elevation data, if available, or the proposed location of groundwater monitoring wells to collect these data; (vi) wetland delineation confirmation, data sheets, and maps for existing surface water areas on the proposed site or sites; (vii) a conceptual grading plan; (viii) a conceptual planting scheme including suggested plant species and zonation of each vegetation type proposed; (ix) a description of existing soils including general information on both topsoil and subsoil conditions, permeability, and the need for soil amendments; (x) a draft design of water control structures; (xi) inclusion of buffer areas; (xii) a description of any structures and features necessary for the success of the site; (xiii) the schedule for compensatory mitigation site construction; and (xiv) measures for the control of undesirable species.

(2) If permittee-responsible compensation is proposed for stream impacts, a conceptual stream compensatory mitigation plan shall be submitted in order for an application to be deemed complete and shall include at a minimum (i) the goals and objectives in terms of water quality benefits and replacement of stream functions; (ii) a detailed location map including the latitude and longitude to the nearest second and the fourth order subbasin, as defined by the hydrologic unit boundaries of the National Watershed Boundary Dataset, at the center of the site; (iii) a description of the surrounding land use; (iv) the proposed stream segment restoration locations including plan view and cross-section drawings; (v) the stream deficiencies that need to be addressed; (vi) data obtained from a DEQ-approved, stream impact assessment methodology such as the Unified Stream Methodology; (vii) the proposed restoration measures to be employed including channel measurements, proposed design flows, types of instream structures, and conceptual planting scheme; (viii) reference stream data, if available; (ix) inclusion of buffer areas; (x) schedule for restoration activities; and (xi) measures for the control of undesirable species.

(3) For any permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation, the conceptual compensatory mitigation plan shall also include a draft of the intended protective mechanism or mechanisms, in accordance with 9VAC25-210-116 B 2, such as, but not limited to, a conservation easement held by a third party in accordance with the Virginia Conservation Easement Act ( 10.1-1009 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) or the Virginia Open-Space Land Act ( 10.1-1700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), a duly recorded declaration of restrictive covenants, or other protective instrument. The draft intended protective mechanism shall contain the information in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) of this subdivision B 1 m (3) or in lieu thereof shall describe the intended protective mechanism or mechanisms that contain or contains the information required as follows:

(a) A provision for access to the site;

(b) The following minimum restrictions: no ditching, land clearing, or discharge of dredge or fill material, and no activity in the area designated as compensatory mitigation area with the exception of maintenance; corrective action measures; or DEQ-approved activities described in the approved final compensatory mitigation plan or long-term management plan; and

(c) A long-term management plan that identifies a long-term steward and adequate financial assurances for long-term management in accordance with the current standard for mitigation banks and in-lieu fee program sites, except that financial assurances will not be necessary for permittee-responsible compensation provided by government agencies on government property. If approved by DEQ, permittee-responsible compensation on government property and long-term protection may be provided through federal facility management plans, integrated natural resources management plans, or other alternate management plans submitted by a government agency or public authority.

(4) Any compensatory mitigation plan proposing the purchase of mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program credits shall include the number and type of credits proposed to be purchased and documentation from the approved bank or in-lieu fee program sponsor of the availability of credits at the time of application.

n. A written description and a graphical depiction identifying all upland areas including buffers, wetlands, open water, other surface waters, and compensatory mitigation areas located within the proposed project boundary or permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation areas, that are under a deed restriction, conservation easement, restrictive covenant, or other land use protective instrument (i.e., protected areas). Such description and a graphical depiction shall include the nature of the prohibited activities within the protected areas and the limits of Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Areas (RPAs) as field-verified by the applicant, and if available, the limits as approved by the locality in which the project site is located, unless the proposed use is exempt from the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations (9VAC25-830), as additional state or local requirements may apply if the project is located within an RPA.

o. Signature page that has been signed, dated, and certified by the applicant in accordance with 9VAC25-210-100. If the applicant is a business or other organization, the signature must be made by an individual with the authority to bind the business or organization, and the title of the signatory must be provided. The application signature page, either on the copy submitted to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission or to DEQ, must have an original signature. Electronic submittals containing the original signature page, such as that contained in a scanned document file, are acceptable.

p. Permit application fee. The applicant will be notified by the board as to the appropriate fee for the project in accordance with 9VAC25-20. The board will continue to process the application, but the fee must be received prior to release of a draft VWP permit.

2. Reserved.

C. An analysis of the functions of wetlands proposed to be impacted may be required by DEQ. When required, the method selected for the analysis shall assess water quality or habitat metrics and shall be coordinated with DEQ in advance of conducting the analysis.

1. No analysis shall be required when:

a. Wetland impacts per each single and complete project total 1.00 acre or less; or

b. The proposed compensatory mitigation consists of purchasing mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program credits at standard mitigation ratios of 2:1 for forest, 1.5:1 for scrub-shrub, and 1:1 for emergent, or higher.

2. Analysis shall be required when wetland impacts per each single and complete project total 1.01 acres or more, and when any of the following applies:

a. The proposed compensatory mitigation consists of permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation, including water quality enhancements as replacement for wetlands; or

b. The proposed compensatory mitigation consists of purchasing mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program credits at less than the standard mitigation ratios of 2:1 for forest, 1.5:1 for scrub-shrub, and 1:1 for emergent.

D. Incomplete application. Where an application is not accepted as complete by the board within 15 days of receipt, the board shall require the submission of additional information from the applicant and may suspend processing of any application until such time as the applicant has supplied the requested information and the board considers the application complete. Where the applicant becomes aware that he omitted one or more relevant facts from a VWP permit application or submitted incorrect information in a VWP permit application or in any report to the board, the applicant shall immediately submit such facts or the correct information. A revised application with new information shall be deemed a new application for purpose of review but shall not require an additional notice or an additional permit application fee. An incomplete permit application may be administratively withdrawn from processing by the board for failure to provide the required information after 60 days from the date of the latest written information request made by the board. An applicant may request a suspension of application review by the board. A submission by the applicant making such a request shall not preclude the board from administratively withdrawing an incomplete application. Resubmittal of a permit application for the same or similar project, after such time that the original permit application was administratively withdrawn, shall require submittal of an additional permit application fee and may be subject to additional noticing requirements.

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 VR680-15-02 2.1, eff. May 20, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2007; Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. August 2, 2016.


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