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Part VII
Special Standards and Scenic Rivers Listings

9VAC25-260-310. Special standards and requirements.

The special standards are shown in small letters to correspond to lettering in the basin tables. The special standards are as follows:

a. Shellfish waters. In all open ocean or estuarine waters capable of propagating shellfish or in specific areas where public or leased private shellfish beds are present, including those waters on which condemnation classifications are established by the Virginia Department of Health, the following criteria for fecal coliform bacteria will apply:

The geometric mean fecal coliform value for a sampling station shall not exceed an MPN (most probable number) or MF (membrane filtration using mTEC culture media) of 14 per 100 milliliters (ml) of sample and the estimated 90th percentile shall not exceed an MPN of 43 per 100 ml for a 5-tube decimal dilution test or an MPN of 49 per 100 ml for a 3-tube decimal dilution test or MF test of 31 CFU (colony forming units) per 100 ml.

The shellfish area is not to be so contaminated by radionuclides, pesticides, herbicides, or fecal material that the consumption of shellfish might be hazardous.

b. Policy for the Potomac Embayments. At its meeting on September 12, 1996, the board adopted a policy (9VAC25-415. Policy for the Potomac Embayments) to control point source discharges of conventional pollutants into the Virginia embayment waters of the Potomac River, and their tributaries, from the fall line at Chain Bridge in Arlington County to the Route 301 bridge in King George County. The policy sets effluent limits for BOD5, total suspended solids, phosphorus, and ammonia, to protect the water quality of these high profile waterbodies.

c. Canceled.

d. Canceled.

e. Canceled.

f. Canceled.

g. Occoquan watershed policy. At its meeting on July 26, 1971 (Minute 10), the board adopted a comprehensive pollution abatement and water quality management policy for the Occoquan watershed. The policy set stringent treatment and discharge requirements in order to improve and protect water quality, particularly since the waters are an important water supply for Northern Virginia. Following a public hearing on November 20, 1980, the board, at its December 10-12, 1980 meeting, adopted as of February 1, 1981, revisions to this policy (Minute 20). These revisions became effective March 4, 1981. Additional amendments were made following a public hearing on August 22, 1990, and adopted by the board at its September 24, 1990, meeting (Minute 24) and became effective on December 5, 1990. Copies are available upon request from the Department of Environmental Quality.

h. Canceled.

i. Canceled.

j. Canceled.

k. Canceled.

l. Canceled.

m. The following effluent limitations apply to wastewater treatment facilities treating an organic nutrient source in the entire Chickahominy watershed above Walker's Dam (this excludes discharges consisting solely of stormwater):



1. Biochemical oxygen demand 5-day

6 mg/l monthly average, with not more than 5% of individual samples to exceed 8 mg/l.

2. Settleable solids

Not to exceed 0.1 ml/l monthly average.

3. Suspended solids

5.0 mg/l monthly average, with not more than 5% of individual samples to exceed 7.5 mg/l.

4. Ammonia nitrogen

Not to exceed 2.0 mg/l monthly average as N.

5. Total phosphorus

Not to exceed 0.10 mg/l monthly average for all discharges with the exception of Tyson Foods, Inc., which shall meet 0.30 mg/l monthly average and 0.50 mg/l daily maximum.

6. Other physical and chemical constituents

Other physical or chemical constituents not specifically mentioned will be covered by additional specifications as conditions detrimental to the stream arise. The specific mention of items 1 through 5 does not necessarily mean that the addition of other physical or chemical constituents will be condoned.

n. No sewage discharges, regardless of degree of treatment, should be allowed into the James River between Bosher and Williams Island Dams.

o. The concentration and total amount of impurities in Tuckahoe Creek and its tributaries of sewage origin shall be limited to those amounts from sewage, industrial wastes, and other wastes which are now present in the stream from natural sources and from existing discharges in the watershed.

p. Canceled.

q. Canceled.

r. Canceled.

s. Canceled.

t. Canceled.

u. Maximum temperature for the New River Basin from Virginia-West Virginia state line upstream to the Giles-Montgomery County line:

The maximum temperature shall be 27C (81F) unless caused by natural conditions; the maximum rise above natural temperatures shall not exceed 2.8C (5F).

This maximum temperature limit of 81F was established in the 1970 water quality standards amendments so that Virginia temperature criteria for the New River would be consistent with those of West Virginia, since the stream flows into that state.

v. The maximum temperature of the New River and its tributaries (except trout waters) from the Montgomery-Giles County line upstream to the Virginia-North Carolina state line shall be 29C (84F).

w. Canceled.

x. Clinch River from the confluence of Dumps Creek at river mile 268 at Carbo downstream to river mile 255.4. The special water quality criteria for copper (measured as total recoverable) in this section of the Clinch River are 12.4 μg/l for protection from chronic effects and 19.5 μg/l for protection from acute effects. These site-specific criteria are needed to provide protection to several endangered species of freshwater mussels.

y. Tidal freshwater Potomac River and tidal tributaries that enter the tidal freshwater Potomac River from Cockpit Point (below Occoquan Bay) to the fall line at Chain Bridge. During November 1 through February 14 of each year the 30-day average concentration of total ammonia nitrogen (in mg N/L) shall not exceed, more than once every three years on the average, the following chronic ammonia criterion:






x 1.45(100.028(25-MAX))

1 + 107.688-pH

1 + 10pH-7.688

MAX = temperature in C or 7, whichever is greater.

The default design flow for calculating steady state wasteload allocations for this chronic ammonia criterion is the 30Q10, unless statistically valid methods are employed which demonstrate compliance with the duration and return frequency of this water quality criterion.

z. A site specific dissolved copper aquatic life criterion of 16.3 μg/l for protection from acute effects and 10.5 μg/l for protection from chronic effects applies in the following area:

Little Creek to the Route 60 (Shore Drive) bridge including Little Channel, Desert Cove, Fishermans Cove and Little Creek Cove.

Hampton Roads Harbor including the waters within the boundary lines formed by I-664 (Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel) and I-64 (Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel), Willoughby Bay and the Elizabeth River and its tidal tributaries.

This criterion reflects the acute and chronic copper aquatic life criterion for saltwater in 9VAC25-260-140 B X a water effect ratio. The water effect ratio was derived in accordance with 9VAC25-260-140 F.

aa. The following site-specific dissolved oxygen criteria apply to the tidal Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers and their tidal tributaries because of seasonal lower dissolved oxygen concentration due to the natural oxygen depleting processes present in the extensive surrounding tidal wetlands. These criteria apply June 1 through September 30 to Chesapeake Bay segments MPNTF, MPNOH, PMKTF, PMKOH and are implemented in accordance with subsection D of 9VAC25-260-185. These criteria supersede the open water criteria listed in subsection A of 9VAC25-260-185.

Designated use

Criteria Concentration/Duration

Temporal Application

Open water

30 day mean ≥ 4.0 mg/l

June 1 - September 30

Instantaneous minimum ≥ 3.2 mg/l at temperatures <29C

Instantaneous minimum ≥ 4.3 mg/l at temperatures ≥ 29C

A site-specific pH criterion of 5.0-8.0 applies to the tidal freshwater Mattaponi Chesapeake Bay segment MPNTF to reflect natural conditions.

bb. The following site specific numerical chlorophyll a criteria apply March 1 through May 31 and July 1 through September 30 as seasonal means to the tidal James River (excludes tributaries) segments JMSTF2, JMSTF1, JMSOH, JMSMH, JMSPH and are implemented in accordance with subsection D of 9VAC25-260-185.

Designated Use

Chlorophyll a /l

Chesapeake Bay Program Segment

Temporal Application

Open water



March 1 - May 31











July 1 - September 30









cc. For Mountain Lake in Giles County, chlorophyll a shall not exceed 6 g/L at a depth of six meters and orthophosphate-P shall not exceed 8 g/L at a depth of one meter or less.

dd. For Lake Drummond, located within the boundaries of Chesapeake and Suffolk in the Great Dismal Swamp, chlorophyll a shall not exceed 35 g/L and total phosphorus shall not exceed 40 g/L at a depth of one meter or less.

ee. Maximum temperature for these seasonally stockable trout waters is 26C and applies May 1 through October 31.

ff. Maximum temperature for these seasonally stockable trout waters is 28C and applies May 1 through October 31.

gg. Little Calfpasture River from the Goshen Dam to 0.76 miles above its confluence with the Calfpasture River has a stream condition index (A Stream Condition Index for Virginia Non-Coastal Streams, September 2003, Tetra Tech, Inc.) of at least 20.5 to protect the subcategory of aquatic life that exists in this river section as a result of the hydrologic modification. From 0.76 miles to 0.02 miles above its confluence with the Calfpasture River, aquatic life conditions are expected to gradually recover and meet the general aquatic life uses at 0.02 miles above its confluence with the Calfpasture River.

hh. Maximum temperature for these seasonally stockable trout waters is 31C and applies May 1 through October 31.

Statutory Authority

62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; Clean Water Act (33 USC 1251 et seq.); 40 CFR Part 131.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-21-07.1, eff. May 20, 1992; amended July 1, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 12, eff. April 2, 1997; Volume 14, Issue 4, eff. December 10, 1997; Volume 19, Issue 23, eff. August 27, 2003; Volume 20, Issue 9, eff. February 12, 2004; Volume 22, Issue 11, eff. January 12, 2006; Volume 24, Issue 4, eff. August 14, 2007; Volume 26, Issue 12, eff. February 1, 2010; Volume 32, Issue 26, eff. June 27, 2017.

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