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2013 SESSION

13104570D
SENATE BILL NO. 1279
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
on January 24, 2013)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Senator Hanger)
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 2.2-1105, 2.2-3705.6, 2.2-4006, 2.2-4021, 3.2-108, 3.2-400, 3.2-406, 3.2-408, 3.2-409, 3.2-410, 3.2-3602, 3.2-3602.1, 10.1-107, 10.1-603.18, 10.1-603.19:1, 10.1-604, 10.1-605, 10.1-605.2, 10.1-636, 10.1-637, 10.1-651, 10.1-653, 10.1-659, 10.1-1185, 10.1-1186, 10.1-2123, 10.1-2125, 10.1-2128, 10.1-2128.1, 10.1-2129, 10.1-2131, 10.1-2132, 10.1-2134, 15.2-1129.2, 15.2-2114, 15.2-2295.1, 15.2-2403.3, 24.2-506, 24.2-680, 33.1-70.1, 36-55.64, 58.1-339.3, 58.1-439.5, 58.1-3660.1, 58.1-3851, 62.1-44.5, 62.1-44.9, 62.1-44.14, 62.1-44.15, 62.1-44.15:5.1, 62.1-44.17:1, 62.1-44.17:1.1, 62.1-44.19:3, 62.1-44.19:13, 62.1-44.19:15, 62.1-44.19:20, 62.1-44.23, 62.1-44.32, 62.1-44.44, 62.1-73, 62.1-195.1, and 62.1-229.4 of the Code of Virginia; to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 2 of Chapter 1 of Title 10.1 a section numbered 10.1-107.1, by adding in Chapter 11.1 of Title 10.1 articles numbered 1.2 through 1.7, consisting of sections numbered 10.1-1187.8 through 10.1-1187.103, by adding in Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 articles numbered 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5, consisting of sections numbered 62.1-44.15:24 through 62.1-44.15:79, and by adding in Article 4.02 of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 sections numbered 62.1-44.19:21, 62.1-44.19:22, and 62.1-44.19:23; and to repeal §§ 10.1-104.1 through 10.1-104.6 and Article 1.1 (§§ 10.1-104.7, 10.1-104.8, and 10.1-104.9) of Chapter 1, Chapter 5 (§§ 10.1-500 through 10.1-571), Articles 1.1 (§§ 10.1-603.1 through 10.1-603.15), 1.1:1 (§§ 10.1-603.15:1 through 10.1-603.15:5), and 3 (§§ 10.1-614 through 10.1-635) of Chapter 6, and Chapter 21 (§§ 10.1-2100 through 10.1-2115) of Title 10.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to transfer of responsibility for administration of water quality programs.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That §§ 2.2-1105, 2.2-3705.6, 2.2-4006, 2.2-4021, 3.2-108, 3.2-400, 3.2-406, 3.2-408, 3.2-409, 3.2-410, 3.2-3602, 3.2-3602.1, 10.1-107, 10.1-603.18, 10.1-603.19:1, 10.1-604, 10.1-605, 10.1-605.2, 10.1-636, 10.1-637, 10.1-651, 10.1-653, 10.1-659, 10.1-1185, 10.1-1186, 10.1-2123, 10.1-2125, 10.1-2128, 10.1-2128.1, 10.1-2129, 10.1-2131, 10.1-2132, 10.1-2134, 15.2-1129.2, 15.2-2114, 15.2-2295.1, 15.2-2403.3, 24.2-506, 24.2-680, 33.1-70.1, 36-55.64, 58.1-339.3, 58.1-439.5, 58.1-3660.1, 58.1-3851, 62.1-44.5, 62.1-44.9, 62.1-44.14, 62.1-44.15, 62.1-44.15:5.1, 62.1-44.17:1, 62.1-44.17:1.1, 62.1-44.19:3, 62.1-44.19:13, 62.1-44.19:15, 62.1-44.19:20, 62.1-44.23, 62.1-44.32, 62.1-44.44, 62.1-73, 62.1-195.1, and 62.1-229.4 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 2 of Chapter 1 of Title 10.1 a section numbered 10.1-107.1, by adding in Chapter 11.1 of Title 10.1 articles numbered 1.2 through 1.7, consisting of sections numbered 10.1-1187.8 through 10.1-1187.103, by adding in Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 articles numbered 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5, consisting of sections numbered 62.1-44.15:24 through 62.1-44.15:79, and by adding in Article 4.02 of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 sections numbered 62.1-44.19:21, 62.1-44.19:22, and 62.1-44.19:23 as follows:

§ 2.2-1105. Environmental laboratory certification program.

A. The Division shall by regulation establish a program for the certification of laboratories conducting any tests, analyses, measurements, or monitoring required pursuant to Chapter 13 (§ 10.1-1300 et seq.) of Title 10.1, the Virginia Waste Management Act (§ 10.1-1400 et seq.), or the State Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.). The program shall include, but need not be limited to, minimum criteria for (i) laboratory procedures, (ii) performance evaluations, (iii) supervisory and personnel requirements, (iv) facilities and equipment, (v) analytical quality control and quality assurance, (vi) certificate issuance and maintenance, (vii) recertification and decertification, and (viii) granting partial and full exemptions from the program based on compliance and performance. The regulations shall be promulgated only after adoption of national accreditation standards by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The purpose of the program shall be to ensure that laboratories provide accurate and consistent tests, analyses, measurements and monitoring so that the goals and requirements of Chapter 13 of Title 10.1, the Virginia Waste Management Act, and the State Water Control Law may be met.

B. Once the certification program has been established, laboratory certification shall be required before any tests, analyses, measurements or monitoring performed by a laboratory after the effective date of such program may be used for the purposes of Chapter 13 (§ 10.1-1300 et seq.) of Title 10.1, the Virginia Waste Management Act, and the State Water Control Law.

C. The Division shall by regulation establish a fee system to offset the costs of the certification program. The regulations shall establish fee categories based upon the types of substances for which tests, analyses, measurements or monitoring are performed. The fees shall be used solely for offsetting the costs of the laboratory certification program.

D. The Division shall develop procedures for determining the qualifications of laboratories located in jurisdictions outside of Virginia to conduct tests, analyses, measurements or monitoring for use in Virginia. Laboratories located outside of Virginia that are certified or accredited under a program determined by the Division to be equivalent to the program established under this section shall be deemed to meet the certification requirements.

E. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, laboratories found to be falsifying any data or providing false information to support certification shall be decertified or denied certification.

F. Any laboratory subject to this section may petition the Director of the Division for a reasonable variance from the requirements of the regulations promulgated under this section. The Division may grant a reasonable variance if the petitioner demonstrates to the Director's satisfaction that (i) the proposed variance will meet the goals and purposes of the provisions of this section or regulation promulgated under this section, and (ii) the variance does not conflict with federal or state law or regulations. Any petition submitted to the Director is subject to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

G. The provisions of this section shall not apply to laboratories when performing tests, analyses, measurements, or monitoring, using protocols pursuant to § 10.1-104.2 10.1-1187.8 to determine soil fertility, animal manure nutrient content, or plant tissue nutrient uptake for the purposes of nutrient management.

§ 2.2-3705.6. Exclusions to application of chapter; proprietary records and trade secrets.

The following records are excluded from the provisions of this chapter but may be disclosed by the custodian in his discretion, except where such disclosure is prohibited by law:

1. Proprietary information gathered by or for the Virginia Port Authority as provided in § 62.1-132.4 or 62.1-134.1.

2. Financial statements not publicly available filed with applications for industrial development financings in accordance with Chapter 49 (§ 15.2-4900 et seq.) of Title 15.2.

3. Confidential proprietary records, voluntarily provided by private business pursuant to a promise of confidentiality from a public body, used by the public body for business, trade and tourism development or retention; and memoranda, working papers or other records related to businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Virginia, prepared by a public body, where competition or bargaining is involved and where, if such records are made public, the financial interest of the public body would be adversely affected.

4. Information that was filed as confidential under the Toxic Substances Information Act (§ 32.1-239 et seq.), as such Act existed prior to July 1, 1992.

5. Fisheries data that would permit identification of any person or vessel, except when required by court order as specified in § 28.2-204.

6. Confidential financial statements, balance sheets, trade secrets, and revenue and cost projections provided to the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, provided such information is exempt under the federal Freedom of Information Act or the federal Interstate Commerce Act or other laws administered by the Surface Transportation Board or the Federal Railroad Administration with respect to data provided in confidence to the Surface Transportation Board and the Federal Railroad Administration.

7. Confidential proprietary records related to inventory and sales, voluntarily provided by private energy suppliers to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, used by that Department for energy contingency planning purposes or for developing consolidated statistical information on energy supplies.

8. Confidential proprietary information furnished to the Board of Medical Assistance Services or the Medicaid Prior Authorization Advisory Committee pursuant to Article 4 (§ 32.1-331.12 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 32.1.

9. Proprietary, commercial or financial information, balance sheets, trade secrets, and revenue and cost projections provided by a private transportation business to the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation for the purpose of conducting transportation studies needed to obtain grants or other financial assistance under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (P.L. 105-178) for transportation projects, provided such information is exempt under the federal Freedom of Information Act or the federal Interstate Commerce Act or other laws administered by the Surface Transportation Board or the Federal Railroad Administration with respect to data provided in confidence to the Surface Transportation Board and the Federal Railroad Administration. However, the exemption provided by this subdivision shall not apply to any wholly owned subsidiary of a public body.

10. Confidential information designated as provided in subsection F of § 2.2-4342 as trade secrets or proprietary information by any person who has submitted to a public body an application for prequalification to bid on public construction projects in accordance with subsection B of § 2.2-4317.

11. a. Memoranda, staff evaluations, or other records prepared by the responsible public entity, its staff, outside advisors, or consultants exclusively for the evaluation and negotiation of proposals filed under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 (§ 56-556 et seq.) or the Public Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (§ 56-575.1 et seq.), where (i) if such records were made public prior to or after the execution of an interim or a comprehensive agreement, § 56-573.1:1 or 56-575.17 notwithstanding, the financial interest or bargaining position of the public entity would be adversely affected, and (ii) the basis for the determination required in clause (i) is documented in writing by the responsible public entity; and

b. Records provided by a private entity to a responsible public entity, affected jurisdiction, or affected local jurisdiction pursuant to the provisions of the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 or the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002, to the extent that such records contain (i) trade secrets of the private entity as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.); (ii) financial records of the private entity, including balance sheets and financial statements, that are not generally available to the public through regulatory disclosure or otherwise; or (iii) other information submitted by the private entity, where, if the records were made public prior to the execution of an interim agreement or a comprehensive agreement, the financial interest or bargaining position of the public or private entity would be adversely affected. In order for the records specified in clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) to be excluded from the provisions of this chapter, the private entity shall make a written request to the responsible public entity:

1. Invoking such exclusion upon submission of the data or other materials for which protection from disclosure is sought;

2. Identifying with specificity the data or other materials for which protection is sought; and

3. Stating the reasons why protection is necessary.

The responsible public entity shall determine whether the requested exclusion from disclosure is necessary to protect the trade secrets or financial records of the private entity. To protect other records submitted by the private entity from disclosure, the responsible public entity shall determine whether public disclosure prior to the execution of an interim agreement or a comprehensive agreement would adversely affect the financial interest or bargaining position of the public or private entity. The responsible public entity shall make a written determination of the nature and scope of the protection to be afforded by the responsible public entity under this subdivision. Once a written determination is made by the responsible public entity, the records afforded protection under this subdivision shall continue to be protected from disclosure when in the possession of any affected jurisdiction or affected local jurisdiction.

Except as specifically provided in subdivision 11 a, nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to authorize the withholding of (a) procurement records as required by § 56-573.1:1 or 56-575.17; (b) information concerning the terms and conditions of any interim or comprehensive agreement, service contract, lease, partnership, or any agreement of any kind entered into by the responsible public entity and the private entity; (c) information concerning the terms and conditions of any financing arrangement that involves the use of any public funds; or (d) information concerning the performance of any private entity developing or operating a qualifying transportation facility or a qualifying project.

For the purposes of this subdivision, the terms "affected jurisdiction," "affected local jurisdiction," "comprehensive agreement," "interim agreement," "qualifying project," "qualifying transportation facility," "responsible public entity," and "private entity" shall mean the same as those terms are defined in the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 or in the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002.

12. Confidential proprietary information or trade secrets, not publicly available, provided by a private person or entity to the Virginia Resources Authority or to a fund administered in connection with financial assistance rendered or to be rendered by the Virginia Resources Authority where, if such information were made public, the financial interest of the private person or entity would be adversely affected, and, after June 30, 1997, where such information was provided pursuant to a promise of confidentiality.

13. Trade secrets, as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.), or confidential proprietary records that are not generally available to the public through regulatory disclosure or otherwise, provided by a (a) bidder or applicant for a franchise or (b) franchisee under Chapter 21 (§ 15.2-2100 et seq.) of Title 15.2 to the applicable franchising authority pursuant to a promise of confidentiality from the franchising authority, to the extent the records relate to the bidder's, applicant's, or franchisee's financial capacity or provision of new services, adoption of new technologies or implementation of improvements, where such new services, technologies or improvements have not been implemented by the franchisee on a nonexperimental scale in the franchise area, and where, if such records were made public, the competitive advantage or financial interests of the franchisee would be adversely affected.

In order for trade secrets or confidential proprietary information to be excluded from the provisions of this chapter, the bidder, applicant, or franchisee shall (i) invoke such exclusion upon submission of the data or other materials for which protection from disclosure is sought, (ii) identify the data or other materials for which protection is sought, and (iii) state the reason why protection is necessary.

No bidder, applicant, or franchisee may invoke the exclusion provided by this subdivision if the bidder, applicant, or franchisee is owned or controlled by a public body or if any representative of the applicable franchising authority serves on the management board or as an officer of the bidder, applicant, or franchisee.

14. Documents and other information of a proprietary nature furnished by a supplier of charitable gaming supplies to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to subsection E of § 18.2-340.34.

15. Records and reports related to Virginia apple producer sales provided to the Virginia State Apple Board pursuant to § 3.2-1215.

16. Trade secrets, as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.) of Title 59.1, submitted by CMRS providers as defined in § 56-484.12 to the Wireless Carrier E-911 Cost Recovery Subcommittee created pursuant to § 56-484.15, relating to the provision of wireless E-911 service.

17. Records submitted as a grant or loan application, or accompanying a grant or loan application, to the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority pursuant to Article 3 (§ 2.2-2233.1 et seq.) of Chapter 22 of Title 2.2 or to the Commonwealth Health Research Board pursuant to Chapter 22 (§ 23-277 et seq.) of Title 23 to the extent such records contain proprietary business or research-related information produced or collected by the applicant in the conduct of or as a result of study or research on medical, rehabilitative, scientific, technical, technological, or scholarly issues, when such information has not been publicly released, published, copyrighted, or patented, if the disclosure of such information would be harmful to the competitive position of the applicant.

18. Confidential proprietary records and trade secrets developed and held by a local public body (i) providing telecommunication services pursuant to § 56-265.4:4 and (ii) providing cable television services pursuant to Article 1.1 (§ 15.2-2108.2 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of Title 15.2, to the extent that disclosure of such records would be harmful to the competitive position of the locality. In order for confidential proprietary information or trade secrets to be excluded from the provisions of this chapter, the locality in writing shall (i) invoke the protections of this subdivision, (ii) identify with specificity the records or portions thereof for which protection is sought, and (iii) state the reasons why protection is necessary.

19. Confidential proprietary records and trade secrets developed by or for a local authority created in accordance with the Virginia Wireless Service Authorities Act (§ 15.2-5431.1 et seq.) to provide qualifying communications services as authorized by Article 5.1 (§ 56-484.7:1 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 56, where disclosure of such information would be harmful to the competitive position of the authority, except that records required to be maintained in accordance with § 15.2-2160 shall be released.

20. Trade secrets as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.) or financial records of a business, including balance sheets and financial statements, that are not generally available to the public through regulatory disclosure or otherwise, provided to the Department of Minority Business Enterprise as part of an application for (i) certification as a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business in accordance with Chapter 14 (§ 2.2-1400 et seq.) of this title or (ii) a claim made by a disadvantaged business or an economically disadvantaged individual against the Capital Access Fund for Disadvantaged Businesses created pursuant to § 2.2-2311. In order for such trade secrets or financial records to be excluded from the provisions of this chapter, the business shall (a) invoke such exclusion upon submission of the data or other materials for which protection from disclosure is sought, (b) identify the data or other materials for which protection is sought, and (c) state the reasons why protection is necessary.

21. Documents and other information of a proprietary or confidential nature disclosed by a carrier to the State Health Commissioner pursuant to §§ 32.1-276.5:1 and 32.1-276.7:1.

22. Trade secrets, as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.), including, but not limited to, financial records, including balance sheets and financial statements, that are not generally available to the public through regulatory disclosure or otherwise, and revenue and cost projections supplied by a private or nongovernmental entity to the State Inspector General for the purpose of an audit, special investigation, or any study requested by the Office of the State Inspector General in accordance with law.

In order for the records specified in this subdivision to be excluded from the provisions of this chapter, the private or nongovernmental entity shall make a written request to the State Inspector General:

1. Invoking such exclusion upon submission of the data or other materials for which protection from disclosure is sought;

2. Identifying with specificity the data or other materials for which protection is sought; and

3. Stating the reasons why protection is necessary.

The State Inspector General shall determine whether the requested exclusion from disclosure is necessary to protect the trade secrets or financial records of the private entity. The State Inspector General shall make a written determination of the nature and scope of the protection to be afforded by it under this subdivision.

23. Records submitted as a grant application, or accompanying a grant application, to the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission to the extent such records contain (i) trade secrets as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.), (ii) financial records of a grant applicant that is not a public body, including balance sheets and financial statements, that are not generally available to the public through regulatory disclosure or otherwise, or (iii) research-related information produced or collected by the applicant in the conduct of or as a result of study or research on medical, rehabilitative, scientific, technical, technological, or scholarly issues, when such information has not been publicly released, published, copyrighted, or patented, if the disclosure of such information would be harmful to the competitive position of the applicant; and memoranda, staff evaluations, or other records prepared by the Commission or its staff exclusively for the evaluation of grant applications. The exclusion provided by this subdivision shall apply to grants that are consistent with the powers of and in furtherance of the performance of the duties of the Commission pursuant to § 3.2-3103.

In order for the records specified in this subdivision to be excluded from the provisions of this chapter, the applicant shall make a written request to the Commission:

1. Invoking such exclusion upon submission of the data or other materials for which protection from disclosure is sought;

2. Identifying with specificity the data, records or other materials for which protection is sought; and

3. Stating the reasons why protection is necessary.

The Commission shall determine whether the requested exclusion from disclosure is necessary to protect the trade secrets, financial records or research-related information of the applicant. The Commission shall make a written determination of the nature and scope of the protection to be afforded by it under this subdivision.

24. a. Records of the Commercial Space Flight Authority relating to rate structures or charges for the use of projects of, the sale of products of, or services rendered by the Authority if public disclosure would adversely affect the financial interest or bargaining position of the Authority or a private entity providing records to the Authority; or

b. Records provided by a private entity to the Commercial Space Flight Authority, to the extent that such records contain (i) trade secrets of the private entity as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.); (ii) financial records of the private entity, including balance sheets and financial statements, that are not generally available to the public through regulatory disclosure or otherwise; or (iii) other information submitted by the private entity, where, if the records were made public, the financial interest or bargaining position of the Authority or private entity would be adversely affected.

In order for the records specified in clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of subdivision 24 b to be excluded from the provisions of this chapter, the private entity shall make a written request to the Authority:

1. Invoking such exclusion upon submission of the data or other materials for which protection from disclosure is sought;

2. Identifying with specificity the data or other materials for which protection is sought; and

3. Stating the reasons why protection is necessary.

The Authority shall determine whether the requested exclusion from disclosure is necessary to protect the trade secrets or financial records of the private entity. To protect other records submitted by the private entity from disclosure, the Authority shall determine whether public disclosure would adversely affect the financial interest or bargaining position of the Authority or private entity. The Authority shall make a written determination of the nature and scope of the protection to be afforded by it under this subdivision.

25. Documents and other information of a proprietary nature furnished by an agricultural landowner or operator to the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or any political subdivision, agency, or board of the Commonwealth pursuant to §§ 10.1-104.7, 10.1-104.8, and 10.1-104.9 10.1-1187.102 and 10.1-1187.103, other than when required as part of a state or federal regulatory enforcement action.

§ 2.2-4006. Exemptions from requirements of this article.

A. The following agency actions otherwise subject to this chapter and § 2.2-4103 of the Virginia Register Act shall be exempted from the operation of this article:

1. Agency orders or regulations fixing rates or prices.

2. Regulations that establish or prescribe agency organization, internal practice or procedures, including delegations of authority.

3. Regulations that consist only of changes in style or form or corrections of technical errors. Each promulgating agency shall review all references to sections of the Code of Virginia within their regulations each time a new supplement or replacement volume to the Code of Virginia is published to ensure the accuracy of each section or section subdivision identification listed.

4. Regulations that are:

a. Necessary to conform to changes in Virginia statutory law or the appropriation act where no agency discretion is involved. However, such regulations shall be filed with the Registrar within 90 days of the law's effective date;

b. Required by order of any state or federal court of competent jurisdiction where no agency discretion is involved; or

c. Necessary to meet the requirements of federal law or regulations, provided such regulations do not differ materially from those required by federal law or regulation, and the Registrar has so determined in writing. Notice of the proposed adoption of these regulations and the Registrar's determination shall be published in the Virginia Register not less than 30 days prior to the effective date of the regulation.

5. Regulations of the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services adopted pursuant to subsection B of § 3.2-3929 or clause (v) or (vi) of subsection C of § 3.2-3931 after having been considered at two or more Board meetings and one public hearing.

6. Regulations of the regulatory boards served by (i) the Department of Labor and Industry pursuant to Title 40.1 and (ii) the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation or the Department of Health Professions pursuant to Title 54.1 that are limited to reducing fees charged to regulants and applicants.

7. The development and issuance of procedural policy relating to risk-based mine inspections by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy authorized pursuant to §§ 45.1-161.82 and 45.1-161.292:55.

8. General permits issued by the (a) State Air Pollution Control Board pursuant to Chapter 13 (§ 10.1-1300 et seq.) of Title 10.1 or (b) State Water Control Board pursuant to the State Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.), Chapter 24 (§ 62.1-242 et seq.) of Title 62.1 and Chapter 25 (§ 62.1-254 et seq.) of Title 62.1, (c) Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board pursuant to the Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§ 10.1-603.1 et seq.) of Title 10.1 pursuant to the Dam Safety Act (§ 10.1-604 et seq.), and (d) the development and issuance of general wetlands permits by the Marine Resources Commission pursuant to subsection B of § 28.2-1307, if the respective Board or Commission (i) provides a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action in conformance with the provisions of § 2.2-4007.01, (ii) following the passage of 30 days from the publication of the Notice of Intended Regulatory Action forms a technical advisory committee composed of relevant stakeholders, including potentially affected citizens groups, to assist in the development of the general permit, (iii) provides notice and receives oral and written comment as provided in § 2.2-4007.03, and (iv) conducts at least one public hearing on the proposed general permit.

9. The development and issuance by the Board of Education of guidelines on constitutional rights and restrictions relating to the recitation of the pledge of allegiance to the American flag in public schools pursuant to § 22.1-202.

10. Regulations of the Board of the Virginia College Savings Plan adopted pursuant to § 23-38.77.

11. Regulations of the Marine Resources Commission.

12. Regulations adopted by the Board of Housing and Community Development pursuant to (i) Statewide Fire Prevention Code (§ 27-94 et seq.), (ii) the Industrialized Building Safety Law (§ 36-70 et seq.), (iii) the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.), and (iv) § 36-98.3, provided the Board (a) provides a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action in conformance with the provisions of § 2.2-4007.01, (b) publishes the proposed regulation and provides an opportunity for oral and written comments as provided in § 2.2-4007.03, and (c) conducts at least one public hearing as provided in §§ 2.2-4009 and 36-100 prior to the publishing of the proposed regulations. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, any regulations promulgated by the Board shall remain subject to the provisions of § 2.2-4007.06 concerning public petitions, and §§ 2.2-4013 and 2.2-4014 concerning review by the Governor and General Assembly.

13. Amendments to the list of drugs susceptible to counterfeiting adopted by the Board of Pharmacy pursuant to subsection B of § 54.1-3307.

B. Whenever regulations are adopted under this section, the agency shall state as part thereof that it will receive, consider and respond to petitions by any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision. The effective date of regulations adopted under this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of § 2.2-4015, except in the case of emergency regulations, which shall become effective as provided in subsection B of § 2.2-4012.

C. A regulation for which an exemption is claimed under this section or § 2.2-4002 or 2.2-4011 and that is placed before a board or commission for consideration shall be provided at least two days in advance of the board or commission meeting to members of the public that request a copy of that regulation. A copy of that regulation shall be made available to the public attending such meeting.

§ 2.2-4021. Timetable for decision; exemptions.

A. In cases where a board or commission meets to render (i) an informal fact-finding decision or (ii) a decision on a litigated issue, and information from a prior proceeding is being considered, persons who participated in the prior proceeding shall be provided an opportunity to respond at the board or commission meeting to any summaries of the prior proceeding prepared by or for the board or commission.

B. In any informal fact-finding, formal proceeding, or summary case decision proceeding in which a hearing officer is not used or is not empowered to recommend a finding, the board, commission, or agency personnel responsible for rendering a decision shall render that decision within 90 days from the date of the informal fact-finding, formal proceeding, or completion of a summary case decision proceeding, or from a later date agreed to by the named party and the agency. If the agency does not render a decision within 90 days, the named party to the case decision may provide written notice to the agency that a decision is due. If no decision is made within 30 days from agency receipt of the notice, the decision shall be deemed to be in favor of the named party. The preceding sentence shall not apply to case decisions before (i) the State Water Control Board, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, or the Department of Environmental Quality to the extent necessary to comply with the federal Clean Water Act, or (ii) the State Air Pollution Control Board or the Department of Environmental Quality to the extent necessary to comply with the federal Clean Air Act, or (iii) the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board or the Department of Conservation and Recreation to the extent necessary to comply with the federal Clean Water Act. An agency shall provide notification to the named party of its decision within five days of the decision.

C. In any informal fact-finding, formal proceeding, or summary case decision proceeding in which a hearing officer is empowered to recommend a finding, the board, commission, or agency personnel responsible for rendering a decision shall render that decision within 30 days from the date that the agency receives the hearing officer's recommendation. If the agency does not render a decision within 30 days, the named party to the case decision may provide written notice to the agency that a decision is due. If no decision is made within 30 days from agency receipt of the notice, the decision is deemed to be in favor of the named party. The preceding sentence shall not apply to case decisions before (i) the State Water Control Board, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, or the Department of Environmental Quality to the extent necessary to comply with the federal Clean Water Act, or (ii) the State Air Pollution Control Board or the Department of Environmental Quality to the extent necessary to comply with the federal Clean Air Act, or (iii) the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board or the Department of Conservation and Recreation to the extent necessary to comply with the federal Clean Water Act. An agency shall provide notice to the named party of its decision within five days of the decision.

D. The provisions of subsection B notwithstanding, if the board members or agency personnel who conducted the informal fact-finding, formal proceeding, or summary case decision proceeding are unable to attend to official duties due to sickness, disability, or termination of their official capacity with the agency, then the timeframe provisions of subsection B shall be reset and commence from the date that either new board members or agency personnel are assigned to the matter or a new proceeding is conducted if needed, whichever is later. An agency shall provide notice within five days to the named party of any incapacity of the board members or agency personnel that necessitates a replacement or a new proceeding.

§ 3.2-108. Department to establish a program to support new and emerging crops and technologies.

A. From such funds as may be appropriated for such purposes and from gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds as may be received, the Department shall establish a program to:

1. Encourage the production of alternative crops in the Commonwealth that may be used as a feedstock for energy generation and transportation, thereby supporting farmers and farm communities in their efforts to: (i) sustain and enhance economically viable business opportunities in agriculture; (ii) reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and other waters of the Commonwealth; (iii) restore depleted soils; (iv) provide wildlife habitat; (v) reduce greenhouse gases; and (vi) reduce the country's dependence on foreign supplies of energy;

2. Assist the development of bioenergy feedstock crop technologies, including but not limited to, seed stock supplies, production technology, harvest equipment, transportation infrastructure and storage facilities;

3. Identify and assist in the development of commercially viable bioenergy market opportunities, including recruitment, expansion and establishment of renewable bioenergy businesses in Virginia; and

4. Promote the aquaculture of the species that are natives to or reside within the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the Virginia Coast, in concert with the efforts of Virginia higher education institutions and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, with a focus on assisting "traditional watermen" who rely on harvesting marine fish and shellfish. This effort shall also include watermen who are viable working participants of the aquaculture industry as contract growers, cooperatives or other business entities.

B. The Department shall provide funds in the form of grants to accomplish the objectives described in subsection A. The Department shall develop guidelines for the operation of the program that shall include, at a minimum, eligibility criteria for receiving grant awards, financial accountability for receiving grant awards, allowable uses of grant funds, and agricultural programmatic priorities. The Department shall consult with the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, when appropriate, to ensure compatibility with existing cost-share and other agricultural incentive programs.

§ 3.2-400. Definitions.

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

"Agricultural activity" means any activity used in the production of food and fiber, including farming, feedlots, grazing livestock, poultry raising, dairy farming, and aquaculture activities.

"Agricultural stewardship plan" or "plan" means a site-specific plan for an agricultural activity to manage, through use of stewardship measures, one or more of the following: soil, water, plants, plant nutrients, pest controls, wastes, and animals.

"Board" means the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board.

"Complaint" means an allegation made by any person to the Commissioner that an owner's or operator's agricultural activity is creating or, if not changed, will create pollution and that states the location and nature of such agricultural activity.

"District" or "soil and water conservation district" means a political subdivision of the Commonwealth organized in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5 (§ 10.1-500 et seq.) Article 1.3 of 11.1 of Chapter of Title 10.1.

"Informal fact-finding conference" means an informal fact-finding conference conducted in accordance with § 2.2-4019.

"Operator" means any person who exercises managerial control over any agricultural activity.

"Owner" means any person who owns land where an agricultural activity occurs.

"Pollution" means any alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of any state waters resulting from sedimentation, nutrients, or toxins.

"State waters" means all water, on the surface or in the ground, wholly or partially within or bordering the Commonwealth or within its jurisdiction.

"Stewardship measures" or "measures" means measures for controlling the addition of pollutants from existing and new categories and classes of nonpoint sources of pollution that reflect the pollutant reduction achievable through the application of the best available nonpoint pollution control methods, technologies, processes, siting criteria, operating methods, or other alternatives.

"Stewardship measures" or "measures" includes: (i) agricultural water quality protection management measures described in the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Manual; and (ii) agricultural water quality protection management measures contained in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service Field Office Technical Guide.

§ 3.2-406. Penalties; injunctions; enforcement actions.

A. Any person violating § 3.2-403 or 3.2-404 shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for every violation assessed by the Commissioner or Board. Each day the violation continues is a separate offense. Payments to satisfy such penalties shall be deposited in a nonreverting, special fund to be used by the Department of Conservation and Recreation the Virginia Natural Resources Commitment Fund established pursuant to § 10.1-2128.1 to provide financial assistance to persons implementing measures specified in the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Manual. No person who has been assessed a civil penalty under this section shall be eligible for such financial assistance until the violation has been corrected and the penalty paid.

B. In determining the amount of any penalty, factors to be considered shall include the willfulness of the violation, any history of noncompliance, the actions of the owner or operator in notifying, containing and cleaning up any discharge, the damage or injury to state waters or the impairment of its uses, and the nature and degree of injury to or interference with general health, welfare and property.

C. The Attorney General shall, upon request, bring an action for an injunction or other appropriate legal action on behalf of the Commissioner or Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

§ 3.2-408. Guidelines to be published by Commissioner; report.

A. In consultation with the districts, the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality, and interested persons, the Commissioner shall develop guidelines for the implementation of this chapter. These guidelines shall address, among other things, the conduct of investigations, sources of assistance for owners and operators, and intergovernmental cooperation. Within 90 days of the effective date of this section, the Commissioner shall submit the proposed guidelines to the Registrar of Regulations for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations. At least 30 days shall be provided for public comment after the publication of the proposed guidelines. After the close of the public comment period, the Commissioner shall consider the comments that he has received and may incorporate any changes into the guidelines that he deems appropriate. He shall develop a written summary and analysis of the comments, which shall be made available to the public upon request. Thereafter, the Commissioner shall submit final guidelines for publication in the Register. The guidelines shall become effective on April 1, 1997. The Commissioner may alter the guidelines periodically after his proposed changes have been published in the Register and a public comment period has been provided.

B. The Commissioner shall compile a report by August 31 annually listing the number of complaints received, the nature of each complaint, the actions taken in resolution of each complaint, and any penalties that may have been assessed. The Commissioner shall have the discretion to exclude and keep confidential specific information regarding ongoing investigations. The Commissioner shall: (i) provide the report to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Quality, and to every district; (ii) publish notice in the Virginia Register that the report is available; and (iii) make the report available to the public upon request.

§ 3.2-409. Ordinances.

A. Any locality may adopt an ordinance creating a complaint, investigation, and agricultural stewardship plan development program. Ordinances adopted hereunder may contain only provisions that parallel §§ 3.2-401 and 3.2-402. No such ordinance shall provide for the imposition of civil or criminal sanctions against an operator or owner who fails to implement a plan. If an owner or operator fails to implement a plan, the local governing body shall submit a complaint to the Commissioner as provided in § 3.2-402.

B. This section shall not apply to any ordinance: (i) in existence on July 1, 1996; or (ii) adopted pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 10.1-2100 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.).

§ 3.2-410. Construction of chapter.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as duplicative of regulations governing agricultural practices under the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.).

§ 3.2-3602. Local government regulation of fertilizer.

No locality shall regulate the registration, packaging, labeling, sale, use, application, storage or distribution of fertilizers except by ordinance as provided for in the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 10.1-2100 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 10.1-560 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), the Stormwater Management Act (§ 10.1-603.1 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) or other nonpoint source regulations adopted by the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality or the Soil and Water Conservation Board State Water Control Board. The provisions of this section shall not preempt the adoption, amendment, or enforcement of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code pursuant to § 27-97 and the Uniform Statewide Building Code pursuant to § 36-98.

§ 3.2-3602.1. Board authorized to adopt regulations for the application of regulated products to nonagricultural property; civil penalty.

A. The Board shall adopt regulations to certify the competence of (i) contractor-applicators, (ii) licensees, and (iii) employees, representatives, or agents of state agencies, localities, or other governmental entities who apply any regulated product to nonagricultural lands.

B. The regulations shall establish (i) training requirements; (ii) proper nutrient management practices in accordance with § 10.1-104.2 10.1-1187.8, including soil analysis techniques, equipment calibration, and the timing of the application; and (iii) reporting requirements, including the submission of an annual report as specified by the Commissioner regarding the location of lawn fertilizer and lawn maintenance fertilizer applications. Contractor-applicators and licensees who apply lawn fertilizer and lawn maintenance fertilizer to more than a total of 100 acres of nonagricultural lands annually and employees, representatives, or agents of state agencies, localities, or other governmental entities who apply lawn fertilizer and lawn maintenance fertilizer to nonagricultural lands shall submit an annual report on or before February 1 and on a form prescribed by the Commissioner. The annual report shall include the total acreage or square footage by zip code of the land receiving lawn fertilizer and lawn maintenance fertilizer in the preceding calendar year. The Department shall provide for optional reporting by electronic methods. The Department shall make publicly available every year the total acreage or square footage by zip code. Any personal information collected pursuant to this section shall be exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.), except that the Commissioner may release information that has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate form that does not allow identification of the persons who supplied, or are the subject of, particular information.

C. The Board may impose a civil penalty of up to $250 on any contractor-applicator or licensee who fails to comply with the regulations. The amount of the civil penalty shall be paid into the special fund established in § 3.2-3617.

D. The Board shall form a technical advisory committee of stakeholders. The Board shall consult with the technical advisory committee of stakeholders and the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality in the development of the regulations.

E. Any person who is subject to regulation and who applies any regulated product to nonagricultural lands shall comply with the regulations within 12 months of the effective date of the regulations.

F. Contractor-applicators and licensees in compliance with regulations adopted by the Board pursuant to this section shall not be subject to local ordinances governing the use or application of lawn fertilizer and lawn maintenance fertilizer.

§ 10.1-107. General powers and duties of the Board.

A. The Board shall advise the Governor and the Director on activities of the Department. Upon the request of the Governor, or the Director, the Board shall institute investigations and make recommendations.

The Board shall formulate recommendations to the Director concerning:

1. Requests for grants or loans pertaining to outdoor recreation.

2. Designation of recreational sites eligible for recreational access road funds.

3. Designations proposed for scenic rivers, scenic highways, and Virginia byways.

4. Acquisition of real property by fee simple or other interests in property for the Department including, but not limited to, state parks, state recreational areas, state trails, greenways, natural areas and natural area preserves, and other lands of biological, environmental, historical, recreational or scientific interest.

5. Acquisition of bequests, devises and gifts of real and personal property, and the interest and income derived therefrom.

6. Stage one and stage two plans, master plans, and substantial acquisition or improvement amendments to master plans as provided in § 10.1-200.1.

B. The Board shall have the authority to promulgate regulations necessary for the execution of the Public Beach Conservation and Development Act, Article 2 (§ 10.1-705 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of this title.

C. The Board shall assist the Department in the duties and responsibilities described in Subtitle I (§ 10.1-100 et seq.) of Title 10.1.

D. The Board is authorized to conduct fund-raising activities as deemed appropriate and will deposit such revenue into the State Parks Projects Fund pursuant to subsection C of § 10.1-202.

E. The Board shall advise the Governor and the Director concerning the protection or management of the Virginia Scenic Rivers System as defined in § 10.1-400. Upon the request of the Governor, or the Director, the Board shall institute investigations and make recommendations. The Board shall have general powers and duties to (i) advise the Director on the appointment of Scenic River Advisory Committees or other local or regional committees pursuant to § 10.1-401; (ii) formulate recommendations concerning designations for proposed scenic rivers or extensions of existing scenic rivers; (iii) consider and comment to the Director on any federal, state, or local governmental plans to approve, license, fund, or construct facilities that would alter any of the assets that qualified the river for scenic designation; (iv) assist the Director in reviewing and making recommendations regarding all planning for the use and development of water and related land resources including the construction of impoundments, diversions, roadways, crossings, channels, locks, canals, or other uses that change the character of a stream or waterway or destroy its scenic assets, so that full consideration and evaluation of the river as a scenic resource will be given before alternative plans for use and development are approved; (v) assist the Director in preserving and protecting the natural beauty of the scenic rivers, assuring the use and enjoyment of scenic rivers for fish and wildlife, scenic, recreational, geologic, historic, cultural, or other assets, and encouraging the continuance of existing agricultural, horticultural, forestal and open space land and water uses; (vi) advise the Director and the affected local jurisdiction on the impacts of proposed uses of each scenic river and its related land resources; and (vii) assist local governments in solving problems associated with the Virginia Scenic Rivers System, in consultation with the Director.

F. The Board shall adopt regulations and provide assistance to local governments to address dam safety and flood prevention pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 6 (§ 10.1-600 et seq.).

G. Consistent with the Board's purpose and authority, the Board shall receive, review, and approve or disapprove applications for assistance in planning and carrying out works of improvement under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, P.L. 83-566, as amended, and receive, review, and approve or disapprove applications for any other similar soil and water conservation programs provided in federal laws that by their terms or by related executive orders require such action by a state agency.

H. Consistent with the Board's purpose and authority, the Board shall advise and recommend to the Governor approval or disapproval of all work plans developed under Public Law 83-566 and Public Law 78-534 and advise and recommend to the Governor approval or disapproval of other similar soil and water conservation programs provided in federal laws that by their terms or by related executive orders require approval or comment by the Governor.

I. The Board shall provide for the control and prevention of floodwater damages thereby preserving the natural resources of the Commonwealth.

J. The Board shall keep Virginia soil and water conservation districts informed regarding the status of the district-owned impoundments and assist the districts in administering good dam safety standards of practice associated with maintaining regulatory compliance.

§ 10.1-107.1. Supplemental environmental and public safety projects.

A. As used in this section:

"Supplemental environmental or public safety project" means an environmentally beneficial project undertaken as partial settlement of a civil enforcement action and not otherwise required by law.

B. The Board or the Director acting on behalf of the Board or under his own authority in issuing any administrative order, or any court of competent jurisdiction as provided for under this Code, may, in its or his discretion and with the consent of the person subject to the order, provide for such person to undertake one or more supplemental environmental projects. The project shall have a reasonable geographic nexus to the violation or, if no such project is available, shall advance at least one of the declared objectives of the environmental law or regulation that is the basis of the enforcement action. Performance of such projects shall be enforceable in the same manner as any other provision of the order.

C. The following categories of projects may qualify as supplemental environmental projects or public safety projects, provided the project otherwise meets the requirements of this section: public health and safety, pollution prevention, pollution reduction, environmental restoration and protection, environmental compliance promotion, and emergency planning and preparedness. In determining the appropriateness and value of a supplemental environmental or public safety project, the following factors shall be considered by the enforcement authority: net project costs, benefits to the public or the environment, innovation, impact on minority or low-income populations, multimedia impact, public safety enhancement, and pollution prevention. The costs of those portions of a supplemental environmental or public safety project that are funded by state or federal low-interest loans, contracts, or grants shall be deducted from the net project cost in evaluating the project. In each case in which a supplemental environmental or public safety project is included as part of a settlement, an explanation of the project with any appropriate supporting documentation shall be included as part of the case file.

D. Nothing in this section shall require the disclosure of documents exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

E. Any decision whether or not to agree to a supplemental environmental project is within the sole discretion of the Board, Director, or court and shall not be subject to appeal.

F. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted or applied in a manner inconsistent with applicable federal law or any applicable requirement for the Commonwealth to obtain or maintain federal delegation or approval of any regulatory program.

§ 10.1-603.18. Administration of the Fund.

The Authority shall administer and manage the Fund, and establish the interest rates and the repayment terms of such loans as provided in this article, in accordance with a memorandum of agreement with the Director. The Director shall, after consultation with all interested parties, develop a guidance document governing project eligibility and project priority criteria, and the Director, upon approval from the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board of Conservation and Recreation, shall direct the distribution of loans and grants from the Fund to local governments and private entities. In order to carry out the administration and management of the Fund, the Authority may employ officers, employees, agents, advisers and consultants, including without limitation, attorneys, financial advisors, engineers, and other technical advisors and public accountants, and determine their duties and compensation without the approval of any other agency or instrumentality. The Authority may disburse from the Fund reasonable costs and expenses incurred in the administration and management of the Fund and may establish and collect a reasonable fee for its management services. However, any such fee shall not exceed one-eighth of one percent of any bond par, loan or grant amount.

§ 10.1-603.19:1. Payments from a developer or subdivider.

A. The Authority shall administer and manage deposits made to the Fund pursuant to § 15.2-2243.1 in accordance with a memorandum of agreement with the Director. From funds deposited pursuant to this section the Authority may charge an administrative fee, which shall be determined in consultation with the Director. The Director is authorized to expend these deposits to allow a dam owner to make the necessary upgrades to an impounding structure made necessary by a proposed development or subdivision in a dam break inundation zone.

B. Fifty percent of any funds held pursuant to subsection A shall be provided to the owner upon receipt of an alteration permit from the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board of Conservation and Recreation. The remaining funds shall be provided to the owner upon completion of the necessary upgrades and receipt of a regular operation and maintenance certificate from the Board. The owner shall post a bond or other financial guarantee payable to the Fund conditioned on completion of the stages of necessary upgrades prior to any release of payment to the owner. Such bond or other financial guarantee shall be released within 60 days of the receipt of a regular operation and maintenance certificate by the dam owner.

C. Interest generated pursuant to these deposits shall remain in the Fund and may be utilized for the purposes set out in § 10.1-603.19.

§ 10.1-604. Definitions.

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

"Alteration" means changes to an impounding structure that could alter or affect its structural integrity. Alterations include, but are not limited to, changing the height or otherwise enlarging the dam, increasing normal pool or principal spillway elevation or physical dimensions, changing the elevation or physical dimensions of the emergency spillway, conducting necessary repairs or structural maintenance, or removing the impounding structure.

"Board" means the Soil and Water Conservation Board of Conservation and Recreation.

"Construction" means the construction of a new impounding structure.

"Dam break inundation zone" means the area downstream of a dam that would be inundated or otherwise directly affected by the failure of a dam.

"Height" means the structural height of a dam which is defined as the vertical distance from the natural bed of the stream or watercourse measured at the downstream toe of the dam to the top of the dam.

"Impounding structure" means a man-made structure, whether a dam across a watercourse or other structure outside a watercourse, used or to be used to retain or store waters or other materials. The term includes: (i) all dams that are twenty-five feet or greater in height and that create an impoundment capacity of fifteen acre-feet or greater, and (ii) all dams that are six feet or greater in height and that create an impoundment capacity of fifty acre-feet or greater. The term "impounding structure" shall not include: (a) dams licensed by the State Corporation Commission that are subject to a safety inspection program; (b) dams owned or licensed by the United States government; (c) dams operated primarily for agricultural purposes which are less than twenty-five feet in height or which create a maximum impoundment capacity smaller than 100 acre-feet; (d) water or silt retaining dams approved pursuant to § 45.1-222 or § 45.1-225.1; or (e) obstructions in a canal used to raise or lower water.

"Owner" means the owner of the land on which a dam is situated, the holder of an easement permitting the construction of a dam and any person or entity agreeing to maintain a dam.

"Watercourse" means a natural channel having a well-defined bed and banks and in which water normally flows.

§ 10.1-605. Promulgation of regulations by the Board; guidance document.

A. The Board shall adopt regulations to ensure that impounding structures in the Commonwealth are properly and safely constructed, maintained and operated. Dam safety regulations promulgated by the State Water Control Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall remain in full force until amended in accordance with applicable procedures.

B. The Board's Impounding Structure Regulations shall not require any impounding structure in existence or under a construction permit prior to July 1, 2010, that is currently classified as high hazard, or is subsequently found to be high hazard through reclassification, to upgrade its spillway to pass a rainfall event greater than the maximum recorded within the Commonwealth, which shall be deemed to be 90 percent of the probable maximum precipitation.

1. Such an impounding structure shall be determined to be in compliance with the spillway requirements of the regulations provided that (i) the impounding structure will pass two-thirds of the reduced probable maximum precipitation requirement described in this subsection and (ii) the dam owner certifies annually and by January 15 that such impounding structure meets each of the following conditions:

a. The owner has a current emergency action plan that is approved by the Board and that is developed and updated in accordance with the regulations;

b. The owner has exercised the emergency action plan in accordance with the regulations and conducts a table-top exercise at least once every two years;

c. The Department has verification that both the local organization for emergency management and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management have on file current emergency action plans and updates for the impounding structure;

d. That conditions at the impounding structure are monitored on a daily basis and as dictated by the emergency action plan;

e. The impounding structure is inspected at least annually by a professional engineer and all observed deficiencies are addressed within 120 days of such inspection;

f. The owner has a dam break inundation zone map developed in accordance with the regulations that is acceptable to the Department;

g. The owner is insured in an amount that will substantially cover the costs of downstream property losses to others that may result from a dam failure; and

h. The owner shall post the dam's emergency action plan on his website, or upon the request of the owner, the Department or another state agency responsible for providing emergency management services to citizens agrees to post the plan on its website. If the Department or another state agency agrees to post the plan on its website, the owner shall provide the plan in a format suitable for posting.

2. A dam owner who meets the conditions of subdivisions 1 a through 1 h, but has not provided record drawings to the Department for his impounding structure, shall submit a complete record report developed in accordance with the construction permit requirements of the Impounding Structure Regulations, excluding the required submittal of the record drawings.

3. A dam owner who fails to submit certifications required by subdivisions 1 a through 1 h in a timely fashion shall not enjoy the presumption that such impounding structure is deemed to be in compliance with the spillway requirements of the Board's Impounding Structure Regulations (4 VAC 50-20).

4. Any dam owner who has submitted the certifications required by subdivisions 1 a through 1 h shall make (i) such certifications, (ii) the emergency action plan required by subdivision 1 a, and (iii) the certificate of insurance required by subdivision 1 g available, upon request and within five business days, to any person. A dam owner may comply with the requirements of this subdivision by providing the same information on a website and directing the requestor to such website. A dam owner who fails to comply with this subdivision shall be subject to a civil penalty pursuant to § 10.1-613.2.

C. The Board's regulations shall establish an incremental damage analysis procedure that permits the spillway design flood requirement for an impounding structure to be reduced to the level at which dam failure shall not significantly increase downstream hazard to life or property, provided that the spillway design flood requirement shall not be reduced to below the 100-year flood event for high or significant hazard impounding structures, or to below the 50-year flood event for low hazard potential impounding structures.

D. The Board shall consider the impact of limited-use or private roadways with low traffic volume and low public safety risk that are downstream from or across an impounding structure in the determination of the hazard potential classification of an impounding structure.

§ 10.1-605.2. Certain regulations affecting impounding structures.

The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall, in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), adopt regulations that consider the impact of downstream limited-use or private roadways with low traffic volume and low public safety risk on the determination of the hazard potential classification of an impounding structure under the Dam Safety Act (§ 10.1-604 et seq.).

§ 10.1-636. Definitions.

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

"Board" means the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board of Conservation and Recreation.

"Facility" means any structures, foundations, appurtenances, spillways, lands, easements and rights-of-way necessary to (i) store additional water for immediate or future use in feasible flood prevention sites; (ii) create the potential to store additional water by strengthening the foundations and appurtenances of structures in feasible flood prevention sites; or (iii) store water in sites not feasible for flood prevention programs, and to properly operate and maintain such stores of water or potential stores of water.

"Fund" or "revolving fund" means the Conservation, Small Watersheds Flood Control and Area Development Fund.

"Storing additional water in feasible flood prevention sites" means storage of water for other than flood prevention purposes above the capacity of any given structure to hold water for the purpose of flood prevention in flood prevention sites within a flood prevention project having a favorable benefit-cost ratio where it is economically feasible to provide the capacity to store additional water or the potential for additional water storage capacity.

§ 10.1-637. Fund continued; administrative control.

The "Conservation, Small Watersheds Flood Control and Area Development Fund," is continued and shall be administered and used as hereinafter provided. The revolving fund shall also consist of any moneys appropriated by the General Assembly.

The administrative control of the fund and the responsibility for the administration of the provisions of this article are hereby vested in the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board of Conservation and Recreation. The Board is authorized to establish guidelines for the proper administration of the fund and the provisions of this article.

§ 10.1-651. Establishment and administration of Program.

The Stream Restoration Assistance Program is continued to protect the natural streams of the Commonwealth. The Program shall aid in the stabilization and protection of natural streams which have been severely damaged by naturally occurring flooding events. The Program shall be administered by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board of Conservation and Recreation in cooperation with soil and water conservation districts and local governments throughout the Commonwealth. To assist in the development of the Program, the Board shall seek the advisory opinion of the State Water Control Board and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

§ 10.1-653. Application for assistance.

Landowners who wish to receive assistance under the Program shall apply to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board of Conservation and Recreation. The Board shall provide copies of the applications to the chairmen of the soil and water districts, where applicable, and the local governing bodies having jurisdiction in the area where the damage has occurred.

§ 10.1-659. Flood protection programs; coordination.

The provisions of this chapter shall be coordinated with federal, state and local flood prevention and water quality programs to minimize loss of life, property damage and negative impacts on the environment. This program coordination shall include but not be limited to the following: flood prevention, flood plain management, small watershed protection, and dam safety, soil conservation, stormwater management and erosion and sediment control programs of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Board of Conservation and Recreation; the construction activities of the Department of Transportation which result in hydrologic modification of rivers, streams and flood plains; the water quality, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area criteria, stormwater management, erosion and sediment control, and other water management programs of the State Water Control Board; forested watershed management programs of the Department of Forestry; the statewide building code and other land use control programs of the Department of Housing and Community Development; the habitat management programs of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission; the hazard mitigation planning and disaster response programs of the Department of Emergency Management; the fish habitat protection programs of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; the mineral extraction regulatory program of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy; the flood plain restrictions of the Department of Virginia Waste Management Board; the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area criteria and local government assistance programs of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board. The Department shall also coordinate and cooperate with localities in rendering assistance to such localities in their efforts to comply with the planning, subdivision of land and zoning provisions of Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 15.2. The Department shall cooperate with other public and private agencies having flood plain management programs, and shall coordinate its responsibilities under this article and any other law. These activities shall constitute the Commonwealth's flood prevention and protection program.

§ 10.1-1185. Appointment of Director; powers and duties of Director.

The Department shall be headed by a Director appointed by the Governor to serve at his pleasure. The Director shall be an experienced administrator with knowledge of environmental protection and government operation and shall have demonstrated expertise in organizational management and environmental science, environmental law, or environmental policy. The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall, under the direction and control of the Governor, exercise such power and perform such duties as are conferred or imposed upon him by law and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by the Governor and the following Boards: the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, and the Virginia Waste Management Board, and the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board. The Director or his designee shall serve as executive officer of the aforementioned Boards.

All powers and duties conferred or imposed upon the Executive Director of the Department of Air Pollution Control, the Executive Director of the State Water Control Board, the Administrator of the Council on the Environment, and the Director of the Department of Waste Management are continued and conferred or imposed upon the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality or his designee. Wherever in this title and in the Code of Virginia reference is made to the head of a division, department or agency hereinafter transferred to this Department, it shall mean the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

§ 10.1-1186. General powers of the Department.

The Department shall have the following general powers, any of which the Director may delegate as appropriate:

1. Employ such personnel as may be required to carry out the duties of the Department;

2. Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this chapter, including, but not limited to, contracts with the United States, other states, other state agencies and governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth;

3. Accept grants from the United States government and agencies and instrumentalities thereof and any other source. To these ends, the Department shall have the power to comply with such conditions and execute such agreements as may be necessary, convenient, or desirable;

4. Accept and administer services, property, gifts and other funds donated to the Department;

5. Implement all regulations as may be adopted by the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, and the Virginia Waste Management Board, and the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board;

6. Administer, under the direction of the Boards, funds appropriated to it for environmental programs and make contracts related thereto;

7. Advise and coordinate the responses of state agencies to notices of proceedings by the State Water Control Board to consider certifications of hydropower projects under 33 U.S.C. § 1341;

8. Advise interested agencies of the Commonwealth of pending proceedings when the Department of Environmental Quality intervenes directly on behalf of the Commonwealth in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceeding or when the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries intervenes in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceeding to coordinate the provision of information and testimony for use in the proceedings;

9. Notwithstanding any other provision of law and to the extent consistent with federal requirements, following a proceeding as provided in § 2.2-4019, issue special orders to any person to comply with: (i) the provisions of any law administered by the Boards, the Director or the Department, (ii) any condition of a permit or a certification, (iii) any regulations of the Boards, or (iv) any case decision, as defined in § 2.2-4001, of the Boards or Director. The issuance of a special order shall be considered a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. The Director shall not delegate his authority to impose civil penalties in conjunction with issuance of special orders. For purposes of this subdivision, "Boards" means the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, and the Virginia Waste Management Board; and

10. Perform all acts necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

Article 1.2.
Nutrient Management Plans.

§ 10.1-1187.8. Voluntary nutrient management training and certification program.

A. The Department shall operate a voluntary nutrient management training and certification program, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board pursuant to subsection D, to certify the competence of persons preparing nutrient management plans for the purpose of (i) assisting landowners and operators in the management of land application of fertilizers, municipal sewage sludges, animal manures, and other nutrient sources for agronomic benefits and for the protection of the Commonwealth's ground and surface waters and (ii) assisting owners and operators of agricultural land and turf to achieve economic benefits from the effective management and application of nutrients.

B. The Department shall develop a flexible, tiered, Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan Program to assist owners and operators of agricultural land and turf in (i) preparing nutrient management plans for their own property that meet the nutrient management specifications developed by the Department and (ii) achieving economic benefits for owners and operators as a result of effective nutrient management. The Department shall convene a stakeholder group composed of individuals representing agricultural and environmental organizations to assist in the development of this Program. Individuals representing the agricultural stakeholders shall include both farmers who currently operate farms and agribusiness representatives who serve the farming community. Individuals representing environmental stakeholders shall include at least two members and a staff member of the Virginia Delegation to the Chesapeake Bay Commission and one representative from the Rappahannock River Basin Commission. The Program shall (a) allow owners and operators of agricultural lands and turf who are not required to have a certified nutrient management plan to prepare their own nutrient management plans; (b) include a tiered approach for lands of different sizes, agricultural production, and nutrient applications; (c) consider similar online programs in other states or sponsored by universities; (d) address how the nutrient management plans can be verified and receive credit in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model for properties in the Chesapeake Bay watershed; (e) begin testing the software for the Program by July 1, 2013, and begin full implementation by July 1, 2014; and (f) include any other issues related to developing a flexible, tiered, Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan Program for owners and operators of agricultural lands and turf.

C. Any personal or proprietary information collected pursuant to subsection B shall be exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.), except that the Director may release information that has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate form that does not allow identification of the persons who supplied, or are the subject of, particular information. This subsection shall not preclude the application of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act in all other instances of federal or state regulatory actions.

D. The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall adopt regulations:

1. Specifying qualifications and standards for individuals to be deemed competent in nutrient management plan preparation, and providing for the issuance of documentation of certification to such individuals;

2. Specifying conditions under which a certificate issued to an individual may be suspended or revoked;

3. Providing for criteria relating to the development of nutrient management plans for various agricultural and urban agronomic practices, including protocols for use by laboratories in determining soil fertility, animal manure nutrient content, or plant tissue nutrient uptake for the purpose of nutrient management;

4. Establishing fees to be paid by individuals enrolling in the training and certification programs;

5. Providing for the performance of other duties and the exercise of other powers by the Director as may be necessary to provide for the training and certification of individuals preparing nutrient management plans; and

6. Giving due consideration to relevant existing agricultural certification programs.

E. There is hereby established a special, nonreverting fund in the state treasury to be known as the Nutrient Management Training and Certification Fund. The fund shall consist of all fees collected by the Department pursuant to subsection D. No part of the fund, either principal or interest, shall revert to the general fund. The fund shall be administered by the Director and shall be used solely for the payment of expenses of operating the nutrient management training and certification program.

F. For the purposes of this section, the term "turf" shall have the same meaning as defined in § 3.2-3600.

§ 10.1-1187.9. Nitrogen application rates; regulations.

The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall amend the application rates in the Virginia Nutrient Management Standards and Criteria by incorporating the recommended application rates for nitrogen in lawn fertilizer and lawn maintenance fertilizer and the recommended application rates for "slow or controlled release fertilizer" and "enhanced efficiency lawn fertilizer," as such terms are defined and adopted or proposed for adoption by the American Association of Plant Food Control Officials, as described in the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' December 2011 "Report on the Use of Slowly Available Nitrogen in Lawn Fertilizer and Lawn Maintenance Fertilizer," and shall amend the nutrient training and certification regulation to incorporate the amended standards and criteria.

§ 10.1-1187.10. Clean Water Farm Award Program.

The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall establish the Clean Water Farm Award Program to recognize farms in the Commonwealth that utilize practices designed to protect water quality and soil resources. A farm shall be eligible for recognition upon application from the farmer or the local soil and water conservation district, if the district concurs that the farmer is implementing conservation practices that effectively address agricultural nonpoint source pollutants. Such practices may include vegetative riparian buffers, cover crops, conservation tillage, livestock exclusion from waterways, and nutrient management plans. The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board may establish guidelines for limiting the quantity of annual recipients, receiving and ranking applications, ensuring geographical representation of awards from the major watersheds of the Commonwealth including the Chesapeake Bay watershed, providing local farm recognition through the local soil and water conservation districts, and providing special statewide recognition to select farms. Recognition under this program shall not be a requirement under any other state program.

§ 10.1-1187.11. Nutrient management plans required for state lands; review of plans.

A. On or before July 1, 2006, all state agencies, state colleges and universities, and other state governmental entities that own land upon which fertilizer, manure, sewage sludge, or other compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus are applied to support agricultural, turf, plant growth, or other uses shall develop and implement a nutrient management plan for such land. The plan shall be in conformance with the following nutrient management requirements:

1. For all state-owned agricultural and forestal lands where nutrient applications occur, state agencies, state colleges and universities, and other state governmental entities shall submit site-specific individual nutrient management plans prepared by a certified nutrient management planner pursuant to § 10.1-1187.8 and regulations promulgated thereunder. However, where state agencies are conducting research involving nutrient application rate and timing on state-owned agricultural and forestal lands, such lands shall be exempt from the application rate and timing provisions contained in the regulations developed pursuant to § 10.1-1187.8.

2. For all state-owned lands other than agricultural and forestal lands where nutrient applications occur, state agencies, state colleges and universities, and other state governmental entities shall submit nutrient management plans prepared by a certified nutrient management planner pursuant to § 10.1-1187.8 and regulations promulgated thereunder or planning standards and specifications acceptable to the Department.

B. Plans or planning standards and specifications submitted under subdivisions A 1 and A 2 shall be reviewed and approved by the Department. Such approved plans and planning standards and specifications shall be in effect for a maximum of three years, and shall be revised and submitted for approval to the Department at least once every three years thereafter.

C. State agencies, state colleges and universities, and other state governmental entities shall maintain and properly implement any such nutrient management plan or planning standards or specifications on all areas where nutrients are applied.

D. The Department may (i) provide technical assistance and training on the development and implementation of a nutrient management plan, (ii) conduct periodic reviews as part of its responsibilities authorized under this section, and (iii) assess an administrative charge to cover a portion of the costs for services associated with its responsibilities authorized under this section.

E. The Department shall develop written procedures for the development, submission, and the implementation of a nutrient management plan or planning standards and specifications that shall be provided to all state agencies, state colleges and universities, and other state governmental entities that own land upon which nutrients are applied.

§ 10.1-1187.12. Nutrient management plans required for golf courses; penalty.

A. On or before July 1, 2017, all persons that own land operated as a golf course and upon which fertilizer, manure, sewage sludge, or other compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorous are applied to support turf, plant growth, or other uses shall develop and implement nutrient management plans for such land in accordance with the regulations adopted pursuant to § 10.1-1187.8. However, such lands shall be exempt from the application rate and timing provisions contained in any regulations developed pursuant to § 10.1-1187.8 if research involving nutrient application rate and timing is conducted on such lands.

B. Nutrient management plans developed pursuant to this section shall be submitted to the Department. The Department shall approve or contingently approve such nutrient management plans within 30 days of submission. Such nutrient management plans shall be revised and resubmitted for approval to the Department every five years thereafter or upon a major renovation or redesign of the golf course lands, whichever occurs sooner.

C. Golf courses shall maintain and properly implement approved nutrient management plans, planning standards, and specifications on all areas where nutrients are applied.

D. Nutrient management plans shall be made available to the Department upon request.

E. The Department shall (i) provide technical assistance and training on the development and implementation of nutrient management plans, planning standards, and specifications and (ii) establish, prior to July 1, 2015, a cost-share program specific to golf courses for implementation of this section.

F. Any information collected pursuant to this section shall be exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

G. A golf course owner found to be in violation of this section after July 1, 2017, shall be given 90 days to submit a nutrient management plan to the Department for approval before a $250 civil penalty is imposed. All civil penalties imposed under this section shall be deposited in the Nutrient Management Training and Certification Fund established pursuant § 10.1-1187.8.

H. Golf courses in compliance with this section shall not be subject to local ordinances governing the use or application of fertilizer.

Article 1.3.
Soil and Water Conservation.

§ 10.1-1187.13. Definitions.

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

"Board" means the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board.

"City" includes all cities chartered under the Commonwealth.

"County" includes towns.

"District" or "soil and water conservation district" means a political subdivision of the Commonwealth organized in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

"District director" means a member of the governing body of a district authorized to serve as a director.

"Due notice" means notice published at least twice, with an interval of at least seven days between the two publication dates, in a newspaper or other publication of general circulation within the appropriate area, or if no such publication of general circulation is available, by posting at a reasonable number of conspicuous places within the appropriate area. Such posting shall include, where possible, posting at public places where it is customary to post notices concerning county or municipal affairs. Hearings held pursuant to such notice, at the time and place designated in the notice, may be adjourned from time to time without renewing the notice for the adjourned dates.

"Governing body of a city or county" means the entire governing body regardless of whether all or part of that city or county is included or to be included within a district.

"Government" or "governmental" includes the government of the Commonwealth, the government of the United States, and any of their subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities.

"Land occupier" or "occupier of land" includes any person, firm, or corporation who holds title to, or is in possession of, any lands lying within a district organized, or proposed to be organized, under the provisions of this chapter, in the capacity of owner, lessee, renter, tenant, or cropper. The terms "land occupier" and "occupier of land" shall not include an ordinary employee or hired hand who is furnished a dwelling, garden, utilities, supplies, or the like, as part payment, or payment in full, for his labor.

"Locality" means a county, city, or town.

§ 10.1-1187.14. Certified mail; subsequent mail or notices may be sent by regular mail.

Whenever in this chapter the Board or the Director is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, then any subsequent, identical mail or notice that is sent by the Board or the Director may be sent by regular mail.

§ 10.1-1187.15. Duty of the Attorney General.

The Attorney General shall represent and provide consultation and legal advice in suits or actions under this chapter upon request of the district directors or districts.

§ 10.1-1187.16. Defense of claims.

The Attorney General shall provide the legal defense against any claim made against any soil and water conservation district, director, officer, agent, or employee thereof (i) arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of buildings, grounds, or properties owned, leased, or maintained by any soil and water conservation district or used by district employees or other authorized persons in the course of their employment or (ii) arising out of acts or omissions of any nature while acting in an authorized governmental or proprietary capacity and in the course and scope of employment or authorization.

Article 1.4.
Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board.

§ 10.1-1187.17. Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board; composition.

The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board is continued and shall perform the functions conferred upon it in this article. The Board shall consist of eight voting members. The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or his designee, shall serve as an executive officer of the Board, but shall not serve as a member thereof. After the initial staggering of terms, nonlegislative citizen members shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years. At least two members shall be appointed by the Governor as an at-large member and should have a demonstrated interest in natural resource conservation with a background or knowledge in soil conservation and water quality protection. Additionally, four members shall be farmers at the time of their appointment and two members shall be farmers or district directors at the time of their appointment, appointed by the Governor from a list of two qualified nominees for each vacancy jointly submitted by the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, in consultation with the Virginia Farm Bureau and the Virginia Agribusiness Council, and the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, each for a term of four years. No appointed member shall serve more than two consecutive full terms. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be made in the same manner as the original appointments, except that such appointments shall be for the unexpired terms only. The Director of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, the State Forester, and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services or their designees shall serve as nonvoting ex officio members of the Board. The Board may invite the Virginia State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, to serve as an advisory nonvoting member. The Board shall keep a record of its official actions and may perform acts, hold public hearings, and promulgate regulations necessary for the execution of its functions under this chapter.

§ 10.1-1187.18. Administrative officer and other employees; executive committee.

The Director shall provide technical experts and other agents and employees, permanent and temporary, necessary for the execution of the functions of the Board in a manner that is administratively separated from the administration of the State Water Control Board. The Board may create an executive committee and delegate to the chairman of the Board, or to the committee or to the Director, such powers and duties as it deems proper. Upon request of the Board, for the purpose of carrying out any of its functions, the supervising officer of any state agency or of any state institution of learning shall, insofar as possible under available appropriations, and having due regard for the needs of the agency to which the request is directed, assign or detail, members of the staff or personnel of the agency or institution to the Board and make special reports, surveys, or studies requested by the Board.

§ 10.1-1187.19. Chairman; quorum.

The Board shall designate its chairman and may, from time to time, change such designation. Five members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority of those present and voting shall be required for all determinations.

§ 10.1-1187.20. Duties of Board.

In addition to other duties and powers conferred upon the Board, it shall have the following duties and powers:

1. To give or loan appropriate financial and other assistance to district directors in carrying out any of their powers and programs.

2. To keep district directors informed of the activities and experience of all other districts, and to facilitate an interchange of advice and experience between the districts.

3. To oversee the programs of the districts pursuant to this chapter.

4. To secure the cooperation and assistance of the United States and any of its agencies, and of agencies of the Commonwealth, in the work of the districts.

5. To disseminate information throughout the Commonwealth concerning the activities and programs of the districts, and to encourage the formation of such districts in areas where their organization is desirable.

6. To assist persons, associations, and corporations engaged in furthering the programs of the districts; to encourage and assist in the establishment and operation of such associations and corporations; and to authorize financial assistance to the officers and members of such associations and corporations in the discharge of their duties.

7. Consistent with the Board's purpose and authority, to receive, review, and approve or disapprove applications for assistance in planning and carrying out works of improvement under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, P.L. 83-566, as amended, and to receive, review, and approve or disapprove applications for any other similar soil and water conservation programs provided in federal laws that by their terms or by related executive orders require such action by a state agency.

8. Consistent with the Board's purpose and authority, to advise and recommend to the Governor approval or disapproval of all work plans developed under Public Law 83-566 and Public Law 78-534 and to advise and recommend to the Governor approval or disapproval of other similar soil and water conservation programs provided in federal laws that by their terms or by related executive orders require approval or comment by the Governor.

9. To provide for the conservation of soil and water resources thereby preserving the natural resources of the Commonwealth.

10. To provide, from such funds appropriate for districts, financial assistance for the administrative, operational, and technical support of the districts.

Article 1.5.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

§ 10.1-1187.21. Power to create new districts and to relocate or define district boundaries; composition of districts.

A. The Board shall have the power to (i) create a new district from territory not previously within an existing district, (ii) merge or divide existing districts, (iii) transfer territory from an existing district to another district, (iv) modify or create a district by a combination of the above, and (v) relocate or define the boundaries of soil and water conservation districts in the manner hereafter prescribed.

B. An incorporated town within any county having a soil and water conservation district shall be a part of that district. If a town lies within the boundaries of more than one county, it shall be considered to be wholly within the county in which the larger portion of the town lies.

§ 10.1-1187.22. Petitions filed with the Board.

Petitions to modify or create districts, or relocate or define boundaries of existing districts, shall be initiated and filed with the Board for its approval or disapproval by any of the following methods:

1. By petition of a majority of the directors of any or each district or by petition from a majority of the governing body of any or each county or city.

2. By petition of a majority of the governing body of a county or city not within an existing district, requesting to be included in an existing district and concurred in by the district directors.

3. By petition of a majority of the governing body of a county or city or parts thereof not included within an existing district, requesting that a new district be created.

4. By petition, signed by a number of registered voters equal to 25 percent of the vote cast in the last general election, who are residents of a county or city not included within an existing district, requesting that a new district be created, or requesting to be included within an existing district. If the petition bears the signatures of the requisite number of registered voters of a county or city, or two or more cities, then the petition shall be deemed to be the joint petition of the particular combination of political subdivisions named in the petition. If the petition deals in whole or in part with a portion or portions of a political subdivision or subdivisions, then the number of signatures necessary for each portion of a political subdivision shall be the same as if the whole political subdivision were involved in the petition, and may come from the political subdivision at large.

§ 10.1-1187.23. Contents and form of petition.

The petition shall set forth:

1. The proposed name of the district;

2. That there is need, in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare, for the proposed district to function in the territory described in the petition, and a brief statement of the grounds upon which this conclusion is based;

3. A description of the territory proposed to be organized as a district, which description shall not be required to be given by metes and bounds or by legal subdivision, but shall be deemed sufficient if generally accurate; and

4. A request that the Board define the boundaries for such district, that a hearing be held within the territory so defined on the question of the creation of a district in such territory, and that the Board determine that such a district be created.

Where more than one petition is filed covering parts of the same territory, the Board may consolidate the petitions.

The Board shall prescribe the petition form.

§ 10.1-1187.24. Disapproval of petition.

If the Board disapproves the petition, its determination shall be recorded, and if the petitioners are the governing body of a district, county, or city or a part of a county or city, the governing body shall be notified in writing. If the petitioners are the requisite number of registered voters prescribed by subdivision 4 of § 10.1-1187.22, notification shall be by a notice printed once in a newspaper of general circulation within the area designated in the petition.

§ 10.1-1187.25. Petition approved; Board to give notice of hearing.

If the Board approves the petition, within 60 days after such determination, the Board shall provide due notice of the approval in a newspaper of general circulation in each county or city involved. The notice shall include notice of a hearing upon the question of the desirability and necessity, in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare, of the action proposed by the petition upon (i) the question of the appropriate boundaries to be assigned to such district, (ii) the propriety of the petition and other proceedings taken under this chapter, and (iii) all questions relevant to such inquiries.

§ 10.1-1187.26. Adjournment of hearing when additional territory appears desirable.

If it appears upon the hearing that it may be desirable to include within the proposed district territory outside of the area within which due notice of the hearing has been given, the hearing shall be adjourned and due notice of a further hearing shall be given throughout the entire area considered for inclusion in the district.

§ 10.1-1187.27. Determination of need for district.

After a public hearing, if the Board determines that there is need, in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare, for the proposed district to function in the territory considered at the hearing, it shall record its determination and shall define, by metes and bounds or by legal subdivisions, the boundaries of the district. In so doing, the Board shall consider (i) the topography of the area considered and of the Commonwealth, (ii) the composition of soils in the area, (iii) the distribution of erosion, (iv) the prevailing land-use practices, (v) the desirability and necessity of including within the boundaries the particular lands under consideration and the benefits the lands may receive from being included within such boundaries, (vi) the relation of the proposed area to existing watersheds and to other soil and water conservation districts already organized or proposed for organization, (vii) the existing political subdivisions, and (viii) other relevant physical, geographical, economic, and funding factors. The territory to be included within such boundaries need not be contiguous.

§ 10.1-1187.28. Determination that district not needed.

If the Board determines after the hearing, and after due consideration of the relevant facts, that there is no need for a soil and water conservation district to function in the territory considered at the hearing, it shall record its determination and deny the petition.

§ 10.1-1187.29. Determination of feasibility of operation.

After the Board has made and recorded a determination that there is need for the organization of the proposed district in a particular territory, and has defined the boundaries, it shall consider whether the operation of a district within such boundaries is administratively practicable and feasible. In making its determination, the Board shall consider the attitudes of the occupiers of lands lying within the defined boundaries, the probable expense of the operation of such district, the effect upon the programs of any existing districts, and other relevant economic and social factors. If the Board determines that the operation of a district is administratively practicable and feasible, it shall record its determination and proceed with the organization of the district. If the Board determines that the operation of a district is not administratively practicable and feasible, it shall record its determination and deny the petition. If the petition is denied, the Board shall notify the petitioner in the manner provided in this article.

§ 10.1-1187.30. Composition of governing body.

If the Board determines that the operation of the proposed district within the defined boundaries is administratively practicable and feasible, and the proposed district is created, then its governing body shall be a board of district directors appointed or elected in the number and manner specified as follows:

1. If the district embraces one county or city, or less than one county or city, the board of district directors shall consist of five members, three to be elected by the registered voters of the district and two appointed by the Board.

2. If the district embraces more than one county or city, or parts thereof, the board of district directors shall consist of two members elected by the registered voters from each county or city, or parts thereof embraced by the district. Two at-large members shall be appointed by the Board.

§ 10.1-1187.31. Status of district directors in event of transfer, merger, or division of districts.

In the event of the transfer, merger, or division of districts, the status of the district directors involved shall be affected as follows:

1. The composition of an existing district board of a district to which territory is transferred shall remain in effect until the terms of office of the present elected members expire. Upon the transfer of a county or city, or parts thereof, from one district to another district, (i) elected district directors residing within the territory transferred shall be appointed as directors of the district to which the territory is transferred for a term of office to coincide with that of the elected directors of the district to which the territory is transferred, and (ii) appointed district directors residing within the territory transferred shall be appointed as directors of the district to which the territory is transferred for a term of office to coincide with that of the appointed directors, either as an extension agent appointee or an at-large appointee of the district to which the territory is transferred. At the option of the petitioners, a petition may request that a proposed transfer be treated as a merger or division for the purpose of this section, and the Board at its discretion may grant or refuse such request.

2. Upon the merger of existing districts, or upon the separation from two or more existing districts of a county or city, or parts thereof, which merge to create a new district, all district directors residing within the territory merged shall be appointed as directors of the new district. Following the merger, (i) elected district directors residing within the territory of the new district shall be appointed as directors of the new district for a term of office to coincide with that of elected directors as provided in § 10.1-1187.45, and (ii) appointed district directors residing within the new district shall be appointed as directors of the new district for a term of office to coincide with that of the appointed directors, either as an extension agent appointee or an at-large appointee of the district as provided in § 10.1-1187.45.

3. Upon the division of an existing district to create a new district, all elected or appointed district directors residing within the territory to be divided from the existing district shall be appointed as directors of the new district. Following the division, (i) elected district directors residing within the territory of the new district shall be appointed as directors of the new district for a term of office to coincide with that of elected directors as provided in § 10.1-1187.45, and (ii) appointed district directors residing within the territory of the new district shall be appointed as directors of the new district for a term of office to coincide with that of the appointed directors, either as an extension agent appointee or an at-large appointee of the district as provided in § 10.1-1187.45.  

This section shall not be construed as broadening or limiting the size of a governing body of a district as prescribed by § 10.1-1187.30. If the operation of this section results in a governing body larger or smaller than the appropriate size permitted by § 10.1-1187.30, then such a variation, if not otherwise corrected by operation of this section, shall be cured by appropriate appointments by the Board and with the next general election after the transfer, merger, or division in which all those elected directors prescribed by § 10.1-1187.30 may be elected.

§ 10.1-1187.32. Application and statement to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Upon the creation of a district by any means authorized by this article, two district directors appointed by the Board and authorized by the Board to do so shall present to the Secretary of the Commonwealth an application signed by them, which shall set forth (i) that a petition for the creation of the district was filed with the Board pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, and that the proceedings specified in this chapter were conducted; (ii) that the application is being filed in order to complete the organization of the district as a political subdivision under this chapter; (iii) that the Board has appointed them as district directors; (iv) the name and official residence of each of the district directors together with a certified copy of the appointments evidencing their right to office; (v) the term of office of each of the district directors; (vi) the proposed name of the district; and (vii) the location of the principal office of the district directors. The application shall be subscribed and sworn to by the two district directors authorized by the Board to make such application before an officer authorized by the laws of the Commonwealth to take and certify oaths. The application shall be accompanied by a certified statement by the Board that the district was created as required by law. The statement shall set forth the boundaries of the district as they have been defined by the Board.

If the creation of a district necessitates the dissolution of an existing district, an application shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, with the application for the district to be created, by the directors of the district to be dissolved, for the discontinuance of such district, contingent upon the creation of the new district. The application for discontinuance, duly verified, shall simply state that the lands encompassed in the district to be dissolved shall be included within the territory of the district created. The application for discontinuance of such district shall be accompanied by a certified statement by the Board that the discontinued district was dissolved as required by law and the new district was created as required by law. The statement shall contain a description of the boundaries of each district dissolved and shall set forth the boundaries of the district created as defined by the Board. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall issue to the directors of each district a certificate of dissolution and shall record the certificate in an appropriate book of record in his office.

When the boundaries of districts are changed pursuant to the provisions of this article, the various affected district boards shall each present to the Secretary of the Commonwealth an application, signed by them, for a new certificate of organization evidencing the change of boundaries. The application shall be filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth accompanied by a certified statement by the Board that the boundaries have been changed in accordance with the provisions of this article. The statement by the Board shall define the new boundary line in a manner adequate to describe the boundary changes of districts. When the application and statement have been filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the change of boundary shall become effective and the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall issue to the directors of each of the districts a certificate of organization evidencing the change of boundaries.

§ 10.1-1187.33. Action of Secretary on the application and statement; change of name of district.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall examine the application and statement and, if he finds that the name proposed for the district is not identical to that of any other soil and water conservation district, shall receive and file them and shall record the application in an appropriate book of record in his office. If the Secretary of the Commonwealth finds that the name proposed for the district is identical to that of any other soil and water conservation district, or so nearly similar as to lead to confusion and uncertainty, he shall certify such fact to the Board, which shall submit to the Secretary of the Commonwealth a new name for the district. Upon receipt of the new name, the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall record the application, with the name so modified, in an appropriate book of record in his office. When the application and statement have been made, filed and recorded, as herein provided, the district shall constitute a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall make and issue to the directors a certificate, under the lesser seal of the Commonwealth, of the due organization of the district and shall record the certificate with the application and statement. The boundaries of the district shall include the territory as determined by the Board, but shall not include any area included within the boundaries of another district, except in those cases otherwise provided for in this article. The name of any district may be changed if a petition for such change is subscribed by 25 or more landowners from each county or city comprising the district and adopted by resolution of the district directors at any regular meeting. The district directors shall submit a copy of the resolution to the Board and, if the Board concurs, it shall present the resolution, together with a certified statement that it concurs, to the Secretary of the Commonwealth who shall file the resolution and issue a new or amended certificate of organization.

§ 10.1-1187.34. Secretary to send copies of certificates to State Board of Elections.

Whenever the Secretary issues a certificate creating, dissolving, or changing the name or composition of a district, the Secretary shall promptly send a certified copy of such certificate to the State Board of Elections.

§ 10.1-1187.35. Renewal of petition after disapproval or denial.

After six months have expired from the date of the disapproval or denial of any petition for a soil and water conservation district, subsequent petitions covering the same or substantially the same territory may be filed with the Board as provided in this article.

§ 10.1-1187.36. Contracts to remain in force; succession to rights and obligations.

Upon consummation of any transfer, merger, or division, or any combination thereof, using territory within a previously existing district to form a new district or to add to an existing district, all contracts in effect at the time of the consummation, affecting or relating to the territory transferred, merged, or divided, to which the governing body of the district from which such territory was acquired is a party shall remain in force for the period provided in the contracts. Rights and obligations acquired or assumed by the district from which the territory was acquired shall succeed to the district to which the territory is transferred.

§ 10.1-1187.37. Determination of status of district boundaries upon annexation or consolidation.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 10.1-1187.22, the Board may, in its discretion, relocate or redefine district boundaries on its own motion pending or subsequent to any annexation or consolidation.

If the Board determines on its own motion to relocate or redefine district boundaries, the Board shall serve written notice of its determination, containing the full terms of the proposed relocation or redefinition, on the governing body of each district, county, city, and town affected by the relocation or redefinition of boundaries. If within 45 days from the date of service of such notice each governing body affected approves the Board's action by resolution of a majority of the members, the Board may then proceed to act on its motion without a public hearing.

§ 10.1-1187.38. Certificate of Secretary of Commonwealth as evidence.

In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of, or relating to, any contract, proceeding, or action of the district, the district shall be deemed to have been established, reorganized, or renamed, in accordance with the provisions of this article upon proof of the issuance of the certificate by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. A copy of such certificate shall be admissible in evidence in any such suit, action, or proceeding and shall be proof of the issuance and contents thereof.

§ 10.1-1187.39. Nominating petitions; posting of notice.

A. Beginning 30 days after the date of issuance by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of a certificate of organization of a district, but not later than the filing date specified in § 24.2-507 for the November 2003 general election and each fourth year thereafter, nominating petitions, statements of qualifications, and declarations of candidacy shall be filed with the general registrar of the county or city where the candidate resides, pursuant to §§ 24.2-501, 24.2-503, 24.2-505, 24.2-506, and 24.2-507, to nominate candidates for elected directors of such districts. Nominating petitions, statements of qualifications, and declarations of candidacy for elected directors of existing districts shall be filed with the general registrar of the county or city where the candidate resides, pursuant to §§ 24.2-501, 24.2-503, 24.2-505, 24.2-506, and 24.2-507. Notice of the date for filing such petitions and the time of the election shall be posted in a prominent location accessible to the public at each district office at least 30 days before the filing date. In addition, districts may use newsletters, websites, public service announcements, and other notices to advise the public of elections of district directors.

B. Registered voters may sign more than one nominating petition to nominate more than one candidate for district director.

C. The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall notify each district of the requirement (i) to post notice of the dates for filing such petitions and the election and (ii) that the posting shall be in a prominent location accessible to the public at each district office at least 30 days before the filing date.

D. Beginning in the year 2003, elections shall be held only at the November general election in 2003 and at the November general election in each fourth year thereafter.

§ 10.1-1187.40. Names of nominees furnished electoral board; how ballots printed, etc.

The names of all nominees shall be furnished to the secretary of the electoral board of the respective county or city and shall be printed upon ballots. The ballots shall be printed, voted, counted, and canvassed in conformity with the provisions of general law relating to elections, except as herein otherwise provided.

§ 10.1-1187.41. Canvassing returns.

The result of the election shall be canvassed and certified by the electoral board for the county or city in which the candidate resides pursuant to §§ 24.2-671 through 24.2-678. The State Board of Elections shall, promptly after the meeting required by § 24.2-679, certify to the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality a list of the candidates elected and certified as Directors of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, as reported pursuant to § 24.2-675.

§ 10.1-1187.42. Persons eligible to vote.

All registered voters residing within each county or city or part thereof shall be eligible to vote in the election for their respective nominees.

§ 10.1-1187.43. Determination of candidates elected.

If the district embraces one county or city, or less than one county or city, the three candidates who receive the largest number of the votes cast in the election shall be elected directors for the district.

If the district embraces more than one county or city, or parts thereof, the two candidates from each county or city, or part thereof, receiving the largest number of the votes cast in the election shall be the elected directors for the district.

§ 10.1-1187.44. Expenses and publication of results.

The expenses of such elections shall be paid by the counties or cities concerned. The State Board of Elections shall publish, or have published within the district, the results of the election.

§ 10.1-1187.45. District directors constitute governing body; qualifications.

The governing body of the district shall consist of five or more district directors, elected and appointed as provided in this article.

The two district directors appointed by the Board shall be persons who are by training and experience qualified to perform the specialized skilled services which will be required of them in the performance of their duties. One of the appointed district directors shall be the extension agent of the county or city, or one of the counties or cities constituting the district, or a part thereof. Other appointed and elected district directors shall reside within the boundaries of the district.

§ 10.1-1187.46. Duties of district directors.

In addition to other duties and powers, district directors shall:

1. Identify soil and water issues and opportunities within the district or related to the district and establish priorities for addressing these issues;

2. Seek a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues that impact soil and water, and assist in resolving the identified issues at the watershed, local, regional, state, and national levels;

3. Engage in actions that will improve soil and water stewardship by use of locally led programs;

4. Increase understanding among community leaders, including elected officials and others, of their role in soil and water quality protection and improvement;

5. Foster discussion and advancement within the community of positions and programs by their district;

6. Actively participate in the activities of the district and ensure district resources are used effectively and managed wisely; and

7. Support and promote the advancement of districts and their capabilities.

§ 10.1-1187.47. Designation of chairman; terms of office; filling vacancies.

A. The district directors shall designate a chairman from the elected members, or from the Board-appointed members, of the district board and may change such designation.

B. The term of office of each district director shall be four years. A district director shall hold office until his successor has been elected or appointed and has qualified. The selection of successors to fill a full term shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this article. Beginning in the year 2003, the election of district directors shall be held at the November 2003 general election and each fourth year thereafter. The terms of office of elected district directors shall begin on January 1 following the November general election. The term of office of any district director elected in November 1999 shall be extended to the January 1 following the November 2003 general election. The term of office of any district director elected in November 2000 shall expire on the January 1 following the November 2003 general election. The term of office of any district director elected in November 2001 or 2002 shall be extended to expire on the January 1 following the November general election in 2007. Appointments made by the Board to the at-large position held by an extension agent shall be made to commence January 1, 2005, and each fourth year thereafter. Appointments made by the Board to the other at-large position shall be made to commence January 1, 2007, and each fourth year thereafter. Any appointment made by the Board prior to January 1, 2005, to an at-large position held by an extension agent shall be made to expire January 1, 2005; and any appointment made by the Board prior to January 1, 2007, to the other at-large position shall be made to expire January 1, 2007.

C. A vacancy shall exist in the event of the death, resignation, or removal of residence from the district of any director or the elimination or detachment from the district of the territory in which a director resides, or by the removal of a director from office by the Board. Any vacancy in an elected or appointed director's position shall be filled by an appointment made by the Board for the unexpired term. In the event of the creation of a new district, the transfer of territory from an existing district to an existing district, or the addition of territory not previously within an existing district to an existing district, the Board may appoint directors to fill the vacancies of elected directors prescribed by § 10.1-1187.30 in the newly created district or in the territory added to an existing district. Such appointed directors shall serve in office until the elected directors prescribed by § 10.1-1187.30 take office after the next general election at which directors for the entire district are selected.

§ 10.1-1187.48. Quorum and expenses.

A majority of the district directors currently in office shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority of those present and voting shall be required for all determinations. A district director shall receive no compensation for his services, but shall be entitled to expenses, including traveling expenses, necessarily incurred in the discharge of his duties.

§ 10.1-1187.49. Employment of officers, agents and employees.

The district directors may employ a secretary-treasurer, whose qualifications shall be approved by the Board, technical experts, and such other officers, agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as they may require, and shall determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation.

§ 10.1-1187.50. Delegation of powers.

The district directors may delegate to their chairman or to one or more district directors, agents, or employees such powers and duties as they may deem proper.

§ 10.1-1187.51. Information furnished to the Board.

The district directors shall furnish to the Board or Department, upon request, copies of ordinances, rules, regulations, orders, contracts, forms, and other documents that they adopt or employ, and other information concerning their activities as the Board or Department may require in the performance of its duties under this article.

§ 10.1-1187.52. Bonds of officers and employees; records and accounts.

The district directors shall (i) provide for the execution of surety bonds for all employees and officers who shall be entrusted with funds or property; (ii) provide for the keeping of a full and accurate record of all proceedings and of all resolutions, regulations, and orders issued or adopted; and (iii) provide for an annual audit of the accounts of receipts and disbursements by the Auditor of Public Accounts or a certified public accountant approved by him.

§ 10.1-1187.53. Removal from office.

Any district director may be removed by the Board for neglect of duty or malfeasance in office, or may be removed in accordance with the provisions of general law. Upon receipt of a sworn complaint against a director filed by a majority of the directors of that same district, the Board shall (i) notify the district director that a complaint has been filed against him and (ii) hold a hearing to determine whether the district director's conduct constitutes neglect of duty or malfeasance in office.

§ 10.1-1187.54. Representatives of governing bodies to be invited to consult with directors.

The district directors shall invite the legislative body of any locality located near the territory comprised within the district to designate a representative to advise and consult with the directors of the district on all questions of program and policy which may affect the property, water supply, or other interests of such locality.

§ 10.1-1187.55. District is political subdivision.

A soil and water conservation district organized under the provisions of this article shall constitute a political subdivision of this Commonwealth.

§ 10.1-1187.56. Surveys and dissemination of information.

Districts are authorized to (i) conduct surveys, investigations, and research relating to soil erosion and floodwater and sediment damages, and to agricultural and nonagricultural phases of the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water, and the preventive and control measures and works of improvement needed; (ii) publish the results of such surveys, investigations, or research; and (iii) disseminate information concerning preventive and control measures and works of improvement. However, in order to avoid duplication of research activities, no district shall initiate any research program except in cooperation with the government of the Commonwealth or the United States.

§ 10.1-1187.57. Demonstrational projects.

Districts are authorized to conduct demonstrational projects within the district on lands owned or controlled by the Commonwealth or any of its agencies, with the consent and cooperation of the agency administering and having jurisdiction thereof, and on any other lands within the district upon obtaining the consent of the owner and occupier of such lands or the necessary rights or interests in such lands. The purpose of such projects is to demonstrate by example the means, methods, and measures by which soil and water resources may be conserved, and soil erosion in the form of soil washing may be prevented and controlled, and works of improvement for flood prevention or agricultural and nonagricultural phases of the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water may be carried out.

§ 10.1-1187.58. Preventive and control measures.

Districts are authorized to carry out preventive and control measures and works of improvement for flood prevention or agricultural and nonagricultural phases of the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water within the district including, but not limited to, engineering operations, methods of cultivation, the growing of vegetation, and changes in use of land on lands owned or controlled by the Commonwealth or any of its agencies, with the consent and cooperation of the agency administering and having jurisdiction thereof, and on any other lands within the district upon obtaining the consent of the owner and occupier of such lands or the necessary rights or interests in such lands.

§ 10.1-1187.59. Financial aid to agencies and occupiers.

Districts are authorized to enter into agreements, within the limits of available appropriations, to give, lend, or otherwise furnish financial or other aid to any governmental or other agency, or any occupier of lands within the district, to provide erosion-control and prevention operations and works of improvement for flood prevention or agricultural and nonagricultural phases of the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water within the district. Agreements shall be subject to such conditions as the directors may deem necessary to advance the purposes of this article.

§ 10.1-1187.60. Acquisition, improvement and disposition of property.

Districts are authorized to (i) obtain options upon and to acquire, by purchase, exchange, lease, gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise, any property, real or personal, or rights or interests therein; (ii) maintain, administer, and improve any properties acquired, to receive income from such properties, and to expend such income in carrying out the purposes and provisions of this article; and (iii) sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of any of their property or interests therein in furtherance of the provisions of this article.

§ 10.1-1187.61. Making material and equipment available.

Districts are authorized to make available, on terms they prescribe, to land occupiers within the district, agricultural and engineering machinery and equipment, fertilizer, seeds and seedlings, and other material or equipment that will assist land occupiers to conserve soil resources, to prevent and control soil erosion and to prevent floods, or to carry out the agricultural and nonagricultural phases of the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water.

§ 10.1-1187.62. Construction, improvement, operation, and maintenance of structures.

Districts are authorized to construct, improve, operate, and maintain such structures as may be necessary or convenient for the performance of any of the operations authorized in this article.

§ 10.1-1187.63. Development of programs and plans.

Districts are authorized to develop comprehensive programs and plans for the conservation of soil resources, for the control and prevention of soil erosion, for flood prevention, or for agricultural and nonagricultural phases of the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water within the district. Such programs and plans shall specify the acts, procedures, performances, and avoidances that are necessary or desirable to effect such programs and plans, including the specification of engineering operations, methods of cultivation, the growing of vegetation, cropping programs, tillage practices, and changes in use of land. After such programs and plans have been approved by the appropriate state agency or board, districts are authorized to publish such programs and plans, and information, and bring them to the attention of occupiers of lands within the district.

§ 10.1-1187.64. Assistance in nonpoint source pollution management; delivery of Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program.

A. Districts shall assist in the Commonwealth’s nonpoint source pollution management efforts. Assistance by the soil and water conservation districts in the delivery of local programs and services may include: (i) the provision of technical assistance to advance adoption of conservation management services, (ii) delivery of educational initiatives targeted at youth and adult groups to further awareness and understanding of water quality issues and solutions, and (iii) promotion of incentives to encourage voluntary actions by landowners and land managers in order to minimize nonpoint source pollution contributions to state waters.

B. Districts shall locally deliver the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program described under § 10.1-2128.1, under the direction of the Board, as a means of promoting voluntary adoption of conservation management practices by farmers and land managers in support of the nonpoint source pollution management program.

§ 10.1-1187.65. Acquisition and administration of projects; acting as agent for United States, etc.; acceptance of gifts.

Districts shall have the following additional authority:

1. To acquire by purchase, lease, or other similar means, and to administer, any soil conservation, flood prevention, drainage, irrigation, agricultural and nonagricultural water management, erosion control, or erosion prevention project, or combinations thereof, located within its boundaries undertaken by the United States or any of its agencies, or by the Commonwealth or any of its agencies;

2. To manage, as agent of the United States or any of its agencies, or of the Commonwealth or any of its agencies, any soil conservation, flood prevention, drainage, irrigation, agricultural and nonagricultural water management, erosion control or erosion prevention project, or combinations thereof, within its boundaries;

3. To act as agent for the United States or any of its agencies, or for the Commonwealth or any of its agencies, in connection with the acquisition, construction, maintenance, operation, or administration of any soil conservation, flood prevention, drainage, irrigation, agricultural and nonagricultural water management, erosion control, or erosion prevention project, or combinations thereof, within its boundaries; and

4. To accept donations, gifts, and contributions in money, services, materials, or otherwise, from the United States or any of its agencies, or from the Commonwealth or any of its agencies or from any other source, and to use or expend such moneys, services, materials, or other contributions in carrying on its operations.

§ 10.1-1187.66. Contracts; rules.

Districts are authorized to have a seal; to have perpetual succession unless terminated as hereinafter provided; to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of their powers; to make, amend, and repeal regulations not inconsistent with this article, to effect their purposes and powers.

§ 10.1-1187.67. Cooperation between districts.

The directors of any two or more districts may cooperate in the exercise of any or all powers conferred in this article.

§ 10.1-1187.68. Virginia Envirothon.

Districts in partnership with other districts, agencies, organizations, and associations are authorized to coordinate and implement the Virginia Envirothon Program, administered by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which enables learning experiences for high school students through competitive events focusing on natural resource conservation.

§ 10.1-1187.69. State agencies to cooperate.

Agencies of the Commonwealth that have jurisdiction over or administer any state-owned lands, and agencies of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth that have jurisdiction over or administer any publicly owned lands lying within the boundaries of any district, shall cooperate to the fullest extent with the district directors in the effectuation of programs and operations undertaken pursuant to this article. The district directors shall be given free access to enter and perform work upon such public-owned lands.

§ 10.1-1187.70. Conditions for extension of benefits.

As a condition to the extending of any benefits under this article to, or the performance of work upon, any lands not owned or controlled by the Commonwealth or any of its agencies, the district directors may require contributions in money, services, materials, or otherwise to any operations conferring such benefits, and may require land occupiers to enter into and perform such agreements or covenants as to the permanent use of such lands that will tend to prevent or control erosion and prevent floodwaters and sediment damages thereon.

§ 10.1-1187.71. Renting machinery and equipment.

Districts are authorized to rent the machinery and other equipment made available to them by the Department to governing bodies and, individuals, or groups of individuals to be used by them for the purpose of soil and water conservation upon such terms as the district directors deem proper.

§ 10.1-1187.72. Petition by landowners.

Any time after two years after the organization of a district, any 25 owners of land lying within the boundaries of the district may file a petition with the Board requesting that the operations of the district be terminated and the existence of the district discontinued.

§ 10.1-1187.73. Hearings.

The Board may conduct public meetings and public hearings upon the termination petition to assist it in the considerations thereof.

§ 10.1-1187.74. Referendum.

Within 60 days after a termination petition has been received by the Board, it shall give due notice of the holding of a referendum and shall supervise the referendum and issue appropriate regulations governing the conduct thereof. The ballot shall contain the following question: "Shall the existence of the (name of the soil and water conservation district) be terminated?

[]Yes

[]No"

All registered voters residing within the boundaries of the district shall be eligible to vote in the referendum. No informalities in the conduct of the referendum or in any related matters shall invalidate the referendum or the result if proper notice has been given and if the referendum has been fairly conducted.

§ 10.1-1187.75. Determination of Board.

The Board shall publish the result of the referendum and shall thereafter consider and determine whether the continued operation of the district within the defined boundaries is administratively practicable and feasible. If the Board determines that the continued operation of the district is administratively practicable and feasible, it shall record the determination and deny the petition. If the Board determines that the continued operation of the district is not administratively practicable and feasible, it shall record its determination and certify the determination to the district directors. In making its determination the Board shall consider the proportion of the votes cast in favor of the discontinuance of the district to the total number of votes cast, the probable expense of carrying on erosion control operations within the district, and other relevant economic and social factors. However, the Board shall not have authority to determine that the continued operation of the district is administratively practicable and feasible unless at least a majority of the votes cast in the referendum have been cast in favor of the continuance of such district.

§ 10.1-1187.76. Duty of directors after certification of Board.

Upon receiving from the Board certification that the Board has determined that the continued operation of the district is not administratively practicable and feasible, the district directors shall proceed to determine the affairs of the district. The district directors shall dispose of all property belonging to the district at public auction and shall pay the proceeds of the sale into the state treasury. The district directors shall then file an application, duly verified, with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, for the discontinuance of the district, and shall transmit with the application the certificate of the Board setting forth the determination of the Board that the continued operation of the district is not administratively practicable and feasible. The application shall recite that the property of the district has been disposed of and the proceeds paid over as provided by law, and shall set forth a full accounting of such properties and proceeds of the sale. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall issue to the district directors a certificate of dissolution and shall record the certificate in an appropriate book of record in his office.

§ 10.1-1187.77. Effect of issuance of certificate of dissolution.

Upon issuance of a certificate of dissolution, all ordinances and regulations previously adopted and in force within such district shall be of no further force. All contracts entered into, to which the district or district directors are parties, shall remain in force for the period provided in the contracts. The Board shall be substituted for the district or district directors as party to the contracts. The Board shall be entitled to all benefits and subject to all liabilities under the contracts and shall have the same right and liability to perform, to require performance, to sue and be sued thereon, and to modify or terminate such contracts by mutual consent or otherwise, as the district directors would have had.

§ 10.1-1187.78. Petitions limited to once in five years.

The Board shall not entertain petitions for the discontinuance of any district, conduct elections upon such petitions, or make determinations pursuant to such petitions more often than once in five years.

Article 1.6.
Watershed Improvement Districts.

§ 10.1-1187.79. Establishment within soil and water conservation district authorized.

Whenever it is found that soil and water conservation or water management within a soil and water conservation district or districts will be promoted by the construction of improvements to check erosion, provide drainage, collect sediment, or stabilize the runoff of surface water, a small watershed improvement district may be established within such soil and water conservation district or districts in accordance with the provisions of this article.

§ 10.1-1187.80. Petition for establishment; what to set forth.

A. Any 25 owners of land lying within the limits of a proposed watershed improvement district, or a majority of such owners if there are fewer than 50, may file a petition with the directors of the soil and water conservation district or districts in which the proposed watershed improvement district is situated asking that a watershed improvement district be organized to function in the territory described in the petition. The petition shall set forth:

1. The proposed name of the watershed improvement district;

2. That there is need, in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare, for a watershed improvement district to function in the territory described in the petition;

3. A description of the territory proposed to be organized as a watershed improvement district, which description shall be deemed sufficient if generally accurate;

4. That the territory described in the petition is contiguous and is the same watershed, or is two or more contiguous watersheds;

5. A request that the territory described in the petition be organized as a watershed improvement district; and

6. The method for financing the proposed district, whether by means of a tax on all real estate in the proposed district or a service charge on the increase in the fair market value of all real estate in the proposed district caused by the district's project.

B. Land lying within the limits of one watershed improvement district shall not be included in another watershed improvement district.

§ 10.1-1187.81. Notice and hearing on petition; determination of need for district and defining boundaries.

Within 30 days after a petition has been filed with the directors of the soil and water conservation district or districts, they shall cause due notice to be given of a hearing upon the practicability and feasibility of creating the proposed watershed improvement district. All owners of land within the proposed watershed improvement district and all other interested parties shall have the right to attend such a hearing and to be heard. If the directors determine from the hearing that there is need, in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare, for the organization of the proposed watershed improvement district, they shall record their determination and define the boundaries of the watershed improvement district. The provisions of Article 1.4 (§ 10.1-1187.17 et seq.) shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to such proceedings.

§ 10.1-1187.82. Determination of whether operation of proposed district is feasible; referendum.

If the district directors determine that a need for the proposed watershed improvement district exists and after they define the boundaries of the proposed district, they shall consider the administrative feasibility of operating the proposed watershed improvement district. To assist the district directors in determining such question, a referendum shall be held upon the proposition of the creation of the proposed watershed improvement district. Due notice of the referendum shall be given by the district directors. All owners of land lying within the boundaries of the proposed watershed improvement district shall be eligible to vote in the referendum. The district directors may prescribe necessary regulations governing the conduct of the hearing.

§ 10.1-1187.83. Ballots used in such referendum.

The question shall be submitted by ballots, which shall contain the following question: "Shall a watershed improvement district be created of the lands described below and lying in the county(ies) or city(ies) of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and . . . . . . . . . . . . .?

[]Yes

[]No"

The ballot shall set forth the boundaries of the proposed district determined by the Board.

The ballot shall also set forth the method or methods of real estate assessment as determined by the district directors.

§ 10.1-1187.84. Consideration of results of referendum; simple majority vote required.

The results of the referendum shall be considered by the district directors in determining whether the operation of the proposed watershed improvement district is administratively practicable and feasible. The district directors shall not be authorized to determine that operation of the proposed watershed improvement district is administratively practicable and feasible unless a simple majority of the votes cast in the referendum have been cast in favor of the creation of the watershed improvement district.

§ 10.1-1187.85. Declaration of organization of district; certification to Board.

If the district directors determine that operation of the proposed watershed improvement district is administratively practicable and feasible, they shall declare the watershed improvement district to be organized and shall record the fact in their official minutes. Following such entry in their official minutes, the district directors shall certify the fact of the organization of the watershed improvement district to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, and shall furnish a copy of the certification to the clerk of each county or city in which any portion of the watershed improvement district is situated for recordation in the public land records of each such county or city. The watershed improvement district shall thereupon constitute a political subdivision of the Commonwealth.

§ 10.1-1187.86. Establishment of watershed improvement district situated in more than one soil and water conservation district.

If a proposed watershed improvement district is situated in more than one soil and water conservation district, copies of the petition shall be presented to the directors of all the soil and water conservation districts in which the proposed watershed improvement district is situated, and the directors of all affected soil and water conservation districts shall act jointly as a board of directors with respect to all matters concerning the watershed improvement district, including its organization. The watershed improvement district shall be organized in the same manner and shall have the same powers and duties as a watershed improvement district situated entirely in one soil and water conservation district.

§ 10.1-1187.87. Inclusion of additional territory.

Petitions for including additional territory within an existing watershed improvement district may be filed with directors of the soil and water conservation district or districts in which the watershed improvement district is situated, and in such cases the provisions hereof for petitions to organize the watershed improvement district shall be observed to the extent deemed practicable by the district directors. In referenda upon petitions for such inclusion, all owners of land situated in the proposed additional territory shall be eligible to vote. No additional territory shall be included in an existing watershed improvement district unless owners of land representing two-thirds of the acreage proposed to be included vote in favor thereof.

§ 10.1-1187.88. Governing body of district; trustees.

The directors of the soil and water conservation district or districts in which the watershed improvement district is situated shall be the governing body of the watershed improvement district. They may appoint, in consultation with and subject to the approval of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, three trustees who shall be owners of land within the watershed improvement district. The trustees shall exercise the administrative duties and powers delegated to them by the directors of the soil and water conservation district or districts. The trustees shall hold office at the will of the directors of the soil and water conservation district or districts and the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board. The trustees shall designate a chairman and may change such designation. One of the trustees may be selected as treasurer and shall be responsible for the safekeeping of the funds of the watershed improvement district. When a watershed improvement district lies in more than one soil and water conservation district, the directors of all such districts shall act jointly as the governing body of the watershed improvement district.

§ 10.1-1187.89. Officers, agents and employees; surety bonds; annual audit.

The trustees may, with the approval of the directors of the soil and water conservation district or districts, employ such officers, agents, and other employees as they require, and shall determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation. The district directors shall provide for the execution of surety bonds for the treasurer and such other trustees, officers, agents, and employees as shall be entrusted with funds or property of the watershed improvement district, and shall publish an annual audit of the accounts of receipts and disbursements of the watershed improvement district.

§ 10.1-1187.90. Status and general powers of district; power to levy tax or service charge; approval of landowners required.

A watershed improvement district shall have all of the powers of the soil and water conservation district or districts in which the watershed improvement district is situated, and in addition shall have the authority to levy and collect a tax or service charge to be used for the purposes for which the watershed improvement district was created. No tax shall be levied nor service charge imposed under this article unless two-thirds of the owners of land, which two-thirds owners shall also represent ownership of at least two-thirds of the land area in such district, voting in a referendum called and held in the manner prescribed in this article, approve the levy of a tax to be expended for the purposes of the watershed improvement district.

§ 10.1-1187.91. Levy of tax or service charge; when district in two or more counties or cities; landbooks certified to treasurers.

A. On or before March 1 of each year, the trustees of the watershed improvement district shall make an estimate of the amount of money they deem necessary to be raised for the year in such district (i) for operating expenses and interest payments and (ii) for amortization of debt, and, after approval by the directors of the soil and water conservation district or districts and the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, shall establish the tax rate or service charge rate necessary to raise such amount of money. The tax rate or service charge rate to be applied against the amount determined under subsection C or D shall be determined before the date fixed by law for the determination of the general levy by the governing body of the counties or cities in which the district is situated.

B. The trustees of a watershed improvement district that imposes a tax on real estate or a service charge based on the increase in the fair market value of real estate caused by the district's project shall make up a landbook of all properties subject to the watershed improvement district tax or service charge on forms similar to those used by the county or city affected.

A separate landbook shall be made for each county or city if the district is located in more than one county or city. The landbook or landbooks of all properties subject to the district tax or the service charge, along with the tax rate or service charge rate fixed by the governing body of the district for that year, shall be certified to the appropriate county or city treasurer or treasurers, and filed in the clerk's office of such locality or localities, by the governing body of the watershed improvement district on or before the day the county or city landbook is required to be so certified. Such landbook or landbooks shall be subject to the same retention requirements as the county or city landbook.

C. For tax purposes under this article, the assessed valuation of all real estate located in a watershed improvement district shall be the same fair market valuation that appears in the most recent landbook for the county, city, or town wherein the subject property is located. However, in a watershed improvement district that is located in two or more counties or cities and in which there is a disparity of assessed valuations between the counties or cities, the governing body of the watershed improvement district may petition the judge or judges of the circuit courts in which the district is located to appoint one or more persons to assess all of the real estate in the district. The compensation of such person or persons shall be prescribed by the governing body of the district and paid out of the funds of the district.

D. In districts authorized to impose a service charge, the service charge shall be based on the initial increase in fair market value resulting from a project. In order to determine the initial increase in fair market value, the trustees shall subtract the fair market value of each parcel without the project, as shown in the landbook for the year immediately preceding the year in which the project was begun, from the fair market value of the parcel following completion of the project. The fair market value of each parcel with the project shall be determined by the district directors in a reasonable manner. The values so determined shall be the values against which the service charge rate is imposed so long as any bonds remain outstanding, and thereafter unless a change is approved by the district directors. If an additional improvement is made while any bonds are outstanding, the district directors may cause a new increase in fair market values to be computed to reflect such improvement. However, while any bonds are outstanding, such newly computed values shall not be used unless the total new increase in fair market values in the district is equal to or greater than the previously determined increase in fair market values. Within 30 days after determining the increase in fair market value for all real estate in the watershed improvement district resulting from the project, the trustees shall mail a notice of such determination to the owner of record of each parcel in the district.

E. The assessments and determinations of increase in fair market value made under the provisions of this section may be used only for the watershed improvement district tax or service charge and shall in no way affect any county or city assessment or levies.

F. Any person, firm, or corporation aggrieved by any determination of increased value made under any provision of this article shall apply in writing to the trustees of the watershed improvement district within 60 days after the mailing of the notice required in subsection D. Such application shall specify the increased value in the opinion of the applicant and the basis for such opinion. The trustees shall rule on all such applications within 120 days after mailing the notice required in subsection D. If any applicant remains aggrieved by the determination of increased value after such a ruling, he may apply to the circuit court of the county or city wherein the land is situated for a correction of such determination of increased value, within the time limits and following the procedures set out in Article 5 (§ 58.1-3980 et seq.) of Chapter 39 of Title 58.1.

G. The provisions of this section shall not be used to change the method of real estate assessment in any watershed improvement district established prior to January 1, 1976.

§ 10.1-1187.92. Collection of tax or service charge; proceeds kept in special account; expenditures from such account.

The special tax or service charge levied shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as county or city taxes with the proceeds therefrom to be kept in a separate account by the county or city treasurer identified by the official name of the watershed improvement district. Expenditures from such account may be made with the approval of the directors of the soil and water conservation district or districts on requisition from the chairman and the treasurer of the board of trustees of the watershed improvement district.

§ 10.1-1187.93. Fiscal powers of governing body; may poll landowners on question of incurring indebtedness or issuing bonds.

The governing body of any watershed improvement district shall have power, subject to the conditions and limitations of this article, to incur indebtedness, borrow funds, and issue bonds of such watershed improvement district. The circuit court of the county or city in which any portion of the watershed improvement district is located, upon the petition of a majority of the members of the governing body of the watershed improvement district, shall order a referendum at any time not less than 30 days from the date of such order, which shall be designated therein, to determine whether the governing body shall incur indebtedness or issue bonds for one or more of the purposes for which the watershed improvement district was created.

The referendum shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by this article for the conduct of other referendums in the watershed improvement districts.

§ 10.1-1187.94. Order authorizing governing body to incur indebtedness or issue bonds.

If the owners of at least two-thirds of the land area in the district vote in the election, and if at least two-thirds of the voters in the election vote in favor of incurring the indebtedness or issuing bonds, the circuit court or courts shall enter an order authorizing the governing body of the watershed improvement district to incur indebtedness or issue bonds for one or more of the purposes for which the district was created.

§ 10.1-1187.95. Type of indebtedness incurred or bonds issued.

The type of indebtedness incurred or bonds issued shall be that adopted by the governing body of the watershed improvement district and approved by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board.

§ 10.1-1187.96. Annual tax for payment of interest or to amortize indebtedness or bonds.

The governing body of the watershed improvement district shall, if necessary to pay the interest on the indebtedness or bonds or to amortize such indebtedness or bonds, levy an annual tax or service charge in the manner prescribed by § 10.1-1187.91 on all the real estate in the watershed improvement district subject to local taxation, to satisfy such obligations. This tax, irrespective of any approvals required pursuant to § 10.1-1187.79, shall be sufficient to pay interest and to amortize such indebtedness or bonds at the times required.

§ 10.1-1187.97. Powers granted additional to powers of soil and water conservation district; soil and water conservation district to continue to exercise its powers.

The powers herein granted to watershed improvement districts shall be additional to the powers of the soil and water conservation district or districts in which the watershed improvement district is situated; and the soil and water conservation district or districts shall be authorized, notwithstanding the creation of the watershed improvement district, to continue to exercise their powers within the watershed improvement district.

§ 10.1-1187.98. Power to incur debts and accept gifts, etc.; watershed improvement district to have same powers as soil and water conservation district.

A watershed improvement district shall have power, as set forth in this article, to incur debts and repay them over the period of time and at the rate or rates of interest, not exceeding eight percent, to which the lender agrees. Any watershed improvement district may accept, receive, and expend gifts, grants, or loans from whatever source received. In addition, they shall have the same powers, to the extent necessary, within the watershed improvement district that the soil and water conservation district or districts in which the same is located exercise or may possess.

§ 10.1-1187.99. Question to be submitted to qualified voters; approval required.

In connection with any referendum held pursuant to the provisions of this article, the directors shall also provide for the submission of the question involved to the qualified voters of the watershed improvement district and any question required to be submitted to referendum hereunder shall only be deemed to be approved, if approved both by vote of the landowners of the district as required by this section and by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the district voting in such referendum.

§ 10.1-1187.100. Conduct of referenda.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, the referenda authorized or required by this article shall be conducted pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board and not as provided for under § 24.2-684.

B. Referenda authorized or required by this article prior to the regulations referred to in subsection A becoming effective shall be conducted by the district directors of the soil and water conservation district in which the watershed improvement district is situated pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 (§ 10.1-614 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 10.1 as they were effective on January 1, 1995, and Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2. The costs of holding referenda under this subsection shall be paid by the requesting landowners.

§ 10.1-1187.101. Power of eminent domain.

In addition to any other powers conferred on it by law, any watershed improvement district organized under the provisions of this article shall be authorized to acquire by eminent domain any lands, property rights, franchises, rights-of-way, easements, or other property deemed necessary or convenient for the efficient operation of the district. Such proceedings shall be in accordance with and subject to the provisions of the laws of the Commonwealth applicable to the exercise of the power of eminent domain in the name of a public service company and subject to the provisions of Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1.

Article 1.7.
Resource Management Plans.

§ 10.1-1187.102. Resource management plans; effect of implementation; exclusions.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, agricultural landowners or operators who fully implement and maintain the applicable components of their resource management plan, in accordance with the criteria for such plans set out in § 10.1-1187.103 and any regulations adopted thereunder, shall be deemed to be in full compliance with (i) any load allocation contained in a total maximum daily load (TMDL) established under § 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act addressing benthic, bacteria, nutrient, or sediment impairments; (ii) any requirements of the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan; and (iii) applicable state water quality requirements for nutrients and sediment.

B. The presumption of full compliance provided in subsection A shall not prevent or preclude enforcement of provisions pursuant to (i) a resource management plan or a nutrient management plan otherwise required by law for such operation, (ii) a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, (iii) a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit, or (iv) requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1- 44.15:67 et seq.).

C. Landowners or operators who implement and maintain a resource management plan in accordance with this article shall be eligible for matching grants for agricultural best management practices provided through the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program in accordance with program eligibility rules and requirements. Such landowners and operators may also be eligible for state tax credits in accordance with §§ 58.1-339.3 and 58.1-439.5.

D. Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit, modify, impair, or supersede the authority granted to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to Chapter 4 (§ 3.2-400 et seq.) of Title 3.2.

E. Any personal or proprietary information collected pursuant to this article shall be exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.), except that the Director may release information that has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate form that does not allow identification of the persons who supplied, or are the subject of, particular information. This subsection shall not preclude the application of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) in all other instances of federal or state regulatory actions.

§ 10.1-1187.103. Resource management plans; criteria.

A. The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall by regulation, and in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services specify the criteria to be included in a resource management plan.

B. The regulations shall:

1. Be technically achievable and take into consideration the economic impact to the agricultural landowner or operator;

2. Include (i) determinations of persons qualified to develop resource management plans and to perform on-farm best management practice assessments; (ii) plan approval or review procedures if determined necessary; (iii) allowable implementation timelines and schedules; (iv) determinations of the effective life of the resource management plans taking into consideration a change in or a transfer of the ownership or operation of the agricultural land, a material change in the agricultural operations, issuance of a new or modified total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation plan for the Chesapeake Bay or other local total maximum daily load water quality requirements, and a determination pursuant to Chapter 4 (§ 3.2-400 et seq.) of Title 3.2 that an agricultural activity on the land is creating or will create pollution; (v) factors that necessitate renewal or new plan development; and (vi) a means to determine full implementation and compliance with the plans including reporting and verification;

3. Provide for a process by which an on-farm assessment of all reportable best management practices currently in place, whether as part of a cost-share program or through voluntary implementation, shall be conducted to determine their adequacy in achieving needed on-farm nutrient, sediment, and bacteria reductions;

4. Include agricultural best management practices sufficient to implement the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan and other local total maximum daily load water quality requirements of the Commonwealth; and

5. Specify that the required components of each resource management plan shall be based upon an individual on-farm assessment. Such components shall comply with on-farm water quality objectives as set forth in subdivision 4, including best management practices identified in this subdivision and any other best management practices approved by the Board or identified in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model or the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan.

a. For all cropland or specialty crops, such components shall include the following, as needed and based upon an individual on-farm assessment:

(1) A nutrient management plan that meets the nutrient management specifications developed by the Department;

(2) A forest or grass buffer between cropland and perennial streams of sufficient width to meet water quality objectives and consistent with Natural Resources Conservation Service standards and specifications;

(3) A soil conservation plan that achieves a maximum soil loss rate of "T," as defined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service; and

(4) Cover crops meeting best management practice specifications as determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program.

b. For all hayland, such components shall include the following, as needed and based upon an individual on-farm assessment:

(1) A nutrient management plan that meets the nutrient management specifications developed by the Department;

(2) A forest or grass buffer between cropland and perennial streams of sufficient width to meet water quality objectives and consistent with Natural Resources Conservation Service standards and specifications; and

(3) A soil conservation plan that achieves a maximum soil loss rate of "T," as defined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

c. For all pasture, such components shall include the following, as needed and based upon an individual on-farm assessment:

(1) A nutrient management plan that meets the nutrient management specifications developed by the Department;

(2) A system that limits or prevents livestock access to perennial streams; and

(3) A pasture management plan or soil conservation plan that achieves a maximum soil loss rate of "T," as defined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

§ 10.1-2123. Definitions.

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

"Board" means the State Water Control Board of Conservation and Recreation.

"Department" means the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality.

§ 10.1-2125. Powers and duties of the Board.

The Board, in meeting its responsibilities under the cooperative program established by this article, after consultation with other appropriate agencies and in consultation with the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, is authorized and has the duty to:

1. Encourage and promote nonpoint source pollution control and prevention, including nutrient control and prevention, for the: (i) protection of public drinking water supplies; (ii) promotion of water resource conservation; (iii) protection of existing high quality state waters and restoration of all other state waters to a condition or quality that will permit all reasonable beneficial uses and will support the propagation and growth of all aquatic life, including finfish and shellfish, which might reasonably be expected to inhabit them; (iv) protection of all state waters from nonpoint source pollution; (v) prevention of any increase in nonpoint source pollution; (vi) reduction of existing nonpoint source pollution; (vii) attainment and maintenance of water quality standards established under subdivisions (3a) and (3b) of § 62.1-44.15; and (viii) attainment of commitments made by the Commonwealth to water quality restoration, protection and enhancement including the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement, as amended, all in order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the present and future citizens of the Commonwealth.

2. Provide technical assistance and advice to local governments and individuals concerning aspects of water quality restoration, protection and improvement relevant to nonpoint source pollution.

3. Apply for, and accept, federal funds and funds from any other source, public or private, that may become available and to transmit such funds to the Fund for the purpose of providing Water Quality Improvement Grants as prescribed in Article 4 (§ 10.1-2128 et seq.) of this chapter.

4. Enter into contracts necessary and convenient to carry out the provisions of this article.

5. Seek the assistance of other state agencies and entities including but not limited to the Department of Forestry and the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board as appropriate in carrying out its responsibilities under this chapter.

§ 10.1-2128. Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund established; purposes.

A. There is hereby established in the state treasury a special permanent, nonreverting fund, to be known as the "Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. The Fund shall consist of sums appropriated to it by the General Assembly which shall include, unless otherwise provided in the general appropriation act, 10 percent of the annual general fund revenue collections that are in excess of the official estimates in the general appropriation act and 10 percent of any unrestricted and uncommitted general fund balance at the close of each fiscal year whose reappropriation is not required in the general appropriation act. The Fund shall also consist of such other sums as may be made available to it from any other source, public or private, and shall include any penalties or damages collected under this article, federal grants solicited and received for the specific purposes of the Fund, and all interest and income from investment of the Fund. Any sums remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. All moneys designated for the Fund shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for Water Quality Improvement Grants. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon the written request of the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality or the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation as provided in this chapter.

B. Except as otherwise provided under this article, the purpose of the Fund is to provide Water Quality Improvement Grants to local governments, soil and water conservation districts, state agencies, institutions of higher education and individuals for point and nonpoint source pollution prevention, reduction and control programs and efforts undertaken in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The Fund shall not be used for agency operating expenses or for purposes of replacing or otherwise reducing any general, nongeneral, or special funds allocated or appropriated to any state agency; however, nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the award of a Water Quality Improvement Grant to a local government in connection with point or nonpoint pollution prevention, reduction and control programs or efforts undertaken on land owned by the Commonwealth and leased to the local government. In keeping with the purpose for which the Fund is created, it shall be the policy of the General Assembly to provide annually its share of financial support to qualifying applicants for grants in order to fulfill the Commonwealth's responsibilities under Article XI of the Constitution of Virginia.

C. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2005, $50 million shall be appropriated from the general fund and deposited into the Fund. Except as otherwise provided under this article, such appropriation and any amounts appropriated to the Fund in subsequent years in addition to any amounts deposited to the Fund pursuant to the provisions of subsection A shall be used solely to finance the costs of design and installation of nutrient removal technology at publicly owned treatment works designated as significant dischargers or eligible nonsignificant dischargers for compliance with the effluent limitations for total nitrogen and total phosphorus as required by the tributary strategy plans or applicable regulatory requirements. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the Governor and General Assembly may, at any time, provide additional funding for nonpoint source pollution reduction activities through the Fund in excess of the deposit required under subsection A.

At such time as grant agreements specified in § 10.1-2130 have been signed by every significant discharger and eligible nonsignificant discharger and available funds are sufficient to implement the provisions of such grant agreements, the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources, the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Senate Committee on Finance shall review the financial assistance provided under this section and determine (i) whether such deposits should continue to be made, (ii) the size of the deposit to be made, (iii) the programs and activities that should be financed by such deposits in the future, and (iv) whether the provisions of this section should be extended.

§ 10.1-2128.1. Virginia Natural Resources Commitment Fund established.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Natural Resources Commitment Fund hereafter referred to as "the Subfund," which shall be a subfund of the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund and administered by the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality. The Subfund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All amounts appropriated and such other funds as may be made available to the Subfund from any other source, public or private, shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Subfund. Interest earned on moneys in the Subfund shall remain in the Subfund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Subfund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Subfund. Moneys in the Subfund shall be used as provided in subsection B solely for the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program administered by the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality.

B. Beginning on July 1, 2008, and continuing in each subsequent fiscal year until July 1, 2018, out of such amounts as may be appropriated and deposited to the Subfund, distributions shall be made in each fiscal year for the following purposes:

1. Eight percent of the total amount distributed to the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program shall be distributed to soil and water conservation districts to provide technical assistance for the implementation of such agricultural best management practices. Each soil and water conservation district in the Commonwealth shall receive a share according to a method employed established by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board and the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation in consultation with the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board Environmental Quality, that accounts for the percentage of the available agricultural best management practices funding that will be received by the district from the Subfund;

2. Fifty-five percent of the total amount distributed to the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program shall be used for matching grants for agricultural best management practices on lands in the Commonwealth exclusively or partly within the Chesapeake Bay watershed; and

3. Thirty-seven percent of the total amount distributed to the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program shall be used for matching grants for agricultural best management practices on lands in the Commonwealth exclusively outside of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

C. The Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality, in consultation with stakeholders, including representatives of the agricultural community, the conservation community, and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, shall determine an annual funding amount for effective Soil and Water Conservation District technical assistance and implementation of agricultural best management practices pursuant to § 10.1-546.1 10.1-1187.64. Pursuant to § 2.2-1504, the Department shall provide to the Governor the annual funding amount needed for each year of the ensuing biennial period. The Department shall include the annual funding amount as part of the reporting requirements in § 62.1-44.118.

§ 10.1-2129. Agency coordination; conditions of grants.

A. If, in any fiscal year beginning on or after July 1, 2005, there are appropriations to the Fund in addition to those made pursuant to subsection A of § 10.1-2128, the Secretary of Natural Resources shall distribute those moneys in the Fund provided from the 10 percent of the annual general fund revenue collections that are in excess of the official estimates in the general appropriation act, and the 10 percent of any unrestricted and uncommitted general fund balance at the close of each fiscal year whose reappropriation is not required in the general appropriation act, as follows:

1. Seventy percent of the moneys shall be distributed to the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality and shall be administered by it for the sole purpose of implementing projects or best management practices that reduce nitrogen and phosphorus nonpoint source pollution, with a priority given to agricultural best management practices. In no single year shall more than 60 percent of the moneys be used for projects or practices exclusively within the Chesapeake Bay watershed; and

2. Thirty percent of the moneys shall be distributed to the Department of Environmental Quality, which shall use such moneys for making grants for the sole purpose of designing and installing nutrient removal technologies for publicly owned treatment works designated as significant dischargers or eligible nonsignificant dischargers. The moneys shall also be available for grants when the design and installation of nutrient removal technology utilizes the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (§ 56-575.1 et seq.).

3. Except as otherwise provided in the Appropriation Act, in any fiscal year when moneys are not appropriated to the Fund in addition to those specified in subsection A of § 10.1-2128, or when moneys appropriated to the Fund in addition to those specified in subsection A of § 10.1-2128 are less than 40 percent of those specified in subsection A of § 10.1-2128, the Secretary of Natural Resources, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, the State Forester, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Directors Director of the Departments Department of Environmental Quality and Conservation and Recreation, and with the advice and guidance of the Board of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, and the State Water Control Board, and following a public comment period of at least 30 days and a public hearing, shall allocate those moneys deposited in the Fund, but excluding any moneys deposited into the Virginia Natural Resources Commitment Fund established pursuant to § 10.1-2128.1, between point and nonpoint sources, both of which shall receive moneys in each such year.

B. 1. Except as may otherwise be specified in the general appropriation act, the Secretary of Natural Resources, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, the State Forester, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the State Health Commissioner, and the Directors Director of the Departments Department of Environmental Quality and Conservation and Recreation, and with the advice and guidance of the Board of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, and the State Water Control Board, shall develop written guidelines that (i) specify eligibility requirements; (ii) govern the application for and the distribution and conditions of Water Quality Improvement Grants; (iii) list criteria for prioritizing funding requests; and (iv) define criteria and financial incentives for water reuse.

2. In developing the guidelines the Secretary shall evaluate and consider, in addition to such other factors as may be appropriate to most effectively restore, protect and improve the quality of state waters: (i) specific practices and programs proposed in any tributary strategy plan, and the associated effectiveness and cost per pound of nutrients removed; (ii) water quality impairment or degradation caused by different types of nutrients released in different locations from different sources; and (iii) environmental benchmarks and indicators for achieving improved water quality. The process for development of guidelines pursuant to this subsection shall, at a minimum, include (a) use of an advisory committee composed of interested parties; (b) a 60-day public comment period on draft guidelines; (c) written responses to all comments received; and (d) notice of the availability of draft guidelines and final guidelines to all who request such notice.

3. In addition to those the Secretary deems advisable to most effectively restore, protect and improve the quality of state waters, the criteria for prioritizing funding requests shall include: (i) the pounds of total nitrogen and the pounds of total phosphorus reduced by the project; (ii) whether the location of the water quality restoration, protection or improvement project or program is within a watershed or subwatershed with documented water nutrient loading problems or adopted nutrient reduction goals; (iii) documented water quality impairment; and (iv) the availability of other funding mechanisms. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection E of § 10.1-2131, the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality may approve a local government point source grant application request for any single project that exceeds the authorized grant amount outlined in subsection E of § 10.1-2131. Whenever a local government applies for a grant that exceeds the authorized grant amount outlined in this chapter or when there is no stated limitation on the amount of the grant for which an application is made, the Directors and the Secretary shall consider the comparative revenue capacity, revenue efforts and fiscal stress as reported by the Commission on Local Government. The development or implementation of cooperative programs developed pursuant to subsection B of § 10.1-2127 shall be given a high priority in the distribution of Virginia Water Quality Improvement Grants from the moneys allocated to nonpoint source pollution.

§ 10.1-2131. Point source pollution funding; conditions for approval.

A. The Department of Environmental Quality shall be the lead state agency for determining the appropriateness of any grant related to point source pollution to be made from the Fund to restore, protect or improve state water quality.

B. The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall, subject to available funds and in coordination with the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, direct the State Treasurer to make Water Quality Improvement Grants in accordance with the guidelines established pursuant to § 10.1-2129. The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall enter into grant agreements with all facilities designated as significant dischargers or eligible nonsignificant dischargers that apply for grants; however, all such grant agreements shall contain provisions that payments thereunder are subject to the availability of funds.

C. Notwithstanding the priority provisions of § 10.1-2129, the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall not authorize the distribution of grants from the Fund for purposes other than financing the cost of design and installation of nutrient removal technology at publicly owned treatment works until such time as all tributary strategy plans are developed and implemented unless he finds that there exists in the Fund sufficient funds for substantial and continuing progress in implementation of the tributary strategy plans. In addition to the provisions of § 10.1-2130, all grant agreements related to nutrients shall include: (i) numerical technology-based effluent concentration limitations on nutrient discharges to state waters based upon the technology installed by the facility; (ii) enforceable provisions related to the maintenance of the numerical concentrations that will allow for exceedences of 0.8 mg/L for total nitrogen or no more than 10 percent, whichever is greater, for exceedences of 0.1 mg/L for total phosphorus or no more than 10%, and for exceedences caused by extraordinary conditions; and (iii) recognition of the authority of the Commonwealth to make the Virginia Water Facilities Revolving Fund (§ 62.1-224 et seq.) available to local governments to fund their share of the cost of designing and installing nutrient removal technology based on financial need and subject to availability of revolving loan funds, priority ranking and revolving loan distribution criteria. If, pursuant to § 10.1-1187.6, the State Water Control Board approves an alternative compliance method to technology-based concentration limitations in Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, the concentration limitations of the grant agreement shall be suspended subject to the terms of such approval. The cost of the design and installation of nutrient removal technology at publicly owned treatment works meeting the nutrient reduction goal in an applicable tributary strategy plan or an applicable regulatory requirement and incurred prior to the execution of a grant agreement is eligible for reimbursement from the Fund provided the grant is made pursuant to an executed agreement consistent with the provisions of this chapter.

Subsequent to the implementation of the tributary strategy plans, the Director may authorize disbursements from the Fund for any water quality restoration, protection and improvements related to point source pollution that are clearly demonstrated as likely to achieve measurable and specific water quality improvements, including, but not limited to, cost effective technologies to reduce nutrient loads. Notwithstanding the previous provisions of this subsection, the Director may, at any time, authorize grants, including grants to institutions of higher education, for technical assistance related to nutrient reduction.

D. The grant percentage provided for financing the costs of the design and installation of nutrient removal technology at publicly owned treatment works shall be based upon the financial need of the community as determined by comparing the annual sewer charges expended within the service area to the reasonable sewer cost established for the community.

E. Grants shall be awarded in the following manner:

1. In communities for which the ratio of annual sewer charges to reasonable sewer cost is less than 0.30, the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall authorize grants in the amount of 35 percent of the costs of the design and installation of nutrient removal technology;

2. In communities for which the ratio of annual sewer charges to reasonable sewer cost is equal to or greater than 0.30 and less than 0.50, the Director shall authorize grants in the amount of 45 percent of the costs of the design and installation of nutrient removal technology;

3. In communities for which the ratio of annual sewer charges to reasonable sewer cost is equal to or greater than 0.50 and less than 0.80, the Director shall authorize grants in the amount of 60 percent of the costs of design and installation of nutrient removal technology; and

4. In communities for which the ratio of annual sewer charges to reasonable sewer cost is equal to or greater than 0.80, the Director shall authorize grants in the amount of 75 percent of the costs of the design and installation of nutrient removal technology.

§ 10.1-2132. Nonpoint source pollution funding; conditions for approval.

A. The Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality shall be the lead state agency for determining the appropriateness of any grant related to nonpoint source pollution to be made from the Fund to restore, protect and improve the quality of state waters.

B. The Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality shall, subject to available funds and in coordination with the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, direct the State Treasurer to make Water Quality Improvement Grants in accordance with the guidelines established pursuant to § 10.1-2129. The Director shall manage the allocation of grants from the Fund to ensure the full funding of executed grant agreements.

C. Grant funding may be made available to local governments, soil and water conservation districts, institutions of higher education and individuals who propose specific initiatives that are clearly demonstrated as likely to achieve reductions in nonpoint source pollution, including, but not limited to, excess nutrients and suspended solids, to improve the quality of state waters. Such projects may include, but are in no way limited to, the acquisition of conservation easements related to the protection of water quality and stream buffers; conservation planning and design assistance to develop nutrient management plans for agricultural operations; instructional education directly associated with the implementation or maintenance of a specific nonpoint source pollution reduction initiative; the replacement or modification of residential onsite sewage systems to include nitrogen removal capabilities; implementation of cost-effective nutrient reduction practices; and reimbursement to local governments for tax credits and other kinds of authorized local tax relief that provides incentives for water quality improvement. The Director shall give priority consideration to the distribution of grants from the Fund for the purposes of implementing tributary strategy plans, with a priority given to agricultural practices. In no single year shall more than 60 percent of the moneys be used for projects or practices exclusively within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

D. The Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality shall manage the allocation of Water Quality Improvement Grants from the Virginia Natural Resources Commitment Fund established under § 10.1-2128.1.

§ 10.1-2134. Annual report by Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

The Directors Director of the Departments Department of Environmental Quality and Conservation and Recreation shall, by January 1 of each year, report to the Governor and the General Assembly the amounts and recipients of grants made from the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund and the specific and measurable pollution reduction achievements to state waters anticipated as a result of each grant award, together with the amounts of continued funding required for the coming fiscal year under all fully executed grant agreements. The report shall provide a detailed progress update on the implementation of agricultural best management practices to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous pollution from agricultural lands. This annual report may be incorporated as part of the report required by § 62.1-44.118.

§ 15.2-1129.2. Creation of local economic revitalization zones.

A. Any city may establish by ordinance one or more economic revitalization zones for the purpose of providing incentives to private entities to purchase real property and interests in real property to assemble parcels suitable for economic development. Each city establishing an economic revitalization zone may grant incentives and provide regulatory flexibility. Such zones shall be reasonably compact, shall not encompass the entire city, and shall constitute one or more tax parcels not commonly owned. Properties that are acquired through the use of eminent domain shall not be eligible for the incentives and regulatory flexibility provided by the ordinance.

B. The incentives may include, but not be limited to: (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, (iii) reduction of any type of gross receipts tax, and (iv) waiver of tax liens to facilitate the sale of property.

C. Incentives established pursuant to this section may extend for a period of up to 10 years from the date of initial establishment of the economic revitalization zone; however, the extent and duration of any incentive shall conform to the requirements of applicable federal and state law.

D. The regulatory flexibility provided in an economic revitalization zone may include (i) special zoning for the district, (ii) the use of a special permit process, (iii) exemption from certain specified ordinances, excluding ordinances or provisions of ordinances adopted pursuant to the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 10.1-2100 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 10.1-560 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), and the Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§ 10.1-603.1 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.), and (iv) any other incentives adopted by ordinance, which shall be binding upon the locality for a period of up to 10 years.

E. The governing body may establish a service district for the provision of additional public services pursuant to Chapter 24 (§ 15.2-2400 et seq.) of Title 15.2.

F. This section shall not authorize any local government powers that are not expressly granted herein.

G. Prior to adopting or amending any ordinance pursuant to this section, a locality shall provide for notice and public hearing in accordance with subsection A of § 15.2-2204.

§ 15.2-2114. Regulation of stormwater.

A. Any locality, by ordinance, may establish a utility or enact a system of service charges to support a local stormwater management program consistent with Article 1.1 (§ 10.1-603.1 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 10 Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 or any other state or federal regulation governing stormwater management. Income derived from a utility or system of charges shall be dedicated special revenue, may not exceed the actual costs incurred by a locality operating under the provisions of this section, and may be used only to pay or recover costs for the following:

1. The acquisition, as permitted by § 15.2-1800, of real and personal property, and interest therein, necessary to construct, operate and maintain stormwater control facilities;

2. The cost of administration of such programs;

3. Planning, design, engineering, construction, and debt retirement for new facilities and enlargement or improvement of existing facilities, including the enlargement or improvement of dams, levees, floodwalls, and pump stations, whether publicly or privately owned, that serve to control stormwater;

4. Facility operation and maintenance, including the maintenance of dams, levees, floodwalls, and pump stations, whether publicly or privately owned, that serve to control the stormwater;

5. Monitoring of stormwater control devices and ambient water quality monitoring; and

6. Other activities consistent with the state or federal regulations or permits governing stormwater management, including, but not limited to, public education, watershed planning, inspection and enforcement activities, and pollution prevention planning and implementation.

B. The charges may be assessed to property owners or occupants, including condominium unit owners or tenants (when the tenant is the party to whom the water and sewer service is billed), and shall be based upon an analysis that demonstrates the rational relationship between the amount charged and the services provided. Prior to adopting such a system, a public hearing shall be held after giving notice as required by charter or by publishing a descriptive notice once a week for two successive weeks prior to adoption in a newspaper with a general circulation in the locality. The second publication shall not be sooner than one calendar week after the first publication. However, prior to adoption of any ordinance pursuant to this section related to the enlargement, improvement, or maintenance of privately owned dams, a locality shall comply with the notice provisions of § 15.2-1427 and hold a public hearing.

C. A locality adopting such a system shall provide for full waivers of charges to the following:

1. A federal, state, or local government, or public entity, that holds a permit to discharge stormwater from a municipal separate storm sewer system; except that the waiver of charges shall apply only to property covered by any such permit; and

2. Public roads and street rights-of-way that are owned and maintained by state or local agencies including property rights-of-way acquired through the acquisitions process.

D. A locality adopting such a system shall provide for full or partial waivers of charges to any person who installs, operates, and maintains a stormwater management facility that achieves a permanent reduction in stormwater flow or pollutant loadings. The locality shall base the amount of the waiver in part on the percentage reduction in stormwater flow or pollutant loadings, or both, from pre-installation to post-installation of the facility. No locality shall provide a waiver to any person who does not obtain a stormwater permit from the Department of Conservation and Recreation or the Department of Environmental Quality when such permit is required by statute or regulation.

E. A locality adopting such a system may provide for full or partial waivers of charges to cemeteries, property owned or operated by the locality administering the program, and public or private entities that implement or participate in strategies, techniques, or programs that reduce stormwater flow or pollutant loadings, or decrease the cost of maintaining or operating the public stormwater management system.

F. Any locality may issue general obligation bonds or revenue bonds in order to finance the cost of infrastructure and equipment for a stormwater control program. Infrastructure and equipment shall include structural and natural stormwater control systems of all types, including, without limitation, retention basins, sewers, conduits, pipelines, pumping and ventilating stations, and other plants, structures, and real and personal property used for support of the system. The procedure for the issuance of any such general obligation bonds or revenue bonds pursuant to this section shall be in conformity with the procedure for issuance of such bonds as set forth in the Public Finance Act (§ 15.2-2600 et seq.).

G. In the event charges are not paid when due, interest thereon shall at that time accrue at the rate, not to exceed the maximum amount allowed by law, determined by the locality until such time as the overdue payment and interest are paid. Charges and interest may be recovered by the locality by action at law or suit in equity and shall constitute a lien against the property, ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid taxes. The locality may combine the billings for stormwater charges with billings for water or sewer charges, real property tax assessments, or other billings; in such cases, the locality may establish the order in which payments will be applied to the different charges. No locality shall combine its billings with those of another locality or political subdivision, including an authority operating pursuant to Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) of Title 15.2, unless such locality or political subdivision has given its consent by duly adopted resolution or ordinance.

H. Any two or more localities may enter into cooperative agreements concerning the management of stormwater.

§ 15.2-2295.1. Regulation of mountain ridge construction.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Construction" means the building, alteration, repair, or improvement of any building or structure.

"Crest" means the uppermost line of a mountain or chain of mountains from which the land falls away on at least two sides to a lower elevation or elevations.

"Protected mountain ridge" means a ridge with (i) an elevation of 2,000 feet or more and (ii) an elevation of 500 feet or more above the elevation of an adjacent valley floor.

"Ridge" means the elongated crest or series of crests at the apex or uppermost point of intersection between two opposite slopes or sides of a mountain and includes all land within 100 feet below the elevation of any portion of such line or surface along the crest.

"Tall buildings or structures" means any building, structure or unit within a multi-unit building with a vertical height of more than forty feet measured from the top of the natural finished grade of the crest or the natural finished grade of the high side of the slope of a ridge to the uppermost point of the building, structure or unit. "Tall buildings or structures" do not include (i) water, radio, telecommunications or television towers or any equipment for the transmission of electricity, telephone or cable television; (ii) structures of a relatively slender nature and minor vertical projections of a parent building, including, but not limited to, chimneys, flagpoles, flues, spires, steeples, belfries, cupolas, antennas, poles, wires or windmills; or (iii) any building or structure designated as a historic landmark, building or structure by the United States or by the Board of Historic Resources.

B. Determinations by the governing body of heights and elevations under this section shall be conclusive.

C. Any locality in which a protected mountain ridge is located may, by ordinance, provide for the regulation of the height and location of tall buildings or structures on protected mountain ridges. The ordinance may be designed and adopted by the locality as an overlay zone superimposed on any preexisting base zone.

D. An ordinance adopted under this section may include criteria for the granting or denial of permits for the construction of tall buildings or structures on protected mountain ridges. Any such ordinance shall provide that permit applications shall be denied if a permit application fails to provide for (i) adequate sewerage, water, and drainage facilities, including, but not limited to, facilities for drinking water and the adequate supply of water for fire protection and (ii) compliance with the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 10.1-560 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.).

E. Any locality that adopts an ordinance providing for the regulation of the height and location of tall buildings or structures on protected mountain ridges shall send a copy of the ordinance to the Secretary of Natural Resources.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or impair a governing body's authority under this chapter to define and regulate uses in any existing zoning district or to adopt overlay districts regulating uses on mountainous areas as defined by the governing body.

§ 15.2-2403.3. Stormwater service districts; allocation of revenues.

Any town located within a stormwater service district created pursuant to this chapter shall be entitled to any revenues collected within the town pursuant to subdivision 6 of § 15.2-2403, subject to the limitations set forth therein, so long as the town maintains its own MS4 permit issued pursuant to § 10.1-603.2:2 62.1-44.15:26 or maintains its own stormwater service district.

§ 24.2-506. Petition of qualified voters required; number of signatures required; certain towns excepted.

The name of any candidate for any office, other than a party nominee, shall not be printed upon any official ballots provided for the election unless he shall file along with his declaration of candidacy a petition therefor, on a form prescribed by the State Board, signed by the number of qualified voters specified below after January 1 of the year in which the election is held and listing the residence address of each such voter. Each signature on the petition shall have been witnessed by a person who is himself a legal resident of the Commonwealth and who is not a minor or a felon whose voting rights have not been restored and whose affidavit to that effect appears on each page of the petition.

Each voter signing the petition may provide on the petition the last four digits of his social security number, if any; however, noncompliance with this requirement shall not be cause to invalidate the voter's signature on the petition.

The minimum number of signatures of qualified voters required for candidate petitions shall be as follows:

1. For a candidate for the United States Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General, 10,000 signatures, including the signatures of at least 400 qualified voters from each congressional district in the Commonwealth;

2. For a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, 1,000 signatures;

3. For a candidate for the Senate of Virginia, 250 signatures;

4. For a candidate for the House of Delegates or for a constitutional office, 125 signatures;

5. For a candidate for membership on the governing body or elected school board of any county or city, 125 signatures; or if from an election district not at large containing 1,000 or fewer registered voters, 50 signatures;

6. For a candidate for membership on the governing body or elected school board of any town which has more than 1,500 registered voters, 125 signatures; or if from a ward or other district not at large, 25 signatures;

7. For membership on the governing body or elected school board of any town which has 1,500 or fewer registered voters, no petition shall be required;

8. For a candidate for director of a soil and water conservation district created pursuant to Article 3 (§ 10.1-506 et seq.) 1.5 (§ 10.1-1187.21 et seq.) of Chapter 5 11.1 of Title 10.1, 25 signatures; and

9. For any other candidate, 50 signatures.

§ 24.2-680. Certificates of election.

Subject to the requirements of § 24.2-948.2, the State Board shall without delay complete and transmit to each of the persons declared to be elected a certificate of his election, certified by it under its seal of office. In the election of a member of the United States Congress, it shall also forward a certificate of election to the clerk of the United States Senate or House of Representatives, as appropriate. The names of members elected to the General Assembly shall be certified by the State Board to the clerk of the House of Delegates or Senate, as appropriate. The names of the persons elected Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General shall be certified by the State Board to the clerks of the House of Delegates and Senate. The name of any officer shared by more than one county or city, or any combination thereof, shall be certified by the State Board to the clerk of the circuit court having jurisdiction in each affected county or city. The names of the persons elected to soil and water conservation districts shall be certified by the State Board to the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality.

§ 33.1-70.1. Requesting Department to hard-surface secondary roads; paving of certain secondary roads within existing rights-of-way; designation as Rural Rustic Road.

A. Whenever the governing body of any county, after consultation with personnel of the Department of Transportation, adopts a resolution requesting the Department of Transportation to hard-surface any secondary road in such county that carries 50 or more vehicles per day with a hard surface of width and strength adequate for such traffic volume, the Department of Transportation shall give consideration to such resolution in establishing priority in expending the funds allocated to such county. The Department shall consider the paving of roads with a right-of-way width of less than 40 feet under this subsection when land is, has been, or can be acquired by gift for the purpose of constructing a hard-surface road.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, any unpaved secondary road that carries at least 50 but no more than 750 vehicles per day may be paved or improved and paved within its existing right-of-way or within a wider right-of-way that is less than 40 feet wide if the following conditions are met:

1. The governing body of the county in which the road is located has requested paving of such road as part of the six-year plan for the county under § 33.1-70.01 and transmitted that request to the Commissioner of Highways.

2. The Commissioner of Highways, after having considered only (i) the safety of such road in its current condition and in its paved or improved condition, including the desirability of reduced speed limits and installation of other warning signs or devices, (ii) the views of the residents and owners of property adjacent to or served by such road, (iii) the views of the governing body making the request, (iv) the historical and aesthetic significance of such road and its surroundings, (v) the availability of any additional land that has been or may be acquired by gift or other means for the purpose of paving such road within its existing right-of-way or within a wider right-of-way that is less than 40 feet wide, and (vi) environmental considerations, shall grant or deny the request for the paving of such road under this subsection.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A and B, the governing body of any county, in consultation with the Department, may designate a road or road segment as a Rural Rustic Road provided such road or road segment is located in a low-density development area and has an average daily traffic volume of no more than 1,500 vehicles per day. For a road or road segment so designated, improvements shall utilize a paved surface width based on reduced and flexible standards that leave trees, vegetation, side slopes and open drainage abutting the roadway undisturbed to the maximum extent possible without compromising public safety. Any road designated as a Rural Rustic Road shall be subject to § 10.1-603.8 62.1-44.15:34. The Department, in consultation with the affected local governing body, shall first consider the paving of a road or road segment meeting the criteria for a Rural Rustic Road in accordance with this subsection before making a decision to pave it to another standard as set forth in this section. The provisions of this subsection shall become effective July 1, 2003.

D. The Commonwealth, its agencies, instrumentalities, departments, officers, and employees acting within the scope of their duties and authority shall be immune for damages by reason of actions taken in conformity with the provisions of this section. Immunity for the governing body of any political subdivision requesting paving under this section and the officers and employees of any such political subdivision shall be limited to that immunity provided pursuant to § 15.2-1405.

§ 36-55.64. Creation of local housing rehabilitation zones.

A. Any city, county, or town may establish, by ordinance, one or more housing rehabilitation zones for the purpose of providing incentives and regulatory flexibility in such zone.

B. The incentives provided in a housing rehabilitation zone may include, but not be limited to (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, and (iii) waiver of tax liens to facilitate the sale of property that will be substantially renovated, rehabilitated or replaced.

C. Incentives established pursuant to this section may extend for a period of up to 10 years from the date of initial establishment of the housing rehabilitation zone; however, the extent and duration of any incentive shall conform to the requirements of applicable federal and state law.

D. The regulatory flexibility provided in a housing rehabilitation zone may include, but not be limited to (i) special zoning for the district, (ii) the use of a special permit process, (iii) exemption from certain specified ordinances, excluding ordinances or provisions of ordinances adopted pursuant to the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 10.1-2100 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 10.1-560 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), and the Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§ 10.1-603.1 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.), and (iv) any other incentives adopted by ordinance, which shall be binding upon the locality for a period of up to 10 years.

E. The governing body may establish a service district for the provision of additional public services pursuant to Chapter 24 (§ 15.2-2400 et seq.) of Title 15.2.

F. Each locality establishing a housing rehabilitation zone pursuant to this section may also apply for the designation of a housing revitalization zone pursuant to Chapter 11 (§ 36-159 et seq.) of Title 36. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude such dual designation.

G. Any housing rehabilitation zone established pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed to meet the requirements for designation of housing revitalization eligible to be financed as an economically mixed project pursuant to § 36-55.30:2.

H. This section shall not authorize any local government powers that are not expressly granted herein.

§ 58.1-339.3. Agricultural best management practices tax credit.

A. For all taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 1998, any individual who is engaged in agricultural production for market, or has equines that create needs for agricultural best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollutants, and has in place a soil conservation plan approved by the local Soil And Water Conservation District (SWCD), shall be allowed a credit against the tax imposed by § 58.1-320 of an amount equaling 25 percent of the first $70,000 expended for agricultural best management practices by the individual.

As used in this section, "agricultural best management practice" means a practice approved by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (VSWCB) which will provide a significant improvement to water quality in the state's streams and rivers and the Chesapeake Bay and is consistent with other state and federal programs that address agricultural, nonpoint-source-pollution management. Eligible practices shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Livestock-waste and poultry-waste management;

2. Soil erosion control;

3. Nutrient and sediment filtration and detention;

4. Nutrient management; and

5. Pest management and pesticide handling.

A detailed list of the standards and criteria for practices eligible for credit shall be found in the most recently approved "Virginia Agricultural BMP Manual" published annually prior to July 1 by the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality.

B. Any practice approved by the local Soil and Water Conservation District Board shall be completed within the taxable year in which the credit is claimed. After the practice installation has been completed, the local SWCD Board shall certify the practice as approved and completed, and eligible for credit. The applicant shall forward the certification to the Department of Taxation on forms provided by the Department. The credit shall be allowed only for expenditures made by the taxpayer from funds of his own sources.

C. 1. The amount of such credit shall not exceed $17,500 or the total amount of the tax imposed by this chapter, whichever is less, in the year the project was completed, as certified by the Board. Any taxpayer claiming a tax credit under this section shall not claim a credit under any similar Virginia law for costs related to the same eligible practices.

2. If the amount of the credit exceeds the taxpayer's liability for such taxable year, the excess may be refunded by the Tax Commissioner. Tax credits shall be refunded by the Tax Commissioner on behalf of the Commonwealth for 100 percent of face value. Tax credits shall be refunded within 90 days after the filing date of the income tax return on which the individual applies for the refund.

D. For purposes of this section, the amount of any credit attributable to agricultural best management practices by a pass-through entity such as a partnership, limited liability company, or electing small business corporation (S Corporation) shall be allocated to the individual partners, members, or shareholders in proportion to their ownership or interest in such entity.

E. A pass-through tax entity, such as a partnership, limited liability company or electing small business corporation (S corporation), may appoint a tax matters representative, who shall be a general partner, member-manager or shareholder, and register that representative with the Tax Commissioner. The Tax Commissioner shall be entitled to deal with the tax matters representative as representative of the taxpayers to whom credits have been allocated by the entity under this article with respect to those credits. In the event a pass-through tax entity allocates tax credits arising under this article to its partners, members or shareholders and the allocated credits shall be disallowed, in whole or in part, such that an assessment of additional tax against a taxpayer shall be made, the Tax Commissioner shall first make written demand for payment of any additional tax, together with interest and penalties, from the tax matters representative. In the event such payment demand is not satisfied, the Tax Commissioner shall proceed to collection against the taxpayers in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 18 (§ 58.1-1800 et seq.).

§ 58.1-439.5. Agricultural best management practices tax credit.

A. For all taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 1998, any corporation engaged in agricultural production for market who has in place a soil conservation plan approved by the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) shall be allowed a credit against the tax imposed by § 58.1-400 of an amount equaling twenty-five percent of the first $70,000 expended for agricultural best management practices by the corporation. As used in this section, "agricultural best management practice" means a practice approved by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (VSWCB) which will provide a significant improvement to water quality in the state's streams and rivers and the Chesapeake Bay and is consistent with other state and federal programs that address agricultural, nonpoint-source-pollution management. Eligible practices shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Livestock-waste and poultry-waste management;

2. Soil erosion control;

3. Nutrient and sediment filtration and detention;

4. Nutrient management; and

5. Pest management and pesticide handling.

A detailed list of the standards and criteria for practices eligible for credit shall be found in the most recently approved "Virginia Agricultural BMP Implementation Manual" published by the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality.

B. Any practice approved by the local Soil and Water Conservation District Board shall be completed within the taxable year in which the credit is claimed. After the practice installation has been completed, the local SWCD Board shall certify the practice as approved and completed, and eligible for credit. The applicant shall forward the certification to the Department of Taxation on forms provided by the Department. The credit shall be allowed only for expenditures made by the taxpayer from funds of his own sources.

C. The amount of such credit shall not exceed $17,500 or the total amount of the tax imposed by this chapter, whichever is less, in the year the project was completed, as certified by the Board. If the amount of the credit exceeds the taxpayer's liability for such taxable year, the excess may be carried over for credit against income taxes in the next five taxable years until the total amount of the tax credit has been taken.

D. For purposes of this section, the amount of any credit attributable to agricultural best management practices by a partnership or electing small business corporation (S Corporation) shall be allocated to the individual partners or shareholders in proportion to their ownership or interest in the partnership or S Corporation.

§ 58.1-3660.1. Certified stormwater management developments and property.

A. Certified stormwater management developments and property, as defined herein, are hereby declared to be a separate class of property and shall constitute a classification for local taxation separate from other such classifications of real property. The governing body of any county, city or town may, by ordinance, exempt or partially exempt such property from local taxation.

B. As used in this section, "certified stormwater management developments and property" means any real estate improvements constructed from permeable material, such as, but not limited to, roads, parking lots, patios, and driveways, which are otherwise constructed of impermeable materials, and which the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality has certified to be designed, constructed, or reconstructed for the primary purpose of abating or preventing pollution of the atmosphere or waters of the Commonwealth by minimizing stormwater runoff. Permeable material shall be used for at least seventy percent of the surface areas that would otherwise be covered by impermeable materials.

§ 58.1-3851. Creation of local tourism zones.

A. Any city, county, or town may establish, by ordinance, one or more tourism zones. Each locality may grant tax incentives and provide certain regulatory flexibility in a tourism zone.

B. The tax incentives may be provided for up to 20 years and may include, but not be limited to (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, and (iii) reduction of any type of gross receipts tax. The extent and duration of such incentive proposals shall conform to the requirements of the Constitutions of Virginia and of the United States.

C. The governing body may also provide for regulatory flexibility in such zone that may include, but not be limited to (i) special zoning for the district, (ii) permit process reform, (iii) exemption from ordinances, excluding ordinances or provisions of ordinances adopted pursuant to the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 10.1-2100 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 10.1-560 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), or the Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§ 10.1-603.1 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.), and (iv) any other incentive adopted by ordinance, which shall be binding upon the locality for a period of up to 10 years.

D. The establishment of a tourism zone shall not preclude the area from also being designated as an enterprise zone.

§ 62.1-44.5. Prohibition of waste discharges or other quality alterations of state waters except as authorized by permit; notification required.

A. Except in compliance with a certificate or permit issued by the Board or other entity authorized by the Board to issue a certificate or permit pursuant to this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to:

1. Discharge into state waters sewage, industrial wastes, other wastes, or any noxious or deleterious substances;

2. Excavate in a wetland;

3. Otherwise alter the physical, chemical or biological properties of state waters and make them detrimental to the public health, or to animal or aquatic life, or to the uses of such waters for domestic or industrial consumption, or for recreation, or for other uses; or

4. On and after October 1, 2001, conduct the following activities in a wetland:

a. New activities to cause draining that significantly alters or degrades existing wetland acreage or functions;

b. Filling or dumping;

c. Permanent flooding or impounding; or

d. New activities that cause significant alteration or degradation of existing wetland acreage or functions.

5. Discharge stormwater into state waters from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems or land disturbing activities unless in compliance with a permit issued pursuant to Article 1.1 (§ 10.1-603.1 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 10.1.

B. Any person in violation of the provisions of subsection A who discharges or causes or allows (i) a discharge of sewage, industrial waste, other wastes or any noxious or deleterious substance into or upon state waters or (ii) a discharge that may reasonably be expected to enter state waters shall, upon learning of the discharge, promptly notify, but in no case later than 24 hours the Board, the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or the coordinator of emergency services appointed pursuant to § 44-146.19 for the political subdivision reasonably expected to be affected by the discharge. Written notice to the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall follow initial notice within the time frame specified by the federal Clean Water Act.

§ 62.1-44.9. Qualifications of members.

A. Members of the Board shall be citizens of the Commonwealth; shall be selected from the Commonwealth at large for merit without regard to political affiliation; and shall, by character and reputation, reasonably be expected to inspire the highest degree of cooperation and confidence in the work of the Board. Members shall, by their education, training, or experience, be knowledgeable of water quality control and regulation and shall be fairly representative of conservation, public health, business, land development, and agriculture. No person shall become a member of the Board who receives, or during the previous two years has received, a significant portion of his income directly or indirectly from certificate or permit holders or applicants for a certificate or permit.

For the purposes of this section, "significant portion of income" means 10 percent or more of gross personal income for a calendar year, except that it means 50 percent or more of gross personal income for a calendar year if the recipient is over 60 years of age and is receiving that portion under retirement, pension, or similar arrangement. Income includes retirement benefits, consultant fees, and stock dividends. Income is not received directly or indirectly from certificate or permit holders or applicants for certificates or permits when it is derived from mutual fund payments, or from other diversified investments for which the recipient does not know the identity of the primary sources of income.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section relating to Board membership, the qualifications for Board membership shall not be more strict than those that are required by federal statute or regulations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

§ 62.1-44.14. Chairman; Executive Director; employment of personnel; supervision; budget preparation.

The Board shall elect its chairman, and the Executive Director shall be appointed as set forth in § 2.2-106. The Executive Director shall serve as executive officer and devote his whole time to the performance of his duties, and he shall have such administrative powers as are conferred upon him by the Board; and, further, the Board may delegate to its Executive Director any of the powers and duties invested in it by this chapter except the adoption and promulgation of standards, rules and regulations; and the revocation of certificates. The Executive Director is authorized to issue, modify or revoke orders in cases of emergency as described in §§ 62.1-44.15 (8b) and 62.1-44.34:20 of this chapter. The Executive Director is further authorized to employ such consultants and full-time technical and clerical workers as are necessary and within the available funds to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

It shall be the duty of the Executive Director to exercise general supervision and control over the quality and management of all state waters and to administer and enforce this chapter, and all certificates, standards, policies, rules, regulations, rulings and special orders promulgated by the Board. The Executive Director shall prepare, approve, and submit all requests for appropriations and be responsible for all expenditures pursuant to appropriations. The Executive Director shall be vested with all the authority of the Board when it is not in session, except for the Board's authority to consider permits pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:02 and to issue special orders pursuant to subdivisions (8a) and (8b) of § 62.1-44.15 and subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by the Board. In no event shall the Executive Director have the authority to adopt or promulgate any regulation.

§ 62.1-44.15. Powers and duties; civil penalties.

It shall be the duty of the Board and it shall have the authority:

(1) [Repealed.]

(2) To study and investigate all problems concerned with the quality of state waters and to make reports and recommendations.

(2a) To study and investigate methods, procedures, devices, appliances, and technologies that could assist in water conservation or water consumption reduction.

(2b) To coordinate its efforts toward water conservation with other persons or groups, within or without the Commonwealth.

(2c) To make reports concerning, and formulate recommendations based upon, any such water conservation studies to ensure that present and future water needs of the citizens of the Commonwealth are met.

(3a) To establish such standards of quality and policies for any state waters consistent with the general policy set forth in this chapter, and to modify, amend or cancel any such standards or policies established and to take all appropriate steps to prevent quality alteration contrary to the public interest or to standards or policies thus established, except that a description of provisions of any proposed standard or policy adopted by regulation which are more restrictive than applicable federal requirements, together with the reason why the more restrictive provisions are needed, shall be provided to the standing committee of each house of the General Assembly to which matters relating to the content of the standard or policy are most properly referable. The Board shall, from time to time, but at least once every three years, hold public hearings pursuant to § 2.2-4007.01 but, upon the request of an affected person or upon its own motion, hold hearings pursuant to § 2.2-4009, for the purpose of reviewing the standards of quality, and, as appropriate, adopting, modifying, or canceling such standards. Whenever the Board considers the adoption, modification, amendment or cancellation of any standard, it shall give due consideration to, among other factors, the economic and social costs and benefits which can reasonably be expected to obtain as a consequence of the standards as adopted, modified, amended or cancelled. The Board shall also give due consideration to the public health standards issued by the Virginia Department of Health with respect to issues of public health policy and protection. If the Board does not follow the public health standards of the Virginia Department of Health, the Board's reason for any deviation shall be made in writing and published for any and all concerned parties.

(3b) Except as provided in subdivision (3a), such standards and policies are to be adopted or modified, amended or cancelled in the manner provided by the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

(4) To conduct or have conducted scientific experiments, investigations, studies, and research to discover methods for maintaining water quality consistent with the purposes of this chapter. To this end the Board may cooperate with any public or private agency in the conduct of such experiments, investigations and research and may receive in behalf of the Commonwealth any moneys that any such agency may contribute as its share of the cost under any such cooperative agreement. Such moneys shall be used only for the purposes for which they are contributed and any balance remaining after the conclusion of the experiments, investigations, studies, and research, shall be returned to the contributors.

(5) To issue, revoke or amend certificates under prescribed conditions for: (a) the discharge of sewage, industrial wastes and other wastes into or adjacent to state waters; (b) the alteration otherwise of the physical, chemical or biological properties of state waters; (c) excavation in a wetland; or (d) on and after October 1, 2001, the conduct of the following activities in a wetland: (i) new activities to cause draining that significantly alters or degrades existing wetland acreage or functions, (ii) filling or dumping, (iii) permanent flooding or impounding, or (iv) new activities that cause significant alteration or degradation of existing wetland acreage or functions. However, to the extent allowed by federal law, any person holding a certificate issued by the Board that is intending to upgrade the permitted facility by installing technology, control equipment, or other apparatus that the permittee demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Director will result in improved energy efficiency, reduction in the amount of nutrients discharged, and improved water quality shall not be required to obtain a new, modified, or amended permit. The permit holder shall provide the demonstration anticipated by this subdivision to the Department no later than 30 days prior to commencing construction.

(5a) All certificates issued by the Board under this chapter shall have fixed terms. The term of a Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit shall not exceed five years. The term of a Virginia Water Protection Permit shall be based upon the projected duration of the project, the length of any required monitoring, or other project operations or permit conditions; however, the term shall not exceed 15 years. The term of a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit shall not exceed 10 years, except that the term of a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit for confined animal feeding operations shall be 10 years. The Department of Environmental Quality shall inspect all facilities for which a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit has been issued to ensure compliance with statutory, regulatory, and permit requirements. Department personnel performing inspections of confined animal feeding operations shall be certified under the voluntary nutrient management training and certification program established in § 10.1-104.2. The term of a certificate issued by the Board shall not be extended by modification beyond the maximum duration and the certificate shall expire at the end of the term unless an application for a new permit has been timely filed as required by the regulations of the Board and the Board is unable, through no fault of the permittee, to issue a new permit before the expiration date of the previous permit.

(5b) Any certificate issued by the Board under this chapter may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, be amended or revoked on any of the following grounds or for good cause as may be provided by the regulations of the Board:

1. The owner has violated any regulation or order of the Board, any condition of a certificate, any provision of this chapter, or any order of a court, where such violation results in a release of harmful substances into the environment or poses a substantial threat of release of harmful substances into the environment or presents a hazard to human health or the violation is representative of a pattern of serious or repeated violations which, in the opinion of the Board, demonstrates the owner's disregard for or inability to comply with applicable laws, regulations, or requirements;

2. The owner has failed to disclose fully all relevant material facts or has misrepresented a material fact in applying for a certificate, or in any other report or document required under this law or under the regulations of the Board;

3. The activity for which the certificate was issued endangers human health or the environment and can be regulated to acceptable levels by amendment or revocation of the certificate; or

4. There exists a material change in the basis on which the permit was issued that requires either a temporary or a permanent reduction or elimination of any discharge controlled by the certificate necessary to protect human health or the environment.

(5c) Any certificate issued by the Board under this chapter relating to dredging projects governed under Chapter 12 (§ 28.2-1200 et seq.) or Chapter 13 (§ 28.2-1300 et seq.) of Title 28.2 may be conditioned upon a demonstration of financial responsibility for the completion of compensatory mitigation requirements. Financial responsibility may be demonstrated by a letter of credit, a certificate of deposit or a performance bond executed in a form approved by the Board. If the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requires demonstration of financial responsibility for the completion of compensatory mitigation required for a particular project, then the mechanism and amount approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shall be used to meet this requirement.

(6) To make investigations and inspections, to ensure compliance with any certificates, standards, policies, rules, regulations, rulings and special orders which it may adopt, issue or establish and to furnish advice, recommendations, or instructions for the purpose of obtaining such compliance. In recognition of §§ 32.1-164 and 62.1-44.18, the Board and the State Department of Health shall enter into a memorandum of understanding establishing a common format to consolidate and simplify inspections of sewage treatment plants and coordinate the scheduling of the inspections. The new format shall ensure that all sewage treatment plants are inspected at appropriate intervals in order to protect water quality and public health and at the same time avoid any unnecessary administrative burden on those being inspected.

(7) To adopt rules governing the procedure of the Board with respect to: (a) hearings; (b) the filing of reports; (c) the issuance of certificates and special orders; and (d) all other matters relating to procedure; and to amend or cancel any rule adopted. Public notice of every rule adopted under this section shall be by such means as the Board may prescribe.

(8a) To Except as otherwise provided in Articles 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) and 2.5 (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) issue special orders to owners (i) who are permitting or causing the pollution, as defined by § 62.1-44.3, of state waters to cease and desist from such pollution, (ii) who have failed to construct facilities in accordance with final approved plans and specifications to construct such facilities in accordance with final approved plans and specifications, (iii) who have violated the terms and provisions of a certificate issued by the Board to comply with such terms and provisions, (iv) who have failed to comply with a directive from the Board to comply with such directive, (v) who have contravened duly adopted and promulgated water quality standards and policies to cease and desist from such contravention and to comply with such water quality standards and policies, (vi) who have violated the terms and provisions of a pretreatment permit issued by the Board or by the owner of a publicly owned treatment works to comply with such terms and provisions or (vii) who have contravened any applicable pretreatment standard or requirement to comply with such standard or requirement; and also to issue such orders to require any owner to comply with the provisions of this chapter and any decision of the Board. Orders Except as otherwise provided by a separate article, orders issued pursuant to this subsection may include civil penalties of up to $32,500 per violation, not to exceed $100,000 per order. The Board may assess penalties under this subsection if (a) the person has been issued at least two written notices of alleged violation by the Department for the same or substantially related violations at the same site, (b) such violations have not been resolved by demonstration that there was no violation, by an order issued by the Board or the Director, or by other means, (c) at least 130 days have passed since the issuance of the first notice of alleged violation, and (d) there is a finding that such violations have occurred after a hearing conducted in accordance with subdivision (8b). The actual amount of any penalty assessed shall be based upon the severity of the violations, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the facility or person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty. The Board shall provide the person with the calculation for the proposed penalty prior to any hearing conducted for the issuance of an order that assesses penalties pursuant to this subsection. The issuance of a notice of alleged violation by the Department shall not be considered a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. Any notice of alleged violation shall include a description of each violation, the specific provision of law violated, and information on the process for obtaining a final decision or fact finding from the Department on whether or not a violation has occurred, and nothing in this section shall preclude an owner from seeking such a determination. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.), except that civil penalties assessed for violations of Article 9 (§ 62.1-44.34:8 et seq.) or Article 11 (§ 62.1-44.34:14 et seq.) shall be paid into the Virginia Petroleum Storage Tank Fund in accordance with § 62.1-44.34:11, and except that civil penalties assessed for violations of Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of § 62.1-44.15:48.

(8b) Such special orders are to be issued only after a hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the Supreme Court in accordance with § 2.2-4020 or, if requested by the person, before a quorum of the Board with at least 30 days' notice to the affected owners, of the time, place and purpose thereof, and they shall become effective not less than 15 days after service as provided in § 62.1-44.12; provided that if the Board finds that any such owner is grossly affecting or presents an imminent and substantial danger to (i) the public health, safety or welfare, or the health of animals, fish or aquatic life; (ii) a public water supply; or (iii) recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural or other reasonable uses, it may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency special order directing the owner to cease such pollution or discharge immediately, and shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof to the owner, to affirm, modify, amend or cancel such emergency special order. If an owner who has been issued such a special order or an emergency special order is not complying with the terms thereof, the Board may proceed in accordance with § 62.1-44.23, and where the order is based on a finding of an imminent and substantial danger, the court shall issue an injunction compelling compliance with the emergency special order pending a hearing by the Board. If an emergency special order requires cessation of a discharge, the Board shall provide an opportunity for a hearing within 48 hours of the issuance of the injunction.

(8c) The provisions of this section notwithstanding, the Board may proceed directly under § 62.1-44.32 for any past violation or violations of any provision of this chapter or any regulation duly promulgated hereunder.

(8d) With the consent of any owner who has violated or failed, neglected or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any condition of a permit or any provision of this chapter, the Board may provide, in an order issued by the Board against such person, for the payment of civil charges for past violations in specific sums not to exceed the limit specified in § 62.1-44.32 (a). Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty which could be imposed under § 62.1-44.32 (a) and shall not be subject to the provisions of § 2.2-514. Such civil charges shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund (§ 10.1-2500 et seq.), excluding civil charges assessed for violations of Article 9 (§ 62.1-44.34:8 et seq.) or 10 (§ 62.1-44.34:10 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1, or a regulation, administrative or judicial order, or term or condition of approval relating to or issued under those articles, or civil charges assessed for violations of Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.), or a regulation, administrative or judicial order, or term or condition of approval relating to or issued under that article.

The amendments to this section adopted by the 1976 Session of the General Assembly shall not be construed as limiting or expanding any cause of action or any other remedy possessed by the Board prior to the effective date of said amendments.

(8e) The Board shall develop and provide an opportunity for public comment on guidelines and procedures that contain specific criteria for calculating the appropriate penalty for each violation based upon the severity of the violations, the extent of any potential or actual environmental harm, the compliance history of the facility or person, any economic benefit realized from the noncompliance, and the ability of the person to pay the penalty.

(8f) Before issuing a special order under subdivision (8a) or by consent under (8d), with or without an assessment of a civil penalty, to an owner of a sewerage system requiring corrective action to prevent or minimize overflows of sewage from such system, the Board shall provide public notice of and reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed order. Any such order under subdivision (8d) may impose civil penalties in amounts up to the maximum amount authorized in § 309(g) of the Clean Water Act. Any person who comments on the proposed order shall be given notice of any hearing to be held on the terms of the order. In any hearing held, such person shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to present evidence. If no hearing is held before issuance of an order under subdivision (8d), any person who commented on the proposed order may file a petition, within 30 days after the issuance of such order, requesting the Board to set aside such order and provide a formal hearing thereon. If the evidence presented by the petitioner in support of the petition is material and was not considered in the issuance of the order, the Board shall immediately set aside the order, provide a formal hearing, and make such petitioner a party. If the Board denies the petition, the Board shall provide notice to the petitioner and make available to the public the reasons for such denial, and the petitioner shall have the right to judicial review of such decision under § 62.1-44.29 if he meets the requirements thereof.

(9) To make such rulings under §§ 62.1-44.16, 62.1-44.17 and 62.1-44.19 as may be required upon requests or applications to the Board, the owner or owners affected to be notified by certified mail as soon as practicable after the Board makes them and such rulings to become effective upon such notification.

(10) To adopt such regulations as it deems necessary to enforce the general water quality management program of the Board in all or part of the Commonwealth, except that a description of provisions of any proposed regulation which are more restrictive than applicable federal requirements, together with the reason why the more restrictive provisions are needed, shall be provided to the standing committee of each house of the General Assembly to which matters relating to the content of the regulation are most properly referable.

(11) To investigate any large-scale killing of fish.

(a) Whenever the Board shall determine that any owner, whether or not he shall have been issued a certificate for discharge of waste, has discharged sewage, industrial waste, or other waste into state waters in such quantity, concentration or manner that fish are killed as a result thereof, it may effect such settlement with the owner as will cover the costs incurred by the Board and by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in investigating such killing of fish, plus the replacement value of the fish destroyed, or as it deems proper, and if no such settlement is reached within a reasonable time, the Board shall authorize its executive secretary to bring a civil action in the name of the Board to recover from the owner such costs and value, plus any court or other legal costs incurred in connection with such action.

(b) If the owner is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth, the action may be brought in any circuit court within the territory embraced by such political subdivision. If the owner is an establishment, as defined in this chapter, the action shall be brought in the circuit court of the city or the circuit court of the county in which such establishment is located. If the owner is an individual or group of individuals, the action shall be brought in the circuit court of the city or circuit court of the county in which such person or any of them reside.

(c) For the purposes of this subsection the State Water Control Board shall be deemed the owner of the fish killed and the proceedings shall be as though the State Water Control Board were the owner of the fish. The fact that the owner has or held a certificate issued under this chapter shall not be raised as a defense in bar to any such action.

(d) The proceeds of any recovery had under this subsection shall, when received by the Board, be applied, first, to reimburse the Board for any expenses incurred in investigating such killing of fish. The balance shall be paid to the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries to be used for the fisheries' management practices as in its judgment will best restore or replace the fisheries' values lost as a result of such discharge of waste, including, where appropriate, replacement of the fish killed with game fish or other appropriate species. Any such funds received are hereby appropriated for that purpose.

(e) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed in any way to limit or prevent any other action which is now authorized by law by the Board against any owner.

(f) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any owner who adds or applies any chemicals or other substances that are recommended or approved by the State Department of Health to state waters in the course of processing or treating such waters for public water supply purposes, except where negligence is shown.

(12) To administer programs of financial assistance for planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of water quality control facilities for political subdivisions in the Commonwealth.

(13) To establish policies and programs for effective area-wide or basin-wide water quality control and management. The Board may develop comprehensive pollution abatement and water quality control plans on an area-wide or basin-wide basis. In conjunction with this, the Board, when considering proposals for waste treatment facilities, is to consider the feasibility of combined or joint treatment facilities and is to ensure that the approval of waste treatment facilities is in accordance with the water quality management and pollution control plan in the watershed or basin as a whole. In making such determinations, the Board is to seek the advice of local, regional, or state planning authorities.

(14) To establish requirements for the treatment of sewage, industrial wastes and other wastes that are consistent with the purposes of this chapter; however, no treatment shall be less than secondary or its equivalent, unless the owner can demonstrate that a lesser degree of treatment is consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

(15) To promote and establish requirements for the reclamation and reuse of wastewater that are protective of state waters and public health as an alternative to directly discharging pollutants into waters of the state. The requirements shall address various potential categories of reuse and may include general permits and provide for greater flexibility and less stringent requirements commensurate with the quality of the reclaimed water and its intended use. The requirements shall be developed in consultation with the Department of Health and other appropriate state agencies. This authority shall not be construed as conferring upon the Board any power or duty duplicative of those of the State Board of Health.

(16) To establish and implement policies and programs to protect and enhance the Commonwealth's wetland resources. Regulatory programs shall be designed to achieve no net loss of existing wetland acreage and functions. Voluntary and incentive-based programs shall be developed to achieve a net resource gain in acreage and functions of wetlands. The Board shall seek and obtain advice and guidance from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in implementing these policies and programs.

(17) To establish additional procedures for obtaining a Virginia Water Protection Permit pursuant to §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22 for a proposed water withdrawal involving the transfer of water resources between major river basins within the Commonwealth that may impact water basins in another state. Such additional procedures shall not apply to any water withdrawal in existence as of July 1, 2012, except where the expansion of such withdrawal requires a permit under §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22, in which event such additional procedures may apply to the extent of the expanded withdrawal only. The applicant shall provide as part of the application (i) an analysis of alternatives to such a transfer, (ii) a comprehensive analysis of the impacts that would occur in the source and receiving basins, (iii) a description of measures to mitigate any adverse impacts that may arise, (iv) a description of how notice shall be provided to interested parties, and (v) any other requirements that the Board may adopt that are consistent with the provisions of this section and §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22 or regulations adopted thereunder. This subdivision shall not be construed as limiting or expanding the Board's authority under §§ 62.1-44.15:20 and 62.1-44.15:22 to issue permits and impose conditions or limitations on the permitted activity.

§ 62.1-44.15:5.1. General permit for certain water quality improvement activities.

A. The Board shall coordinate the development of a general permit for activities such as bioengineered streambank stabilization projects and livestock stream crossings that: (i) are coverable by the Nationwide Permit Program (33 C.F.R. Part 330) of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and for which certification has not been waived by the Board; (ii) are conservation practices designed and supervised by a soil and water conservation district; (iii) meet the design standards of the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality and the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service; and (iv) are intended to improve water quality. The development of the general permit shall be exempt from Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act.

B. The development of the general permit shall be a coordinated effort between the Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and such other agencies as may be needed to develop a single, unified, process that will expedite the implementation of the projects described in subsection A and unify and streamline the permitting process for such projects.

C. A general permit pursuant to this section shall be promulgated as final by July 1, 1998.

Article 2.3.
Stormwater Management Act.

§ 62.1-44.15:24. Definitions.

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

"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 storm water 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, until such approval is given, 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 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.

§ 62.1-44.15:25. Further powers and duties of the State Water Control Board.

In addition to other powers and duties conferred upon the Board, it shall permit, regulate, and control stormwater runoff in the Commonwealth. The Board may issue, deny, revoke, terminate, or amend state stormwater individual permits or coverage issued under state general permits; adopt regulations; approve and periodically review Virginia Stormwater Management Programs and management programs developed in conjunction with a state municipal separate storm sewer permit; enforce the provisions of this article; and otherwise act to ensure the general health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth as well as protect the quality and quantity of state waters from the potential harm of unmanaged stormwater. The Board may:

1. Issue, deny, amend, revoke, terminate, and enforce state permits for the control of stormwater discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems and land-disturbing activities.

2. Take administrative and legal actions to ensure compliance with the provisions of this article by any person subject to state or VSMP authority permit requirements under this article, and those entities with an approved Virginia Stormwater Management Program and management programs developed in conjunction with a state municipal separate storm sewer system permit, including the proper enforcement and implementation of, and continual compliance with, this article.

3. In accordance with procedures of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), amend or revoke any state permit issued under this article on the following grounds or for good cause as may be provided by the regulations of the Board:

a. Any person subject to state permit requirements under this article has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any order or regulation of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the Department, any condition of a state permit, any provision of this article, or any order of a court, where such violation results in the unreasonable degradation of properties, water quality, stream channels, and other natural resources, or the violation is representative of a pattern of serious or repeated violations, including the disregard for or inability to comply with applicable laws, regulations, permit conditions, orders, rules, or requirements;

b. Any person subject to state permit requirements under this article has failed to disclose fully all relevant material facts or has misrepresented a material fact in applying for a state permit, or in any other report or document required under this law or under the regulations of the Board;

c. The activity for which the state permit was issued causes unreasonable degradation of properties, water quality, stream channels, and other natural resources; or

d. There exists a material change in the basis on which the state permit was issued that requires either a temporary or a permanent reduction or elimination of any discharge or land-disturbing activity controlled by the state permit necessary to prevent unreasonable degradation of properties, water quality, stream channels, and other natural resources.

4. Cause investigations and inspections to ensure compliance with any state or VSMP authority permits, conditions, policies, rules, regulations, rulings, and orders which it may adopt, issue, or establish and to furnish advice, recommendations, or instructions for the purpose of obtaining such compliance.

5. In accordance with procedures of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), adopt rules governing (i) hearings, (ii) the filing of reports, (iii) the issuance of permits and special orders, and (iv) all other matters relating to procedure, and amend or cancel any rule adopted.

6. Issue special orders to any person subject to state or VSMP authority permit requirements under this article (i) who is permitting or causing the unreasonable degradation of properties, water quality, stream channels, and other natural resources to cease and desist from such activities; (ii) who has failed to construct facilities in accordance with final approved plans and specifications to construct such facilities; (iii) who has violated the terms and provisions of a state or VSMP authority permit issued by the Board or VSMP authority to comply with the provisions of the state or VSMP authority permit, this article, and any decision of the VSMP authority, the Department, or the Board; or (iv) who has violated the terms of an order issued by the court, the VSMP authority, the Department, or the Board to comply with the terms of such order, and also to issue orders to require any person subject to state or VSMP authority permit requirements under this article to comply with the provisions of this article and any decision of the Board.

Such special orders are to be issued in accordance with the procedures of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and shall become effective not less than 15 days after the date of mailing with confirmation of delivery of the notice to the last known address of any person subject to state or VSMP authority permit requirements under this article, provided that if the Board finds that any such person subject to state or VSMP authority permit requirements under this article is grossly affecting or presents an imminent and substantial danger to (i) the public health, safety, or welfare or the health of animals, fish, or aquatic life; (ii) a public water supply; or (iii) recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other reasonable uses, it may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency special order directing any person subject to state or VSMP authority permit requirements under this article to cease such pollution or discharge immediately, and shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof to any person subject to state or VSMP authority permit requirements under this article, to affirm, modify, amend, or cancel such emergency special order. If any person subject to state or VSMP authority permit requirements under this article who has been issued such a special order or an emergency special order is not complying with the terms thereof, the Board may proceed in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:48, and where the order is based on a finding of an imminent and substantial danger, the court shall issue an injunction compelling compliance with the emergency special order pending a hearing by the Board. If an emergency special order requires cessation of a discharge, the recipient of the order may appeal its issuance to the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the discharge was alleged to have occurred.

The provisions of this section notwithstanding, the Board may proceed directly under § 62.1-44.15:48 for any past violation or violations of any provision of this article or any regulation duly adopted hereunder.

With the consent of any person subject to state or VSMP authority permit requirements under this article who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the Department or VSMP authority, any condition of a state or VSMP authority permit, or any provision of this article, the Board may provide, in an order issued by the Board against such person, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums not to exceed the limit specified in subsection A of § 62.1-44.15:48. Such civil charges shall be collected in lieu of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed pursuant to subsection A of § 62.1-44.15:48 and shall not be subject to the provisions of § 2.2-514. Such civil charges shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29.

§ 62.1-44.15:26. State permits.

A. All state permits issued by the Board under this article shall have fixed terms. The term of a state permit shall be based upon the projected duration of the project, the length of any required monitoring, or other project operations or permit conditions; however, the term shall not exceed five years. The term of a permit issued by the Board shall not be extended by modification beyond the maximum duration and the permit shall expire at the end of the term unless it is administratively continued in accordance with Board regulations.

B. State individual construction permits shall be administered by the Department.

§ 62.1-44.15:27. Establishment of Virginia Stormwater Management Programs.

A. Any locality, excluding towns, unless such town operates a regulated MS4, shall be required to adopt a VSMP for land-disturbing activities consistent with the provisions of this article according to a schedule set by the Board. Such schedule shall require adoption no sooner than 15 months and not more than 21 months following the effective date of the regulation that establishes local program criteria and delegation procedures, unless the Board deems that the Department's review of the VSMP warrants an extension up to an additional 12 months, provided the locality has made substantive progress. Localities subject to this subsection are authorized to coordinate plan review and inspections with other entities in accordance with subsection H.

B. Any town lying within a county that has adopted a VSMP in accordance with subsection A may adopt its own program or shall become subject to the county program. If a town lies within the boundaries of more than one county, the town shall be considered to be wholly within the county in which the larger portion of the town lies. Towns shall inform the Department of their decision according to a schedule established by the Department. Thereafter, the Department shall provide an annual schedule by which towns can submit applications to adopt a VSMP.

C. In support of VSMP authorities, the Department shall:

1. Provide assistance grants to localities not currently operating a local stormwater management program to help the localities to establish their VSMP.

2. Provide technical assistance and training.

3. Provide qualified services in specified geographic areas to a VSMP to assist localities in the administration of components of their programs. The Department shall actively assist localities in the establishment of their programs and in the selection of a contractor or other entity that may provide support to the locality or regional support to several localities.

D. The Department shall develop a model ordinance for establishing a VSMP consistent with this article and its associated regulations, including the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities.

E. Each locality that administers an approved VSMP shall, by ordinance, establish a VSMP that shall be administered in conjunction with a local MS4 program and a local erosion and sediment control program if required pursuant to Article 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), and which shall include the following:

1. Consistency with regulations adopted in accordance with provisions of this article;

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

3. Provisions for the integration of the VSMP with local erosion and sediment control, flood insurance, flood plain management, and other programs requiring compliance prior to authorizing construction in order to make the submission and approval of plans, issuance of permits, payment of fees, and coordination of inspection and enforcement activities more convenient and efficient both for the local governments and those responsible for compliance with the programs.

F. The Board may approve a state entity, including the Department, federal entity, or, for linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications, electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, railroad companies, or authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102 to operate a Virginia Stormwater Management Program consistent with the requirements of this article and its associated regulations and the VSMP authority's Department-approved annual standards and specifications. For these programs, enforcement shall be administered by the Department and the Board where applicable in accordance with the provisions of this article.

G. The Board shall approve a VSMP when it deems a program consistent with this article and associated regulations, including the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities.

H. A VSMP authority may enter into agreements or contracts with soil and water conservation districts, adjacent localities, or other public or private entities to carry out or assist with the responsibilities of this article.

I. Localities shall issue a consolidated stormwater management and erosion and sediment control permit that is consistent with the provisions of the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.). When available in accordance with subsection J, such permit, where applicable, shall also include a copy of or reference to state VSMP permit coverage authorization to discharge.

J. Upon the development of an online reporting system by the Department, but no later than July 1, 2014, a VSMP authority shall then be required to obtain evidence of state VSMP permit coverage where it is required prior to providing approval to begin land disturbance.

K. Any VSMP adopted pursuant to and consistent with this article shall be considered to meet the stormwater management requirements under the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) and attendant regulations, and effective July 1, 2014, shall not be subject to local program review under the stormwater management provisions the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.

L. All VSMP authorities shall comply with the provisions of this article and the stormwater management provisions of Article 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) and related regulations. The VSMP authority responsible for regulating the land-disturbing activity shall require compliance with the issued permit, permit conditions, and plan specifications.

M. VSMPs adopted in accordance with this section shall become effective July 1, 2014, unless otherwise specified by the Board.

§ 62.1-44.15:28. 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. 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. 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;

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

9. 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;

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

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

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.

§ 62.1-44.15:29. Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund, hereafter referred to as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All moneys collected by the Department pursuant to §§ 62.1-44.15:28, 62.1-44.15:38, and 62.1-44.15:71 and all civil penalties collected pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:22 shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of carrying out the Department's responsibilities under this article. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Director.

An accounting of moneys received by and distributed from the Fund shall be kept by the State Comptroller.

§ 62.1-44.15:30. Education and training programs.

A. The Board shall issue certificates of competence concerning the content and application of specified subject areas of this article and accompanying regulations, including program administration, plan review, and project inspection, to personnel of VSMP authorities and to any other persons who have completed training programs or in other ways demonstrated adequate knowledge to the satisfaction of the Board. As part of education and training programs authorized pursuant to subsection E of § 62.1-44.15:52, the Department shall develop or certify expanded components to address program administration, plan review, and project inspection elements of this article and attendant regulations. Reasonable fees to cover the costs of these additional components may be charged.

B. Effective July 1, 2014, personnel of VSMP authorities reviewing plans or conducting inspections pursuant to this chapter shall hold a certificate of competence as provided in subsection A. Professionals registered in the Commonwealth pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1 shall be deemed to have met the provisions of this section for the purposes of renewals.

§ 62.1-44.15:31. Annual standards and specifications for state agencies, federal entities, and other specified entities.

A. State entities, including the Department of Transportation, and for linear projects set out in subsection B, electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, and railroad companies shall, and federal entities and authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102 may, annually submit a single set of standards and specifications for Department approval that describes how land-disturbing activities shall be conducted. Such standards and specifications shall be consistent with the requirements of this article and associated regulations, including the regulations governing the General Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities and the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) and associated regulations. Each project constructed in accordance with the requirements of this article, its attendant regulations, and where required standards and specifications shall obtain coverage issued under the state general permit prior to land disturbance. The standards and specifications shall include:

1. Technical criteria to meet the requirements of this article and regulations developed under this article;

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

3. Provisions for erosion and sediment control and stormwater management program administration, plan design, review and approval, and construction inspection and enforcement;

4. Provisions for ensuring that responsible personnel and contractors obtain certifications or qualifications for erosion and sediment control and stormwater management comparable to those required for local government;

5. Implementation of a project tracking and notification system to the Department of all land-disturbing activities covered under this article; and

6. Requirements for documenting onsite changes as they occur to ensure compliance with the requirements of the article.

B. Linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications include:

1. Construction, installation, or maintenance of electric transmission, natural gas, and telephone utility lines and pipelines, and water and sewer lines; and

2. Construction of the tracks, rights-of-way, bridges, communication facilities, and other related structures and facilities of a railroad company.

Linear projects not included in subdivisions 1 and 2 shall comply with the requirements of the local or state VSMP in the locality within which the project is located.

C. The Department shall perform random site inspections or inspections in response to a complaint to assure compliance with this article, the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), and regulations adopted thereunder. The Department may take enforcement actions in accordance with this article and related regulations.

D. The Department shall assess an administrative charge to cover the costs of services rendered associated with its responsibilities pursuant to this section.

§ 62.1-44.15:32. Duties of the Department.

A. The Department shall provide technical assistance, training, research, and coordination in stormwater management technology to VSMP authorities consistent with the purposes of this article.

B. The Department is authorized to review the stormwater management plan for any project with real or potential interjurisdictional impacts upon the request of one or all of the involved localities to determine that the plan is consistent with the provisions of this article. Any such review shall be completed and a report submitted to each locality involved within 90 days of such request being accepted. The Department may charge a fee of the requesting locality to cover its costs for providing such services.

C. The Department shall be responsible for the implementation of this article.

§ 62.1-44.15:33. Authorization for more stringent ordinances.

A. Localities are authorized to adopt more stringent stormwater management ordinances than those necessary to ensure compliance with the Board's minimum regulations, provided that the more stringent ordinances are based upon factual findings of local or regional comprehensive watershed management studies or findings developed through the implementation of a MS4 permit or a locally adopted watershed management study and are determined by the locality to be necessary to prevent any further degradation to water resources, to address TMDL requirements, to protect exceptional state waters, or to address specific existing water pollution including nutrient and sediment loadings, stream channel erosion, depleted groundwater resources, or excessive localized flooding within the watershed and that prior to adopting more stringent ordinances a public hearing is held after giving due notice. Localities shall report to the Board when more stringent stormwater management ordinances are determined to be necessary pursuant to this section.

B. Any provisions of a local stormwater management program in existence before January 1, 2005, that contains more stringent provisions than this article shall be exempt from the analysis requirements of subsection A. However, such provisions shall be reported to the Board as part of the locality's VSMP approval package.

§ 62.1-44.15:34. Regulated activities; submission and approval of a permit application; security for performance; exemptions.

A. A person shall not conduct any land-disturbing activity until he has submitted a permit application to the VSMP authority that includes a state VSMP permit registration statement and, after July 1, 2014, a stormwater management plan, and has obtained VSMP authority approval to begin land disturbance. Upon the development of an online reporting system by the Department, but no later than July 1, 2014, a VSMP authority shall be required to obtain evidence of VSMP permit coverage where it is required prior to providing approval to begin land disturbance. The VSMP authority shall act on any permit application within 60 days after it has been determined by the VSMP authority to be a complete application. The VSMP authority may either issue project approval or denial and shall provide written rationale for the denial. The VSMP authority shall act on any permit application that has been previously disapproved within 45 days after the application has been revised, resubmitted for approval, and deemed complete. Prior to issuance of any approval, the VSMP authority may also require an applicant, excluding state and federal entities, to submit a reasonable performance bond with surety, cash escrow, letter of credit, any combination thereof, or such other legal arrangement acceptable to the VSMP authority, to ensure that measures could be taken by the VSMP authority at the applicant's expense should he fail, after proper notice, within the time specified to initiate or maintain appropriate actions that may be required of him by the permit conditions as a result of his land-disturbing activity. If the VSMP authority takes such action upon such failure by the applicant, the VSMP authority may collect from the applicant the difference should the amount of the reasonable cost of such action exceed the amount of the security held. Within 60 days of the completion of the requirements of the permit conditions, such bond, cash escrow, letter of credit, or other legal arrangement, or the unexpended or unobligated portion thereof, shall be refunded to the applicant or terminated. These requirements are in addition to all other provisions of law relating to the issuance of permits and are not intended to otherwise affect the requirements for such permits.

B. A Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Land-Disturbing Activity shall be subject to coverage under the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities until July 1, 2014, at which time it shall no longer be considered a small construction activity but shall be then regulated under the requirements of this article by a VSMP authority.

C. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, the following activities are exempt, unless otherwise required by federal law:

1. Permitted surface or deep mining operations and projects, or oil and gas operations and projects conducted under the provisions of Title 45.1;

2. Clearing of lands specifically for agricultural purposes and the management, tilling, planting, or harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, or forest crops, livestock feedlot operations, or as additionally set forth by the Board in regulations, including engineering operations as follows: construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds, ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation; however, this exception shall not apply to harvesting of forest crops unless the area on which harvesting occurs is reforested artificially or naturally in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) or is converted to bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use as described in subsection B of § 10.1-1163;

3. Single-family residences separately built and disturbing less than one acre and not part of a larger common plan of development or sale, including additions or modifications to existing single-family detached residential structures. However, localities subject to the provisions of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) may regulate these single-family residences where land disturbance exceeds 2,500 square feet;

4. Land-disturbing activities that disturb less than one acre of land area except for 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 adopted pursuant to the provisions of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) or activities that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that is one acre or greater of disturbance; however, the governing body of any locality that administers a VSMP may reduce this exception to a smaller area of disturbed land or qualify the conditions under which this exception shall apply;

5. Discharges to a sanitary sewer or a combined sewer system;

6. Activities under a state or federal reclamation program to return an abandoned property to an agricultural or open land use;

7. Routine maintenance that is performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original construction of the project. The paving of an existing road with a compacted or impervious surface and reestablishment of existing associated ditches and shoulders shall be deemed routine maintenance if performed in accordance with this subsection; and

8. Conducting land-disturbing activities in response to a public emergency where the related work requires immediate authorization to avoid imminent endangerment to human health or the environment. In such situations, the VSMP authority shall be advised of the disturbance within seven days of commencing the land-disturbing activity, and compliance with the administrative requirements of subsection A is required within 30 days of commencing the land-disturbing activity.

§ 62.1-44.15:35. Nutrient credit use and additional offsite options for construction activities.

A. As used in this section:

"Nutrient credit" or "credit" means a nutrient credit certified pursuant to Article 4.02 (§ 62.1-44.19:12 et seq.).

"Tributary" has the same meaning as in § 62.1-44.19:13. For areas outside of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, "tributary" includes the following watersheds: Albemarle Sound, Coastal; Atlantic Ocean, Coastal; Big Sandy; Chowan; Clinch-Powell; New Holston (Upper Tennessee); New River; Roanoke; and Yadkin.

"Virginia Stormwater Management Program Authority" or "VSMP authority" has the same meaning as in § 62.2-44.15:24 and includes, until July 1, 2014, any locality that has adopted a local stormwater management program.

B. A VSMP authority is authorized to allow compliance with stormwater nonpoint nutrient runoff water quality criteria established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:28, in whole or in part, through the use of the applicant's acquisition of nutrient credits in the same tributary.

C. No applicant shall use nutrient credits to address water quantity control requirements. No applicant shall use nutrient credits or other offsite options in contravention of local water quality-based limitations (i) determined pursuant to subsection B of § 62.1-44.19:14, (ii) adopted pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:33 or other applicable authority, (iii) deemed necessary to protect public water supplies from demonstrated adverse nutrient impacts, or (iv) as otherwise may be established or approved by the Board. Where such a limitation exists, offsite options may be used provided that such options do not preclude or impair compliance with the local limitation.

D. A VSMP authority shall allow offsite options in accordance with subsection I when:

1. Less than five acres of land will be disturbed;

2. The postconstruction phosphorous control requirement is less than 10 pounds per year; or

3. The state permit applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the VSMP authority that (i) alternative site designs have been considered that may accommodate onsite best management practices, (ii) onsite best management practices have been considered in alternative site designs to the maximum extent practicable, (iii) appropriate onsite best management practices will be implemented, and (iv) full compliance with postdevelopment nonpoint nutrient runoff compliance requirements cannot practicably be met onsite. For purposes of this subdivision, if an applicant demonstrates onsite control of at least 75 percent of the required phosphorous nutrient reductions, the applicant shall be deemed to have met the requirements of clauses (i) through (iv).

E. Documentation of the applicant's acquisition of nutrient credits shall be provided to the VSMP authority and the Department in a certification from the credit provider documenting the number of phosphorus nutrient credits acquired and the associated ratio of nitrogen nutrient credits at the credit-generating entity. Until the effective date of regulations establishing application fees in accordance with § 62.1-44.19:20, the credit provider shall pay the Department a water quality enhancement fee equal to six percent of the amount paid by the applicant for the credits. Such fee shall be deposited into the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established by § 62.1-44.15:29.

F. Nutrient credits used pursuant to subsection B shall be generated in the same or adjacent eight-digit hydrologic unit code as defined by the United States Geological Survey as the permitted site except as otherwise limited in subsection C. Nutrient credits outside the same or adjacent eight-digit hydrologic unit code may only be used if it is determined by the VSMP authority that no credits are available within the same or adjacent eight-digit hydrologic unit code when the VSMP authority accepts the final site design. In such cases, and subject to other limitations imposed in this section, credits available within the same tributary may be used. In no case shall credits from another tributary be used.

G. For that portion of a site's compliance with stormwater nonpoint nutrient runoff water quality criteria being obtained through nutrient credits, the applicant shall (i) comply with a 1:1 ratio of the nutrient credits to the site's remaining postdevelopment nonpoint nutrient runoff compliance requirement being met by credit use and (ii) use credits certified as perpetual credits pursuant to Article 4.02 (§62.1-44.19:12 et seq.).

H. No VSMP authority may grant an exception to, or waiver of, postdevelopment nonpoint nutrient runoff compliance requirements unless offsite options have been considered and found not available.

I. The VSMP authority shall require that nutrient credits and other offsite options approved by the Department or applicable state board, including locality pollutant loading pro rata share programs established pursuant to § 15.2-2243, achieve the necessary nutrient reductions prior to the commencement of the applicant's land-disturbing activity. A pollutant loading pro rata share program established by a locality pursuant to § 15.2-2243 and approved by the Department or applicable state board prior to January 1, 2011, including those that may achieve nutrient reductions after the commencement of the land-disturbing activity, may continue to operate in the approved manner for a transition period ending July 1, 2014. The applicant shall have the right to select between the use of nutrient credits or other offsite options, except during the transition period in those localities to which the transition period applies. The locality may use funds collected for nutrient reductions pursuant to a locality pollutant loading pro rata share program under § 15.2-2243 for nutrient reductions in the same tributary within the same locality as the land-disturbing activity or for the acquisition of nutrient credits. In the case of a phased project, the applicant may acquire or achieve the offsite nutrient reductions prior to the commencement of each phase of the land-disturbing activity in an amount sufficient for each such phase.

J. Nutrient reductions obtained through nutrient credits shall be credited toward compliance with any nutrient allocation assigned to a municipal separate storm sewer system in a Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit or Total Maximum Daily Load applicable to the location where the activity for which the nutrient credits are used takes place. If the activity for which the nutrient credits are used does not discharge to a municipal separate storm sewer system, the nutrient reductions shall be credited toward compliance with the applicable nutrient allocation.

K. A VSMP authority shall allow the full or partial substitution of perpetual nutrient credits for existing onsite nutrient controls when (i) the nutrient credits will compensate for 10 or fewer pounds of the annual phosphorous requirement associated with the original land-disturbing activity or (ii) existing onsite controls are not functioning as anticipated after reasonable attempts to comply with applicable maintenance agreements or requirements and the use of nutrient credits will account for the deficiency. Upon determination by the VSMP authority that the conditions established by clause (i) or (ii) have been met, the party responsible for maintenance shall be released from maintenance obligations related to the onsite phosphorous controls for which the nutrient credits are substituted.

L. To the extent available, with the consent of the applicant, the VSMP authority, the Board or the Department may include the use of nutrient credits or other offsite measures in resolving enforcement actions to compensate for (i) nutrient control deficiencies occurring during the period of noncompliance and (ii) permanent nutrient control deficiencies.

M. This section shall not be construed as limiting the authority established under § 15.2-2243; however, under any pollutant loading pro rata share program established thereunder, the subdivider or developer shall be given appropriate credit for nutrient reductions achieved through nutrient credits or other offsite options.

N. In order to properly account for allowed nonpoint nutrient offsite reductions, an applicant shall report to the Department, in accordance with Department procedures, information regarding all offsite reductions that have been authorized to meet stormwater postdevelopment nonpoint nutrient runoff compliance requirements.

O. An applicant or a permittee found to be in noncompliance with the requirements of this section shall be subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions of this article.

§ 62.1-44.15:36. (For contingent repeal, see Editor's note) Recovery of administrative costs.

Any locality that administers a stormwater management program may charge applicants a reasonable fee to defray the cost of program administration, including costs associated with plan review, issuance of permits, periodic inspection for compliance with approved plans, and necessary enforcement, provided that charges for such costs are not made under any other law, ordinance, or program. The fee shall not exceed an amount commensurate with the services rendered and expenses incurred or $1,000, whichever is less.

§ 62.1-44.15:37. Monitoring, reports, investigations, inspections, and stop work orders.

A. The VSMP authority (i) shall provide for periodic inspections of the installation of stormwater management measures, (ii) may require monitoring and reports from the person responsible for meeting the permit conditions to ensure compliance with the permit and to determine whether the measures required in the permit provide effective stormwater management, and (iii) shallconduct such investigations and perform such other actions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this article. If the VSMP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, or the Department determines that there is a failure to comply with the permit conditions, notice shall be served upon the permittee or person responsible for carrying out the permit conditions by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the permit application, or by delivery at the site of the development activities to the agent or employee supervising such activities. The notice shall specify the measures needed to comply with the permit conditions and shall specify the time within which such measures shall be completed. Upon failure to comply within the time specified, a stop work order may be issued in accordance with subsection B by the VSMP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, or by the Board, or the permit may be revoked by the VSMP authority, or the state permit may be revoked by the Board. The Board or the VSMP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, may pursue enforcement in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:48.

B. If a permittee fails to comply with a notice issued in accordance with subsection A within the time specified, the VSMP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, or the Department may issue an order requiring the owner, permittee, person responsible for carrying out an approved plan, or person conducting the land-disturbing activities without an approved plan or required permit to cease all land-disturbing activities until the violation of the permit has ceased, or an approved plan and required permits are obtained, and specified corrective measures have been completed.

Such orders shall be issued (i) in accordance with local procedures if issued by a locality serving as a VSMP authority or (ii) after a hearing held in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) if issued by the Department. Such orders shall become effective upon service on the person by mailing, with confirmation of delivery, sent to his address specified in the land records of the locality, or by personal delivery by an agent of the VSMP authority or Department. However, if the VSMP authority or the Department finds that any such violation is grossly affecting or presents an imminent and substantial danger of causing harmful erosion of lands or sediment deposition in waters within the watersheds of the Commonwealth or otherwise substantially impacting water quality, it may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency order directing such person to cease immediately all land-disturbing activities on the site and shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof, to such person, to affirm, modify, amend, or cancel such emergency order.

If a person who has been issued an order is not complying with the terms thereof, the VSMP authority or the Department may institute a proceeding in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:42.

§ 62.1-44.15:38. Department to review VSMPs.

A. The Department shall develop and implement a review and evaluation schedule so that the effectiveness of each VSMP authority, Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Management Program, and other MS4 permit requirements is evaluated no less than every five years. The review shall include an assessment of the extent to which the program has reduced nonpoint source pollution and mitigated the detrimental effects of localized flooding. Such reviews shall be coordinated with those being implemented in accordance with the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) and associated regulations and, where applicable, the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) and associated regulations.

B. Following completion of a compliance review of a VSMP, the Department shall provide results and compliance recommendations to the Board in the form of a corrective action agreement if deficiencies are found; otherwise, the Board may find the program compliant. If, after such a review and evaluation, a VSMP is found to have a program that does not comply with the provisions of this article or regulations adopted thereunder, the Board shall establish a schedule for the VSMP authority to come into compliance. The Board shall provide a copy of its decision to the VSMP authority that specifies the deficiencies, actions needed to be taken, and the approved compliance schedule. If the VSMP has not implemented the necessary compliance actions identified by the Board within 30 days following receipt of the corrective action agreement, or such additional period as is granted to complete the implementation of the corrective action, then the Board shall have the authority to (i) issue a special order to any VSMP imposing a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 per day with the maximum amount not to exceed $20,000 per violation for noncompliance with the requirements of this article and its regulations, to be paid into the state treasury and deposited in the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established by § 62.1-44.15:29 or (ii) revoke its approval of the VSMP. The Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) shall govern the activities and proceedings of the Board under this article and the judicial review thereof.

If the Board revokes its approval of a VSMP, the Board shall find the VSMP authority provisional and shall have the Department assist with the administration of the program until the VSMP authority is deemed compliant with the requirements of this article and associated regulations. Assisting with administration includes the ability to review and comment on plans to the VSMP authority, to conduct inspections with the VSMP authority, and to conduct enforcement in accordance with this article and associated regulations.

In lieu of issuing a special order or revoking the program, the Board may take legal action against a VSMP pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:48 to ensure compliance.

§ 62.1-44.15:39. Right of entry.

The Department, the VSMP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, any duly authorized agent of the Department or VSMP authority, or any locality that is the operator of a regulated municipal separate storm sewer system may, at reasonable times and under reasonable circumstances, enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of obtaining information or conducting surveys or investigations necessary in the enforcement of the provisions of this article. For operators of municipal separate storm sewer systems, this authority shall apply only to those properties from which a discharge enters their municipal separate storm sewer systems.

In accordance with a performance bond with surety, cash escrow, letter of credit, any combination thereof, or such other legal arrangement, a VSMP authority may also enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of initiating or maintaining appropriate actions that are required by the permit conditions associated with a land-disturbing activity when a permittee, after proper notice, has failed to take acceptable action within the time specified.

§ 62.1-44.15:40. Information to be furnished.

The Board, the Department, or the VSMP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, may require every permit applicant, every permittee, or any person subject to state permit requirements under this article to furnish when requested such application materials, plans, specifications, and other pertinent information as may be necessary to determine the effect of his discharge on the quality of state waters, or such other information as may be necessary to accomplish the purposes of this article. Any personal information shall not be disclosed except to an appropriate official of the Board, Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or VSMP authority or as may be authorized pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.). However, disclosure of records of the Department, the Board, or the VSMP authority relating to (i) active federal environmental enforcement actions that are considered confidential under federal law, (ii) enforcement strategies, including proposed sanctions for enforcement actions, and (iii) any secret formulae, secret processes, or secret methods other than effluent data used by any permittee or under that permittee's direction is prohibited. Upon request, such enforcement records shall be disclosed after a proposed sanction resulting from the investigation has been determined by the Department, the Board, or the VSMP authority. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the disclosure of records related to inspection reports, notices of violation, and documents detailing the nature of any land-disturbing activity that may have occurred, or similar documents.

§ 62.1-44.15:41. Private rights; liability.

A. Whenever a common interest community cedes responsibility for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of a stormwater management facility on its real property to the Commonwealth or political subdivision thereof, such common interest community shall be immune from civil liability in relation to such stormwater management facility. In order for the immunity established by this subsection to apply, (i) the common interest community must cede such responsibility by contract or other instrument executed by both parties and (ii) the Commonwealth or the governing body of the political subdivision shall have accepted the responsibility ceded by the common interest community in writing or by resolution. As used in this section, maintenance, repair, and replacement shall include, without limitation, cleaning of the facility, maintenance of adjacent grounds that are part of the facility, maintenance and replacement of fencing where the facility is fenced, and posting of signage indicating the identity of the governmental entity that maintains the facility. Acceptance or approval of an easement, subdivision plat, site plan, or other plan of development shall not constitute the acceptance by the Commonwealth or the governing body of the political subdivision required to satisfy clause (ii). The immunity granted by this section shall not apply to actions or omissions by the common interest community constituting intentional or willful misconduct or gross negligence. For the purposes of this section, "common interest community" means the same as that term is defined in § 55-528.

B. Except as provided in subsection A, the fact that any permittee holds or has held a permit or state permit issued under this article shall not constitute a defense in any civil action involving private rights.

§ 62.1-44.15:42. Enforcement by injunction, etc.

A. It is unlawful for any person to fail to comply with any stop work order, emergency order issued in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:37, or a special order or emergency special order issued in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:25 that has become final under the provisions of this article. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any rule, regulation, ordinance, approved standard and specification, order, or permit condition issued by the Board, Department, or VSMP authority as authorized to do such, or any provisions of this article, may be compelled in a proceeding instituted in any appropriate court by the Board, Department, or VSMP authority where authorized to enforce this article to obey same and to comply therewith by injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy.

B. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to this section shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty in accordance with the provisions of § 62.1-44.15:48.

§ 62.1-44.15:43. Testing validity of regulations; judicial review.

A. The validity of any regulation adopted by the Board pursuant to this article may be determined through judicial review in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

B. An appeal may be taken from the decision of the court to the Court of Appeals as provided by law.

§ 62.1-44.15:44. Right to hearing.

Any permit applicant, permittee, or person subject to state permit requirements under this article aggrieved by any action of the VSMP authority, Department, or Board taken without a formal hearing, or by inaction of the VSMP authority, Department, or Board, may demand in writing a formal hearing by the Board or VSMP authority causing such grievance, provided a petition requesting such hearing is filed with the Board or the VSMP authority within 30 days after notice of such action.

§ 62.1-44.15:45. Hearings.

VSMP authorities holding hearings under this article shall do so in a manner consistent with § 62.1-44.26.

§ 62.1-44.15:46. Appeals.

Any permittee or party aggrieved by a state permit or enforcement decision of the Department or Board under this article, or any person who has participated, in person or by submittal of written comments, in the public comment process related to a final decision of the Department or Board under this article, whether such decision is affirmative or negative, is entitled to judicial review thereof in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) if such person meets the standard for obtaining judicial review of a case or controversy pursuant to Article III of the Constitution of the United States. A person shall be deemed to meet such standard if (i) such person has suffered an actual or imminent injury that is an invasion of a legally protected interest and that is concrete and particularized; (ii) such injury is fairly traceable to the decision of the Department or the Board and not the result of the independent action of some third party not before the court; and (iii) such injury will likely be redressed by a favorable decision by the court.

The provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) shall not apply to decisions rendered by localities but appeals shall be conducted in accordance with local appeal procedures.

§ 62.1-44.15:47. Appeal to Court of Appeals.

From the final decision of the circuit court an appeal may be taken to the Court of Appeals as provided in § 17.1-405.

§ 62.1-44.15:48. Penalties, injunctions, and other legal actions.

A. Any person who violates any provision of this article or of any regulation, ordinance, or standard and specification adopted or approved hereunder, including those adopted pursuant to the conditions of an MS4 permit, or who fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any order of a VSMP authority authorized to enforce this article, the Department, the Board, or a court, issued as herein provided, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $32,500 for each violation within the discretion of the court. Each day of violation of each requirement shall constitute a separate offense. The Board shall adopt a regulation establishing a schedule of civil penalties to be utilized by the VSMP authority in enforcing the provisions of this article. The Board, Department, or VSMP authority may issue a summons for collection of the civil penalty and the action may be prosecuted in the appropriate court. Any civil penalties assessed by a court as a result of a summons issued by a locality as an approved VSMP authority shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies, except where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent. When the penalties are assessed by the court as a result of a summons issued by the Board or Department, or where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29. Such civil penalties paid into the treasury of the locality in which the violation occurred are to be used for the purpose of minimizing, preventing, managing, or mitigating pollution of the waters of the locality and abating environmental pollution therein in such manner as the court may, by order, direct.

B. Any person who willfully or negligently violates any provision of this article, any regulation or order of the Board, any order of a VSMP authority authorized to enforce this article or the Department, any ordinance of any locality approved as a VSMP authority, any condition of a permit or state permit, or any order of a court shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $32,500, either or both. Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this article, any regulation or order of the Board, any order of the VSMP authority or the Department, any ordinance of any locality approved as a VSMP authority, any condition of a permit or state permit, or any order of a court issued as herein provided, or who knowingly makes any false statement in any form required to be submitted under this article or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or method required to be maintained under this article, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than three years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 for each violation. Any defendant that is not an individual shall, upon conviction of a violation under this subsection, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $10,000. Each day of violation of each requirement shall constitute a separate offense.

C. Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this article, and who knows at that time that he thereby places another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than 15 years and a fine of not more than $250,000, either or both. A defendant that is not an individual shall, upon conviction of a violation under this subsection, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding the greater of $1 million or an amount that is three times the economic benefit realized by the defendant as a result of the offense. The maximum penalty shall be doubled with respect to both fine and imprisonment for any subsequent conviction of the same person under this subsection.

D. Violation of any provision of this article may also include the following sanctions:

1. The Board, Department, or the VSMP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, may apply to the appropriate court in any jurisdiction wherein the land lies to enjoin a violation or a threatened violation of the provisions of this article or of the local ordinance without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist.

2. With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any ordinance, any condition of a permit or state permit, any regulation or order of the Board, any order of the VSMP authority or the Department, or any provision of this article, the Board, Department, or VSMP authority may provide, in an order issued against such person, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in this section. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under this section. Any civil charges collected shall be paid to the locality or state treasury pursuant to subsection A.

§ 62.1-44.15:49. Enforcement authority of MS4 localities.

A. Localities shall adopt a stormwater ordinance pursuant to the conditions of a MS4 permit that is consistent with this article and its associated regulations and that contains provisions including the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities and shall include additional provisions as required to comply with a state MS4 permit. Such locality may utilize the civil penalty provisions in subsection A of § 62.1-44.15:48, the injunctive authority as provided for in subdivision D 1 of § 62.1-44.15:48, and the civil charges as authorized in subdivision D 2 of § 62.1-44.15:48, to enforce the ordinance. At the request of another MS4, the locality may apply the penalties provided for in this section to direct or indirect discharges to any MS4 located within its jurisdiction.

B. Any person who willfully and knowingly violates any provision of such an ordinance is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. The local ordinance authorized by this section shall remain in full force and effect until the locality has been approved as a VSMP authority.

§ 62.1-44.15:50. Cooperation with federal and state agencies.

A VSMP authority and the Department are authorized to cooperate and enter into agreements with any federal or state agency in connection with the requirements for land-disturbing activities for stormwater management.

Article 2.4.
Erosion and Sediment Control Law.

§ 62.1-44.15:51. Definitions.

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

"Agreement in lieu of a plan" means a contract between the plan-approving authority and the owner that specifies conservation measures that must be implemented in the construction of a single-family residence; this contract may be executed by the plan-approving authority in lieu of a formal site plan.

"Applicant" means any person submitting an erosion and sediment control plan for approval or requesting the issuance of a permit, when required, authorizing land-disturbing activities to commence.

"Certified inspector" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of project inspection or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for project inspection and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Certified plan reviewer" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of plan review, (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for plan review and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment, or (iii) is licensed as a professional engineer, architect, landscape architect, land surveyor pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1, or professional soil scientist as defined in § 54.1-2200.

"Certified program administrator" means an employee or agent of a VESCP authority who (i) holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of program administration or (ii) is enrolled in the Board's training program for program administration and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

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

"District" or "soil and water conservation district" means a political subdivision of the Commonwealth organized in accordance with the provisions of Article 1.5 (§ 10.1-1187.21 et seq.) of Chapter 11.1 of Title 10.1.

"Erosion and sediment control plan" or "plan" means a document containing material for the conservation of soil and water resources of a unit or group of units of land. It may include appropriate maps, an appropriate soil and water plan inventory and management information with needed interpretations, and a record of decisions contributing to conservation treatment. The plan shall contain all major conservation decisions to ensure that the entire unit or units of land will be so treated to achieve the conservation objectives.

"Erosion impact area" means an area of land not associated with current land-disturbing activity but subject to persistent soil erosion resulting in the delivery of sediment onto neighboring properties or into state waters. This definition shall not apply to any lot or parcel of land of 10,000 square feet or less used for residential purposes or to shorelines where the erosion results from wave action or other coastal processes.

"Land-disturbing activity" means any man-made change to the land surface that may result in soil erosion from water or wind and the movement of sediments into state waters or onto lands in the Commonwealth, including, but not limited to, clearing, grading, excavating, transporting, and filling of land, except that the term shall not include:

1. Minor land-disturbing activities such as home gardens and individual home landscaping, repairs, and maintenance work;

2. Individual service connections;

3. Installation, maintenance, or repair of any underground public utility lines when such activity occurs on an existing hard surfaced road, street, or sidewalk, provided the land-disturbing activity is confined to the area of the road, street, or sidewalk that is hard surfaced;

4. Septic tank lines or drainage fields unless included in an overall plan for land-disturbing activity relating to construction of the building to be served by the septic tank system;

5. Permitted surface or deep mining operations and projects, or oil and gas operations and projects conducted pursuant to Title 45.1;

6. Tilling, planting, or harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, or forest crops, livestock feedlot operations, or as additionally set forth by the Board in regulation, including engineering operations as follows: construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds, ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation; however, this exception shall not apply to harvesting of forest crops unless the area on which harvesting occurs is reforested artificially or naturally in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 10.1 or is converted to bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use as described in subsection B of § 10.1-1163;

7. Repair or rebuilding of the tracks, rights-of-way, bridges, communication facilities, and other related structures and facilities of a railroad company;

8. Agricultural engineering operations, including but not limited to the construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds not required to comply with the provisions of the Dam Safety Act (§ 10.1-604 et seq.), ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation;

9. Disturbed land areas of less than 10,000 square feet in size or 2,500 square feet in all areas of the jurisdictions designated as subject to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations; however, the governing body of the program authority may reduce this exception to a smaller area of disturbed land or qualify the conditions under which this exception shall apply;

10. Installation of fence and sign posts or telephone and electric poles and other kinds of posts or poles;

11. Shoreline erosion control projects on tidal waters when all of the land-disturbing activities are within the regulatory authority of and approved by local wetlands boards, the Marine Resources Commission, or the United States Army Corps of Engineers; however, any associated land that is disturbed outside of this exempted area shall remain subject to this article and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto; and

12. Emergency work to protect life, limb, or property, and emergency repairs; however, if the land-disturbing activity would have required an approved erosion and sediment control plan, if the activity were not an emergency, then the land area disturbed shall be shaped and stabilized in accordance with the requirements of the VESCP authority.

"Natural channel design concepts" means the utilization of engineering analysis and fluvial geomorphic processes to create, rehabilitate, restore, or stabilize an open conveyance system for the purpose of creating or recreating a stream that conveys its bankfull storm event within its banks and allows larger flows to access its bankfull bench and its floodplain.

"Owner" means the owner or owners of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee, or other person, firm, or corporation in control of a property.

"Peak flow rate" means the maximum instantaneous flow from a given storm condition at a particular location.

"Permittee" means the person to whom the local permit authorizing land-disturbing activities is issued or the person who certifies that the approved erosion and sediment control plan will be followed.

"Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, association, joint venture, public or private corporation, trust, estate, commission, board, public or private institution, utility, cooperative, county, city, town, or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth, governmental body, including a federal or state entity as applicable, any interstate body, or any other legal entity.

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

"Town" means an incorporated town.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program" or "VESCP" means a program approved by the Board that has been established by a VESCP authority for the effective control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff associated with a land-disturbing activity to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters, and other natural resources and shall include such items where applicable 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 its associated regulations.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program authority" or "VESCP authority" means an authority approved by the Board to operate a Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program. An authority may include a state entity, including the Department; a federal entity; a district, county, city, or town; or for linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications, 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 volume" means the volume equal to the first one-half inch of runoff multiplied by the impervious surface of the land development project.

§ 62.1-44.15:52. Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program.

A. The Board shall develop a program and adopt regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) for the effective control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff that shall be met in any control program to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters, and other natural resources. Stream restoration and relocation projects that incorporate natural channel design concepts are not man-made channels 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 § 62.1-44.15:54 or 62.1-44.15:65. Any plan approved prior to July 1, 2014, that provides for stormwater management that addresses any flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels shall satisfy the flow rate capacity and velocity requirements for natural or man-made channels 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 requirement for natural or man-made channels as defined in regulations promulgated pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:54 or 62.1-44.15:65. For plans approved on and after July 1, 2014, the flow rate capacity and velocity requirements of this subsection shall be satisfied by compliance with water quantity requirements in the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and attendant regulations, unless such land-disturbing activities are in accordance with the grandfathering provisions of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulations.

The regulations shall:

1. Be based upon relevant physical and developmental information concerning the watersheds and drainage basins of the Commonwealth, including, but not limited to, 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;

2. Include such survey of lands and waters as may be deemed appropriate by the Board or required by any applicable law to identify areas, including multijurisdictional and watershed areas, with critical erosion and sediment problems; and

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

B. The Board shall provide technical assistance and advice to, and conduct and supervise educational programs for VESCP authorities.

C. The Board shall adopt regulations establishing minimum standards of effectiveness of erosion and sediment control programs, and criteria and procedures for reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of VESCPs. In developing minimum standards for program effectiveness, the Board shall consider information and standards on which the regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection A are based.

D. The Board shall approve VESCP authorities and shall periodically conduct a comprehensive program compliance review and evaluation to ensure that all VESCPs operating under the jurisdiction of this article meet minimum standards of effectiveness in controlling soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff. The Department shall develop a schedule for conducting periodic reviews and evaluations of the effectiveness of VESCPs unless otherwise directed by the Board. Such reviews where applicable shall be coordinated with those being implemented in accordance with the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and associated regulations and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) and associated regulations. The Department may also conduct a comprehensive or partial program compliance review and evaluation of a VESCP at a greater frequency than the standard schedule.

E. The Board shall issue certificates of competence concerning the content, application, and intent of specified subject areas of this article and accompanying regulations, including program administration, plan review, and project inspection, to personnel of program authorities and to any other persons who have completed training programs or in other ways demonstrated adequate knowledge. The Department shall administer education and training programs for specified subject areas of this article and accompanying regulations, and is authorized to charge persons attending such programs reasonable fees to cover the costs of administering the programs. Such education and training programs shall also contain expanded components to address plan review and project inspection elements of the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and attendant regulations in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:30.

F. Department personnel conducting inspections pursuant to this article shall hold a certificate of competence as provided in subsection E.

§ 62.1-44.15:53. Certification of program personnel.

A. The minimum standards of VESCP effectiveness established by the Board pursuant to subsection C of § 62.1-44.15:52 shall provide that (i) an erosion and sediment control plan shall not be approved until it is reviewed by a certified plan reviewer; (ii) inspections of land-disturbing activities shall be conducted by a certified inspector; and (iii) a VESCP shall contain a certified program administrator, a certified plan reviewer, and a certified project inspector, who may be the same person.

B. Any person who holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of plan review, project inspection, or program administration that was attained prior to the adoption of the mandatory certification provisions of subsection A shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of that area of certification.

C. Professionals registered in the Commonwealth pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1 or a professional soil scientist as defined in § 54.1-2200 shall be deemed to satisfy the certification requirements for the purposes of renewals.

§ 62.1-44.15:54. Establishment of Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program.

A. Counties and cities shall adopt and administer a VESCP.

Any town lying within a county that has adopted its own VESCP may adopt its own program or shall become subject to the county program. If a town lies within the boundaries of more than one county, the town shall be considered for the purposes of this article to be wholly within the county in which the larger portion of the town lies.

B. A VESCP authority may enter into agreements or contracts with soil and water conservation districts, adjacent localities, or other public or private entities to assist with carrying out the provisions of this article, including the review and determination of adequacy of erosion and sediment control plans submitted for land-disturbing activities on a unit or units of land as well as for monitoring, reports, inspections, and enforcement where authorized in this article, of such land-disturbing activities.

C. Any VESCP adopted by a county, city, or town shall be approved by the Board if it establishes by ordinance requirements that are consistent with this article and associated regulations.

D. Each approved VESCP operated by a county, city, or town shall include provisions for the integration of the VESCP with Virginia stormwater management, flood insurance, flood plain management, and other programs requiring compliance prior to authorizing a land-disturbing activity in order to make the submission and approval of plans, issuance of permits, payment of fees, and coordination of inspection and enforcement activities more convenient and efficient both for the local governments and those responsible for compliance with the programs.

E. The Board may approve a state entity, federal entity, or, for linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications, electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, railroad companies, or authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102 to operate a VESCP consistent with the requirements of this article and its associated regulations and the VESCP authority's Department-approved annual standards and specifications. For these programs, enforcement shall be administered by the Department and the Board where applicable in accordance with the provisions of this article.

F. Following completion of a compliance review of a VESCP in accordance with subsection D of § 62.1-44.15:52, the Department shall provide results and compliance recommendations to the Board in the form of a corrective action agreement if deficiencies are found; otherwise, the Board may find the program compliant. If a comprehensive or partial program compliance review conducted by the Department of a VESCP indicates that the VESCP authority has not administered, enforced where authorized to do so, or conducted its VESCP in a manner that satisfies the minimum standards of effectiveness established pursuant to subsection C of § 62.1-44.15:52, the Board shall establish a schedule for the VESCP authority to come into compliance. The Board shall provide a copy of its decision to the VESCP authority that specifies the deficiencies, actions needed to be taken, and the approved compliance schedule required to attain the minimum standard of effectiveness and shall include an offer to provide technical assistance to implement the corrective action. If the VESCP authority has not implemented the necessary compliance actions identified by the Board within 30 days following receipt of the corrective action agreement, or such additional period as is granted to complete the implementation of the corrective action, then the Board shall have the authority to (i) issue a special order to any VESCP, imposing a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 per day with the maximum amount not to exceed $20,000 per violation for noncompliance with the state program, to be paid into the state treasury and deposited in the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established by § 62.1-44.15:29 or (ii) revoke its approval of the VESCP. The Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) shall govern the activities and proceedings of the Board and the judicial review thereof.

In lieu of issuing a special order or revoking the program, the Board is authorized to take legal action against a VESCP to ensure compliance.

G. If the Board revokes its approval of the VESCP of a county, city, or town, and the locality is in a district, the district, upon approval of the Board, shall adopt and administer a VESCP for the locality. To carry out its program, the district shall adopt regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) consistent with this article and associated regulations. The regulations may be revised from time to time as necessary. The program and regulations shall be available for public inspection at the principal office of the district.

H. If the Board (i) revokes its approval of a VESCP of a district, or of a county, city, or town not in a district, or (ii) finds that a local program consistent with this article and associated regulations has not been adopted by a district or a county, city, or town that is required to adopt and administer a VESCP, the Board shall find the VESCP authority provisional, and have the Department assist with the administration of the program until the Board finds the VESCP authority compliant with the requirements of this article and associated regulations. "Assisting with administration" includes but is not limited to the ability to review and comment on plans to the VESCP authority, to conduct inspections with the VESCP authority, and to conduct enforcement in accordance with this article and associated regulations.

I. If the Board revokes its approval of a state entity, federal entity, or, for linear projects subject to annual standards and specifications, electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, railroad companies, or authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102, the Board shall find the VESCP authority provisional, and have the Department assist with the administration of the program until the Board finds the VESCP authority compliant with the requirements of this article and associated regulations. Assisting with administration includes the ability to review and comment on plans to the VESCP authority and to conduct inspections with the VESCP authority in accordance with this article and associated regulations.

J. Any VESCP authority that administers an erosion and sediment control program may charge applicants a reasonable fee to defray the cost of program administration. Such fee may be in addition to any fee charged for administration of a Virginia Stormwater Management Program, although payment of fees may be consolidated in order to provide greater convenience and efficiency for those responsible for compliance with the programs. A VESCP authority shall hold a public hearing prior to establishing a schedule of fees. The fee shall not exceed an amount commensurate with the services rendered, taking into consideration the time, skill, and the VESCP authority's expense involved.

K. The governing body of any county, city, or town, or a district board that is authorized to administer a VESCP, may adopt an ordinance or regulation where applicable providing that violations of any regulation or order of the Board, any provision of its program, any condition of a permit, or any provision of this article shall be subject to a civil penalty. The civil penalty for any one violation shall be not less than $100 nor more than $1,000. Each day during which the violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. In no event shall a series of specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $10,000, except that a series of violations arising from the commencement of land-disturbing activities without an approved plan for any site shall not result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $10,000. Adoption of such an ordinance providing that violations are subject to a civil penalty shall be in lieu of criminal sanctions and shall preclude the prosecution of such violation as a misdemeanor under subsection A of § 62.1-44.15:63. The penalties set out in this subsection are also available to the Board in its enforcement actions.

§ 62.1-44.15:55. Regulated land-disturbing activities; submission and approval of erosion and sediment control plan.

A. Except as provided in § 62.1-44.15:56 for state agency and federal entity land-disturbing activities, no person shall engage in any land-disturbing activity until he has submitted to the VESCP authority an erosion and sediment control plan for the land-disturbing activity and the plan has been reviewed and approved. Upon the development of an online reporting system by the Department, but no later than July 1, 2014, a VESCP authority shall then be required to obtain evidence of Virginia Stormwater Management Program permit coverage where it is required prior to providing approval to begin land disturbance. Where land-disturbing activities involve lands under the jurisdiction of more than one VESCP, an erosion and sediment control plan may, at the request of one or all of the VESCP authorities, be submitted to the Department for review and approval rather than to each jurisdiction concerned. The Department may charge the jurisdictions requesting the review a fee sufficient to cover the cost associated with conducting the review. A VESCP may enter into an agreement with an adjacent VESCP regarding the administration of multijurisdictional projects whereby the jurisdiction that contains the greater portion of the project shall be responsible for all or part of the administrative procedures. Where the land-disturbing activity results from the construction of a single-family residence, an agreement in lieu of a plan may be substituted for an erosion and sediment control plan if executed by the VESCP authority.

B. The VESCP authority shall review erosion and sediment control plans submitted to it and grant written approval within 60 days of the receipt of the plan if it determines that the plan meets the requirements of this article and the Board's regulations and if the person responsible for carrying out the plan certifies that he will properly perform the erosion and sediment control measures included in the plan and shall comply with the provisions of this article. In addition, as a prerequisite to engaging in the land-disturbing activities shown on the approved plan, the person responsible for carrying out the plan shall provide the name of an individual holding a certificate of competence to the VESCP authority, as provided by § 62.1-44.15:52, who will be in charge of and responsible for carrying out the land-disturbing activity. However, any VESCP authority may waive the certificate of competence requirement for an agreement in lieu of a plan for construction of a single-family residence. If a violation occurs during the land-disturbing activity, then the person responsible for carrying out the agreement in lieu of a plan shall correct the violation and provide the name of an individual holding a certificate of competence, as provided by § 62.1-44.15:52. Failure to provide the name of an individual holding a certificate of competence prior to engaging in land-disturbing activities may result in revocation of the approval of the plan and the person responsible for carrying out the plan shall be subject to the penalties provided in this article.

When a plan is determined to be inadequate, written notice of disapproval stating the specific reasons for disapproval shall be communicated to the applicant within 45 days. The notice shall specify the modifications, terms, and conditions that will permit approval of the plan. If no action is taken by the VESCP authority within the time specified in this subsection, the plan shall be deemed approved and the person authorized to proceed with the proposed activity. The VESCP authority shall act on any erosion and sediment control plan that has been previously disapproved within 45 days after the plan has been revised, resubmitted for approval, and deemed adequate.

C. The VESCP authority may require changes to an approved plan in the following cases:

1. Where inspection has revealed that the plan is inadequate to satisfy applicable regulations; or

2. Where the person responsible for carrying out the approved plan finds that because of changed circumstances or for other reasons the approved plan cannot be effectively carried out, and proposed amendments to the plan, consistent with the requirements of this article and associated regulations, are agreed to by the VESCP authority and the person responsible for carrying out the plan.

D. Electric, natural gas, and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies, and railroad companies shall, and authorities created pursuant to § 15.2-5102 may, file general erosion and sediment control standards and specifications annually with the Department for review and approval. Such standards and specifications shall be consistent with the requirements of this article and associated regulations and the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and associated regulations where applicable. The specifications shall apply to:

1. Construction, installation, or maintenance of electric transmission, natural gas, and telephone utility lines and pipelines, and water and sewer lines; and

2. Construction of the tracks, rights-of-way, bridges, communication facilities, and other related structures and facilities of the railroad company.

The Department shall have 60 days in which to approve the standards and specifications. If no action is taken by the Department within 60 days, the standards and specifications shall be deemed approved. Individual approval of separate projects within subdivisions 1 and 2 is not necessary when approved specifications are followed. Projects not included in subdivisions 1 and 2 shall comply with the requirements of the appropriate VESCP. The Board shall have the authority to enforce approved specifications and charge fees equal to the lower of (i) $1,000 or (ii) an amount sufficient to cover the costs associated with standard and specification review and approval, project inspections, and compliance.

E. Any person engaging, in more than one jurisdiction, in the creation and operation of a wetland mitigation or stream restoration bank or banks, which have been approved and are operated in accordance with applicable federal and state guidance, laws, or regulations for the establishment, use, and operation of wetlands mitigation or stream restoration banks, pursuant to a mitigation banking instrument signed by the Department of Environmental Quality, the Marine Resources Commission, or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, may, at the option of that person, file general erosion and sediment control standards and specifications for wetland mitigation or stream restoration banks annually with the Department for review and approval consistent with guidelines established by the Board.

The Department shall have 60 days in which to approve the specifications. If no action is taken by the Department within 60 days, the specifications shall be deemed approved. Individual approval of separate projects under this subsection is not necessary when approved specifications are implemented through a project-specific erosion and sediment control plan. Projects not included in this subsection shall comply with the requirements of the appropriate local erosion and sediment control program. The Board shall have the authority to enforce approved specifications and charge fees equal to the lower of (i) $1,000 or (ii) an amount sufficient to cover the costs associated with standard and specification review and approval, projection inspections, and compliance. Approval of general erosion and sediment control specifications by the Department does not relieve the owner or operator from compliance with any other local ordinances and regulations including requirements to submit plans and obtain permits as may be required by such ordinances and regulations.

F. In order to prevent further erosion, a VESCP authority may require approval of an erosion and sediment control plan for any land identified by the VESCP authority as an erosion impact area.

G. For the purposes of subsections A and B, when land-disturbing activity will be required of a contractor performing construction work pursuant to a construction contract, the preparation, submission, and approval of an erosion and sediment control plan shall be the responsibility of the owner.

§ 62.1-44.15:56. State agency and federal entity projects.

A. A state agency shall not undertake a project involving a land-disturbing activity unless (i) the state agency has submitted annual standards and specifications for its conduct of land-disturbing activities that have been reviewed and approved by the Department as being consistent with this article and associated regulations or (ii) the state agency has submitted an erosion and sediment control plan for the project that has been reviewed and approved by the Department. When a federal entity submits an erosion and sediment control plan for a project, land disturbance shall not commence until the Department has reviewed and approved the plan.

B. The Department shall not approve an erosion and sediment control plan submitted by a state agency or federal entity for a project involving a land-disturbing activity (i) in any locality that has not adopted a local program with more stringent regulations than those of the state program or (ii) in multiple jurisdictions with separate local programs, unless the erosion and sediment control plan is consistent with the requirements of the state program.

C. The Department shall not approve an erosion and sediment control plan submitted by a state agency or federal entity for a project involving a land-disturbing activity in one locality with a local program with more stringent ordinances than those of the state program unless the erosion and sediment control plan is consistent with the requirements of the local program. If a locality has not submitted a copy of its local program regulations to the Department, the provisions of subsection B shall apply.

D. The Department shall have 60 days in which to comment on any standards and specifications or erosion and sediment control plan submitted to it for review, and its comments shall be binding on the state agency and any private business hired by the state agency.

E. As onsite changes occur, the state agency shall submit changes in an erosion and sediment control plan to the Department.

F. The state agency responsible for the land-disturbing activity shall ensure compliance with an approved plan, and the Department and Board, where applicable, shall provide project oversight and enforcement as necessary.

G. If the state agency or federal entity has developed, and the Department has approved, annual standards and specifications, and the state agency or federal entity has been approved by the Board to operate a VESCP as a VESCP authority, erosion and sediment control plan review and approval and land-disturbing activity inspections shall be conducted by such entity. The Department and the Board, where applicable, shall provide project oversight and enforcement as necessary and comprehensive program compliance review and evaluation. Such standards and specifications shall be consistent with the requirements of this article and associated regulations and the Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) and associated regulations when applicable.

§ 62.1-44.15:57. Approved plan required for issuance of grading, building, or other permits; security for performance.

Agencies authorized under any other law to issue grading, building, or other permits for activities involving land-disturbing activities regulated under this article shall not issue any such permit unless the applicant submits with his application an approved erosion and sediment control plan and certification that the plan will be followed and, upon the development of an online reporting system by the Department but no later than July 1, 2014, evidence of Virginia Stormwater Management Program permit coverage where it is required. Prior to issuance of any permit, the agency may also require an applicant to submit a reasonable performance bond with surety, cash escrow, letter of credit, any combination thereof, or such other legal arrangement acceptable to the agency, to ensure that measures could be taken by the agency at the applicant's expense should he fail, after proper notice, within the time specified to initiate or maintain appropriate conservation action that may be required of him by the approved plan as a result of his land-disturbing activity. The amount of the bond or other security for performance shall not exceed the total of the estimated cost to initiate and maintain appropriate conservation action based on unit price for new public or private sector construction in the locality and a reasonable allowance for estimated administrative costs and inflation, which shall not exceed 25 percent of the estimated cost of the conservation action. If the agency takes such conservation action upon such failure by the permittee, the agency may collect from the permittee the difference should the amount of the reasonable cost of such action exceed the amount of the security held. Within 60 days of the achievement of adequate stabilization of the land-disturbing activity in any project or section thereof, the bond, cash escrow, letter of credit, or other legal arrangement, or the unexpended or unobligated portion thereof, shall be refunded to the applicant or terminated based upon the percentage of stabilization accomplished in the project or section thereof. These requirements are in addition to all other provisions of law relating to the issuance of such permits and are not intended to otherwise affect the requirements for such permits.

§ 62.1-44.15:58. Monitoring, reports, and inspections.

A. The VESCP authority (i) shall provide for periodic inspections of the land-disturbing activity and require that an individual holding a certificate of competence, as provided by § 62.1-44.15:52, who will be in charge of and responsible for carrying out the land-disturbing activity and (ii) may require monitoring and reports from the person responsible for carrying out the erosion and sediment control plan, to ensure compliance with the approved plan and to determine whether the measures required in the plan are effective in controlling erosion and sediment. However, any VESCP authority may waive the certificate of competence requirement for an agreement in lieu of a plan for construction of a single-family residence. The owner, permittee, or person responsible for carrying out the plan shall be given notice of the inspection. If the VESCP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, or the Department determines that there is a failure to comply with the plan following an inspection, notice shall be served upon the permittee or person responsible for carrying out the plan by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the permit application or in the plan certification, or by delivery at the site of the land-disturbing activities to the agent or employee supervising such activities. The notice shall specify the measures needed to comply with the plan and shall specify the time within which such measures shall be completed. Upon failure to comply within the time specified, the permit may be revoked and the VESCP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, the Department, or the Board may pursue enforcement as provided by § 62.1-44.15:63.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, a VESCP authority is authorized to enter into agreements or contracts with districts, adjacent localities, or other public or private entities to assist with the responsibilities of this article, including but not limited to the review and determination of adequacy of erosion and sediment control plans submitted for land-disturbing activities as well as monitoring, reports, inspections, and enforcement where an authority is granted such powers by this article.

C. Upon issuance of an inspection report denoting a violation of this section, § 62.1-44.15:55, or 62.1-44.15:56, in conjunction with or subsequent to a notice to comply as specified in subsection A, a VESCP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, or the Department may issue an order requiring that all or part of the land-disturbing activities permitted on the site be stopped until the specified corrective measures have been taken or, if land-disturbing activities have commenced without an approved plan as provided in § 62.1-44.15:55, requiring that all of the land-disturbing activities be stopped until an approved plan or any required permits are obtained. Where the alleged noncompliance is causing or is in imminent danger of causing harmful erosion of lands or sediment deposition in waters within the watersheds of the Commonwealth, or where the land-disturbing activities have commenced without an approved erosion and sediment control plan or any required permits, such an order may be issued whether or not the alleged violator has been issued a notice to comply as specified in subsection A. Otherwise, such an order may be issued only after the alleged violator has failed to comply with a notice to comply. The order for noncompliance with a plan shall be served in the same manner as a notice to comply, and shall remain in effect for seven days from the date of service pending application by the VESCP authority, the Department, or alleged violator for appropriate relief to the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court. The order for disturbance without an approved plan or permits shall be served upon the owner by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the land records of the locality, shall be posted on the site where the disturbance is occurring, and shall remain in effect until such time as permits and plan approvals are secured, except in such situations where an agricultural exemption applies. If the alleged violator has not obtained an approved erosion and sediment control plan or any required permit within seven days from the date of service of the order, the Department or the chief administrative officer or his designee on behalf of the VESCP authority may issue a subsequent order to the owner requiring that all construction and other work on the site, other than corrective measures, be stopped until an approved erosion and sediment control plan and any required permits have been obtained. The subsequent order shall be served upon the owner by mailing with confirmation of delivery to the address specified in the permit application or the land records of the locality in which the site is located. The owner may appeal the issuance of any order to the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey an order issued by the Department or the chief administrative officer or his designee on behalf of the VESCP authority may be compelled in a proceeding instituted in the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court to obey same and to comply therewith by injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy. Upon completion and approval of corrective action or obtaining an approved plan or any required permits, the order shall immediately be lifted. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Department, the Board, or the chief administrative officer or his designee on behalf of the VESCP authority from taking any other action specified in § 62.1-44.15:63.

§ 62.1-44.15:59. Reporting.

Each VESCP authority shall report to the Department, in a method such as an online reporting system and on a time schedule established by the Department, a listing of each land-disturbing activity for which a plan has been approved by the VESCP under this article.

§ 62.1-44.15:60. Right of entry.

The Department, the VESCP authority, where authorized to enforce this article, or any duly authorized agent of the Department or such VESCP authority may, at reasonable times and under reasonable circumstances, enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of obtaining information or conducting surveys or investigations necessary in the enforcement of the provisions of this article.

In accordance with a performance bond with surety, cash escrow, letter of credit, any combination thereof, or such other legal arrangement, a VESCP authority may also enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of initiating or maintaining appropriate actions that are required by the permit conditions associated with a land-disturbing activity when a permittee, after proper notice, has failed to take acceptable action within the time specified.

§ 62.1-44.15:61. Cooperation with federal and state agencies.

A VESCP authority and the Board are authorized to cooperate and enter into agreements with any federal or state agency in connection with the requirements for erosion and sediment control with respect to land-disturbing activities.

§ 62.1-44.15:62. Judicial appeals.

A. A final decision by a county, city, or town, when serving as a VESCP authority under this article, shall be subject to judicial review, provided that an appeal is filed within 30 days from the date of any written decision adversely affecting the rights, duties, or privileges of the person engaging in or proposing to engage in land-disturbing activities.

B. Final decisions of the Board, Department, or district shall be subject to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

§ 62.1-44.15:63. Penalties, injunctions and other legal actions.

A. Violators of § 62.1-44.15:55, 62.1-44.15:56, or 62.1-44.15:58 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the Department or VESCP authority, any condition of a permit, or any provision of this article or associated regulation shall, upon a finding of an appropriate court, be assessed a civil penalty. If a locality or district serving as a VESCP authority has adopted a uniform schedule of civil penalties as permitted by subsection K of § 62.1-44.15:54, such assessment shall be in accordance with the schedule. The VESCP authority or the Department may issue a summons for collection of the civil penalty. In any trial for a scheduled violation, it shall be the burden of the locality or Department to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. An admission or finding of liability shall not be a criminal conviction for any purpose. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies, except that where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or where the Department is issuing the summons, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury.

C. The VESCP authority, the Department, or the owner of property that has sustained damage or which is in imminent danger of being damaged may apply to the circuit court in any jurisdiction wherein the land lies or other appropriate court to enjoin a violation or a threatened violation under § 62.1-44.15:55, 62.1-44.15:56, or 62.1-44.15:58 without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist; however, an owner of property shall not apply for injunctive relief unless (i) he has notified in writing the person who has violated the VESCP, the Department, and the VESCP authority that a violation of the VESCP has caused, or creates a probability of causing, damage to his property, and (ii) neither the person who has violated the VESCP, the Department, nor the VESCP authority has taken corrective action within 15 days to eliminate the conditions that have caused, or create the probability of causing, damage to his property.

D. In addition to any criminal or civil penalties provided under this article, any person who violates any provision of this article may be liable to the VESCP authority or the Department, as appropriate, in a civil action for damages.

E. Without limiting the remedies that may be obtained in this section, any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to this section shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. A civil action for such violation or failure may be brought by the VESCP authority wherein the land lies or the Department. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies, except that where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or other VESCP authority, or where the penalties are assessed as the result of an enforcement action brought by the Department, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury.

F. With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the Department or VESCP authority, any condition of a permit, or any provision of this article or associated regulations, the Board, the Director, or VESCP authority may provide, in an order issued by the Board or VESCP authority against such person, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in subsection E. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under subsection B or E.

G. Upon request of a VESCP authority, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall take legal action to enforce the provisions of this article. Upon request of the Board, the Department, or the district, the Attorney General shall take appropriate legal action on behalf of the Board, the Department, or the district to enforce the provisions of this article.

H. Compliance with the provisions of this article shall be prima facie evidence in any legal or equitable proceeding for damages caused by erosion or sedimentation that all requirements of law have been met and the complaining party must show negligence in order to recover any damages.

§ 62.1-44.15:64. Stop work orders by Department; civil penalties.

A. An aggrieved owner of property sustaining pecuniary damage resulting from a violation of an approved erosion and sediment control plan or required permit, or from the conduct of land-disturbing activities commenced without an approved plan or required permit, may give written notice of the alleged violation to the VESCP authority and to the Director.

B. Upon receipt of the notice from the aggrieved owner and notification to the VESCP authority, the Director shall conduct an investigation of the aggrieved owner's complaint.

C. If the VESCP authority has not responded to the alleged violation in a manner that causes the violation to cease and abates the damage to the aggrieved owner's property within 30 days following receipt of the notice from the aggrieved owner, the aggrieved owner may request that the Director require the violator to stop the violation and abate the damage to his property.

D. If (i) the Director's investigation of the complaint indicates that the VESCP authority has not responded to the alleged violation as required by the VESCP, (ii) the VESCP authority has not responded to the alleged violation within 30 days from the date of the notice given pursuant to subsection A, and (iii) the Director is requested by the aggrieved owner to require the violator to cease the violation, then the Director shall give written notice to the VESCP authority that the Department intends to issue an order pursuant to subsection E.

E. If the VESCP authority has not instituted action to stop the violation and abate the damage to the aggrieved owner's property within 10 days following receipt of the notice from the Director, the Department is authorized to issue an order requiring the owner, permittee, person responsible for carrying out an approved erosion and sediment control plan, or person conducting the land-disturbing activities without an approved plan or required permit to cease all land-disturbing activities until the violation of the plan or permit has ceased or an approved plan and required permits are obtained, as appropriate, and specified corrective measures have been completed. The Department also may immediately initiate a program review of the VESCP.

F. Such orders are to be issued after a hearing held in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), and they shall become effective upon service on the person by mailing with confirmation of delivery, sent to his address specified in the land records of the locality, or by personal delivery by an agent of the Director. Any subsequent identical mail or notice that is sent by the Department may be sent by regular mail. However, if the Department finds that any such violation is grossly affecting or presents an imminent and substantial danger of causing harmful erosion of lands or sediment deposition in waters within the watersheds of the Commonwealth, it may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency order directing such person to cease all land-disturbing activities on the site immediately and shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof, to such person, to affirm, modify, amend, or cancel such emergency order.

G. If a person who has been issued an order or emergency order is not complying with the terms thereof, the Board may institute a proceeding in the appropriate circuit court for an injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy compelling the person to comply with such order.

H. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to subsection G shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the state treasury.

§ 62.1-44.15:65. Authorization for more stringent regulations.

A. As part of a VESCP, a district or locality is authorized to adopt more stringent soil erosion and sediment control regulations or ordinances than those necessary to ensure compliance with the Board's regulations, provided that the more stringent regulations or ordinances are based upon factual findings of local or regional comprehensive watershed management studies or findings developed through the implementation of an MS4 permit or a locally adopted watershed management study and are determined by the district or locality to be necessary to prevent any further degradation to water resources, to address total maximum daily load requirements, to protect exceptional state waters, or to address specific existing water pollution including nutrient and sediment loadings, stream channel erosion, depleted groundwater resources, or excessive localized flooding within the watershed and that prior to adopting more stringent regulations or ordinances, a public hearing is held after giving due notice. The VESCP authority shall report to the Board when more stringent stormwater management regulations or ordinances are determined to be necessary pursuant to this section. However, this section shall not be construed to authorize any district or locality to impose any more stringent regulations for plan approval or permit issuance than those specified in §§ 62.1-44.15:55 and 62.1-44.15:57.

B. Any provisions of an erosion and sediment control program in existence before July 1, 2012, that contains more stringent provisions than this article shall be exempt from the analysis requirements of subsection A.

§ 62.1-44.15:66. No limitation on authority Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

The provisions of this article shall not limit the powers or duties of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy as they relate to strip mine reclamation under Chapters 16 (§ 45.1-180 et seq.), 17 (§ 45.1-198 et seq.), and 19 (§ 45.1-226 et seq.) of Title 45.1 or oil or gas exploration under the Virginia Gas and Oil Act (§ 45.1-361.1 et seq.).

Article 2.5.
Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.

§ 62.1-44.15:67. Cooperative state-local program.

A. Healthy state and local economies and a healthy Chesapeake Bay are integrally related; balanced economic development and water quality protection are not mutually exclusive. The protection of the public interest in the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and other state waters and the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth require that (i) the counties, cities, and towns of Tidewater Virginia incorporate general water quality protection measures into their comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and subdivision ordinances; (ii) the counties, cities, and towns of Tidewater Virginia establish programs, in accordance with criteria established by the Commonwealth, that define and protect certain lands, hereinafter called Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas, which if improperly developed may result in substantial damage to the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries; (iii) the Commonwealth make its resources available to local governing bodies by providing financial and technical assistance, policy guidance, and oversight when requested or otherwise required to carry out and enforce the provisions of this chapter; and (iv) all agencies of the Commonwealth exercise their delegated authority in a manner consistent with water quality protection provisions of local comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and subdivision ordinances when it has been determined that they comply with the provisions of this chapter.

B. Local governments have the initiative for planning and for implementing the provisions of this article, and the Commonwealth shall act primarily in a supportive role by providing oversight for local governmental programs, by establishing criteria as required by this chapter, and by providing those resources necessary to carry out and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

§ 62.1-44.15:68. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following words shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them:

"Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area" means an area delineated by a local government in accordance with criteria established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:72.

"Criteria" means criteria developed by the Board pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:72 for the purpose of determining the ecological and geographic extent of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas and for use by local governments in permitting, denying, or modifying requests to rezone, subdivide, or use and develop land in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

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

"Secretary" means the Secretary of Natural Resources.

"Tidewater Virginia" means the following jurisdictions:

The Counties of Accomack, Arlington, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Gloucester, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, King George, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Surry, Westmoreland, and York, and the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Hampton, Hopewell, Newport News, Norfolk, Petersburg, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Richmond, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.

§ 62.1-44.15:69. Powers and duties of the Board.

The Board is responsible for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this article and is authorized to:

1. Provide land use and development and water quality protection information and assistance to the various levels of local, regional, and state government within the Commonwealth.

2. Consult, advise, and coordinate with the Governor, the Secretary, the General Assembly, other state agencies, regional agencies, local governments, and federal agencies for the purpose of implementing this chapter.

3. Provide financial and technical assistance and advice to local governments and to regional and state agencies concerning aspects of land use and development and water quality protection pursuant to this chapter.

4. Promulgate regulations pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

5. Develop, promulgate, and keep current the criteria required by § 62.1-44.15:72.

6. Provide technical assistance and advice or other aid for the development, adoption, and implementation of local comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision ordinances, and other land use and development and water quality protection measures utilizing criteria established by the Board to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

7. Develop procedures for use by local governments to designate Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas in accordance with the criteria developed pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:72.

8. Ensure that local government comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and subdivision ordinances are in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Determination of compliance shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

9. Make application for federal funds that may become available under federal acts and to transmit such funds when applicable to any appropriate person.

10. Take administrative and legal actions to ensure compliance by counties, cities, and towns with the provisions of this chapter including the proper enforcement and implementation of, and continual compliance with, this chapter.

11. Perform such other duties and responsibilities related to the use and development of land and the protection of water quality as the Secretary may assign.

§ 62.1-44.15:70. Exclusive authority of Board to institute legal actions.

The Board shall have the exclusive authority to institute or intervene in legal and administrative actions to ensure compliance by local governing bodies with this chapter and with any criteria or regulations adopted hereunder.

§ 62.1-44.15:71. Program compliance.

Program compliance reviews conducted in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:69 and the regulations associated with this article shall be coordinated where applicable with those being implemented in accordance with the erosion and sediment control and stormwater management provisions of this chapter and associated regulations. The Department may also conduct a comprehensive or partial program compliance review and evaluation of a local government program more frequently than the standard schedule.

Following completion of a compliance review of a local government program, the Department shall provide results and compliance recommendations to the Board in the form of a corrective action agreement should deficiencies be found; otherwise, the Board may find the program compliant. When deficiencies are found, the Board will establish a schedule for the local government to come into compliance. The Board shall provide a copy of its decision to the local government that specifies the deficiencies, actions needed to be taken, and the approved compliance schedule. If the local government has not implemented the necessary compliance actions identified by the Board within 30 days following receipt of the corrective action agreement, or such additional period as is granted to complete the implementation of the compliance actions, then the Board shall have the authority to issue a special order to any local government imposing a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 per day with the maximum amount not to exceed $20,000 per violation for noncompliance with the state program, to be paid into the state treasury and deposited in the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established by § 62.1-44.15:29.

The Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) shall govern the activities and proceedings of the Board under this article and the judicial review thereof.

In lieu of issuing a special order, the Board is also authorized to take legal action against a local government to ensure compliance.

§ 62.1-44.15:72. Board to develop criteria.

A. In order to implement the provisions of this article and to assist counties, cities, and towns in regulating the use and development of land and in protecting the quality of state waters, the Board shall promulgate regulations that establish criteria for use by local governments to determine the ecological and geographic extent of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas. The Board shall also promulgate regulations that establish criteria for use by local governments in granting, denying, or modifying requests to rezone, subdivide, or use and develop land in these areas.

B. In developing and amending the criteria, the Board shall consider all factors relevant to the protection of water quality from significant degradation as a result of the use and development of land. The criteria shall incorporate measures such as performance standards, best management practices, and various planning and zoning concepts to protect the quality of state waters while allowing use and development of land consistent with the provisions of this chapter. The criteria adopted by the Board, operating in conjunction with other state water quality programs, shall encourage and promote (i) protection of existing high quality state waters and restoration of all other state waters to a condition or quality that will permit all reasonable public uses and will support the propagation and growth of all aquatic life, including game fish, which might reasonably be expected to inhabit them; (ii) safeguarding the clean waters of the Commonwealth from pollution; (iii) prevention of any increase in pollution; (iv) reduction of existing pollution; and (v) promotion of water resource conservation in order to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the present and future citizens of the Commonwealth.

C. Prior to the development or amendment of criteria, the Board shall give due consideration to, among other things, the economic and social costs and benefits which can reasonably be expected to obtain as a result of the adoption or amendment of the criteria.

D. In developing such criteria the Board may consult with and obtain the comments of any federal, state, regional, or local agency that has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to the use and development of land or the protection of water. The Board shall give due consideration to the comments submitted by such federal, state, regional, or local agencies.

E. Effective July 1, 2014, requirements promulgated under this article directly related to compliance with the erosion and sediment control and stormwater management provisions of this chapter and regulated under the authority of those provisions shall cease to have effect.

§ 62.1-44.15:73. Local government authority.

Counties, cities, and towns are authorized to exercise their police and zoning powers to protect the quality of state waters consistent with the provisions of this article.

§ 62.1-44.15:74. Local governments to designate Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas; incorporate into local plans and ordinances; impose civil penalties.

A. Counties, cities, and towns in Tidewater Virginia shall use the criteria developed by the Board to determine the extent of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area within their jurisdictions. Designation of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas shall be accomplished by every county, city, and town in Tidewater Virginia not later than 12 months after adoption of criteria by the Board.

B. Counties, cities, and towns in Tidewater Virginia shall incorporate protection of the quality of state waters into each locality's comprehensive plan consistent with the provisions of this article.

C. All counties, cities, and towns in Tidewater Virginia shall have zoning ordinances that incorporate measures to protect the quality of state waters in the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas consistent with the provisions of this article. Zoning in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas shall comply with all criteria set forth in or established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:72.

D. Counties, cities, and towns in Tidewater Virginia shall incorporate protection of the quality of state waters in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas into their subdivision ordinances consistent with the provisions of this article. Counties, cities, and towns in Tidewater Virginia shall ensure that all subdivisions developed pursuant to their subdivision ordinances comply with all criteria developed by the Board.

E. In addition to any other remedies which may be obtained under any local ordinance enacted to protect the quality of state waters in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas, counties, cities, and towns in Tidewater Virginia may incorporate the following penalties into their zoning, subdivision, or other ordinances:

1. Any person who (i) violates any provision of any such ordinance or (ii) violates or fails, neglects, or refuses to obey any local governmental body's or official's final notice, order, rule, regulation, or variance or permit condition authorized under such ordinance shall, upon such finding by an appropriate circuit court, be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each day of violation. Such civil penalties may, at the discretion of the court assessing them, be directed to be paid into the treasury of the county, city, or town in which the violation occurred for the purpose of abating environmental damage to or restoring Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas therein, in such a manner as the court may direct by order, except that where the violator is the county, city, or town itself, or its agent, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury.

2. With the consent of any person who (i) violates any provision of any local ordinance related to the protection of water quality in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas or (ii) violates or fails, neglects, or refuses to obey any local governmental body's or official's notice, order, rule, regulation, or variance or permit condition authorized under such ordinance, the local government may provide for the issuance of an order against such person for the one-time payment of civil charges for each violation in specific sums, not to exceed $10,000 for each violation. Such civil charges shall be paid into the treasury of the county, city, or town in which the violation occurred for the purpose of abating environmental damage to or restoring Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas therein, except that where the violator is the county, city, or town itself, or its agent, the civil charges shall be paid into the state treasury. Civil charges shall be in lieu of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under subdivision 1. Civil charges may be in addition to the cost of any restoration required or ordered by the local governmental body or official.

F. Localities that are subject to the provisions of this article may by ordinance adopt an appeal period for any person aggrieved by a decision of a board that has been established by the locality to hear cases regarding ordinances adopted pursuant to this article. The ordinance shall allow the aggrieved party a minimum of 30 days from the date of such decision to appeal the decision to the circuit court.

§ 62.1-44.15:75. Local governments outside of Tidewater Virginia may adopt provisions.

Any local government, although not a part of Tidewater Virginia, may employ the criteria developed pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:72 and may incorporate protection of the quality of state waters into their comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and subdivision ordinances consistent with the provisions of this article.

§ 62.1-44.15:76. Local government requirements for water quality protection.

Local governments shall employ the criteria promulgated by the Board to ensure that the use and development of land in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas shall be accomplished in a manner that protects the quality of state waters consistent with the provisions of this article.

§ 62.1-44.15:77. Effect on other governmental authority.

The authorities granted herein are supplemental to other state, regional, and local governmental authority. No authority granted to a local government by this article shall affect in any way the authority of the Board. No authority granted to a local government by this article shall limit in any way any other planning, zoning, or subdivision authority of that local government.

§ 62.1-44.15:78. State agency consistency.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall exercise their authorities under the Constitution and laws of Virginia in a manner consistent with the provisions of comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and subdivision ordinances that comply with §§ 62.1-44.15:74 and 62.1-44.15:75.

§ 62.1-44.15:79. Vested rights protected.

The provisions of this article shall not affect vested rights of any landowner under existing law.

§ 62.1-44.17:1. Permits for confined animal feeding operations.

A. For the purposes of this chapter, "confined animal feeding operation" means a lot or facility, together with any associated treatment works, where both of the following conditions are met:

1. Animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period; and

2. Crops, vegetation, forage growth or post-harvest residues are not sustained over any portion of the operation of the lot or facility.

Two or more confined animal feeding operations under common ownership are considered to be a single confined animal feeding operation if they adjoin each other or if they use a common area or system for the disposal of liquid waste.

A1. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, the Board shall promulgate regulations requiring Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits for confined animal feeding operations to the extent necessary to comply with § 402 of the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1342), as amended.

B. A confined animal feeding operation with 300 or more animal units utilizing a liquid manure collection and storage system, upon fulfillment of the requirements of this section, shall be permitted by a General Virginia Pollution Abatement permit (hereafter referred to as the "General Permit"), adopted by the Board. In adopting the General Permit the Board shall:

1. Authorize the General Permit to pertain to confined animal feeding operations having 300 or more animal units;

2. Establish procedures for submitting a registration statement meeting the requirements of subsection C. Submitting a registration statement shall be evidence of intention to be covered by the General Permit; and

3. Establish criteria for the design and operation of confined animal feeding operations only as described in subsection E.

C. For coverage under the General Permit, the owner of the confined animal feeding operation shall file a registration statement with the Department of Environmental Quality providing the name and address of the owner of the operation, the name and address of the operator of the operation (if different than the owner), the mailing address and location of the operation, and a list of the types, maximum number and average weight of the animals that will be maintained at the facility. The owner shall attach to the registration statement:

1. A copy of a letter of approval of the nutrient management plan for the operation from the Department of Conservation and Recreation;

2. A copy of the approved nutrient management plan prepared by a nutrient management planner certified in accordance with the provisions of § 10.1-1187.8 and meeting the nutrient management specifications established by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board;

3. 2. A notification from the governing body of the locality where the operation is located that the operation is consistent with all ordinances adopted pursuant to Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 15.2;

4. 3. A certification that the owner or operator meets all the requirements of the Board for the General Permit; and

5. 4. A certification that the owner has given notice of the registration statement to all owners or residents of property that adjoins the property on which the proposed operation will be located. Such notice shall include (i) the types and maximum number of animals that will be maintained at the facility and (ii) the address and phone number of the appropriate Department of Environmental Quality regional office to which comments relevant to the permit may be submitted. Such certification of notice shall be waived whenever the registration is for the purpose of renewing coverage under a permit for which no expansion is proposed and the Department of Environmental Quality has not issued any special or consent order relating to violations under the existing permit.

D. Any person may submit written comments on the proposed operation to the Department within 30 days of the date of the filing of the registration statement. If, on the basis of such written comments or his review, the Director determines that the proposed operation will not be capable of complying with the provisions of this section, the Director shall require the owner to obtain an individual permit for the operation. Any such determination by the Director shall be made in writing and received by the owner not more than 45 days after the filing of the registration statement or, if in the Director's sole discretion additional time is necessary to evaluate comments received from the public, not more than 60 days after the filing of the registration statement.

E. The criteria for the design and operation of a confined animal feeding operation shall be as follows:

1. The operation shall have a liquid manure collection and storage facility designed and operated to: (i) prevent any discharge to state waters, except a discharge resulting from a storm event exceeding a 25-year, 24-hour storm and (ii) provide adequate waste storage capacity to accommodate periods when the ground is frozen or saturated, periods when land application of nutrients should not occur due to limited or nonexistent crop nutrient uptake, and periods when physical limitations prohibit the land application of waste;

2. The operation shall implement and maintain on site a nutrient management plan approved prepared pursuant to subdivision 1 of subsection C 1. The nutrient management plan shall contain at a minimum the following information: (i) a site map indicating the location of the waste storage facilities and the fields where waste will be applied; (ii) site evaluation and assessment of soil types and potential productivities; (iii) nutrient management sampling including soil and waste monitoring; (iv) storage and land area requirements; (v) calculation of waste application rates; (vi) waste application schedules; and (vii) a plan for waste utilization in the event the operation is discontinued;

3. Adequate buffer zones, where waste shall not be applied, shall be maintained between areas where waste may be applied and (i) water supply wells or springs, (ii) surface water courses, (iii) rock outcroppings, (iv) sinkholes, and (v) occupied dwellings unless a waiver is signed by the occupants of the dwellings;

4. The operation shall be monitored as follows: (i) waste shall be monitored at least once per year; (ii) soil shall be monitored at least once every three years; (iii) ground water shall be monitored at new earthen waste storage facilities constructed to an elevation below the seasonal high water table or within one foot thereof; and (iv) all facilities previously covered by a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit that required ground water monitoring shall continue such monitoring. In such facilities constructed below the water table, the top surface of the waste must be maintained at a level of at least two feet above the water table. The Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Conservation and Recreation may include in the permit or require that the nutrient management plan include more frequent or additional monitoring of waste, soils or groundwater as required to protect state waters. Records shall be maintained to demonstrate where and at what rate waste has been applied, that the application schedule has been followed, and what crops have been planted. Such records shall be available for inspection by the Department of Environmental Quality and shall be maintained for a period of five years after recorded application is made;

5. New earthen waste storage facilities shall include a properly designed and installed liner. Such liner shall be either a synthetic liner of at least 20 mils thickness or a compacted soil liner of at least one foot thickness with a maximum permeability rating of 0.0014 inches per hour. A licensed professional engineer, an employee of the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture with appropriate engineering approval authority, or an employee of a soil and water conservation district with appropriate engineering approval authority shall certify that the siting, design and construction of the waste storage facility comply with the requirements of this section;

6. New waste storage facilities shall not be located on a 100-year flood plain;

7. All facilities must maintain one foot of freeboard at all times, up to and including a 25-year, 24-hour storm;

8. All equipment needed for the proper operation of the permitted facilities shall be maintained in good working order. Manufacturer's operating and maintenance manuals shall be retained for references to allow for timely maintenance and prompt repair of equipment when appropriate;

9. The owner or operator of the operation shall notify the Department of Environmental Quality at least 14 days prior to animals being placed in the confined facility; and

10. Each operator of a facility covered by the General Permit on July 1, 1999, shall, by January 1, 2000, complete the training program offered or approved by the Department of Conservation and Recreation under subsection F. Each operator of a facility permitted after July 1, 1999 2013, shall complete such training the training program offered or approved by the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to subsection F within one year after the registration statement required by subsection C has been submitted. Thereafter, all operators shall complete the training program at least once every three years.

F. The Department of Conservation and Recreation, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, shall develop or approve a training program for persons operating confined animal feeding operations covered by the General Permit. The program shall include training in the requirements of the General Permit; the use of best management practices; inspection and management of liquid manure collection, storage and application systems; water quality monitoring and spill prevention; and emergency procedures.

G. Operations having an individual Virginia Pollution Abatement permit or a No Discharge Certificate may submit a registration statement for operation under the General Permit pursuant to this section.

H. The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality may require the owner of a confined animal feeding operation to obtain an individual permit for an operation subject to this section upon determining that the operation is in violation of the provisions of this section or if coverage under an individual permit is required to comply with federal law. New or reissued individual permits shall contain criteria for the design and operation of confined animal feeding operations including, but not limited to, those described in subsection E.

I. No person shall operate a confined animal feeding operation with 300 or more animal units utilizing a liquid manure collection and storage system after July 1, 2000, without having submitted a registration statement as provided in subsection C or being covered by a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit or an individual Virginia Pollution Abatement permit.

J. Any person violating this section shall be subject only to the provisions of §§ 62.1-44.23 and 62.1-44.32 (a), except that any civil penalty imposed shall not exceed $2,500 for any confined animal feeding operation covered by a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit.

§ 62.1-44.17:1.1. Poultry waste management program.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Commercial poultry processor" means any animal food manufacturer, as defined in § 3.2-5400, that contracts with poultry growers for the raising of poultry.

"Confined poultry feeding operation" means any confined animal feeding operation with 200 or more animal units of poultry.

"Nutrient management plan" means a plan developed or approved by the Department of Conservation and Recreation Environmental Quality that requires proper storage, treatment and management of poultry waste, including dry litter, and limits accumulation of excess nutrients in soils and leaching or discharge of nutrients into state waters.

"Poultry grower" means any person who owns or operates a confined poultry feeding operation.

B. The Board shall develop a regulatory program governing the storage, treatment and management of poultry waste, including dry litter, that:

1. Requires the development and implementation of nutrient management plans for any person owning or operating a confined poultry feeding operation;

2. Provides for waste tracking and accounting; and

3. Ensures proper storage of waste consistent with the terms and provisions of a nutrient management plan.

C. The program shall include, at a minimum:

1. Provisions for permitting confined poultry feeding operations under a general permit; however, the Board may require an individual permit upon determining that an operation is in violation of the program developed under this section;

2. Provisions requiring that:

a. Nitrogen application rates contained in nutrient management plans developed pursuant to this section shall not exceed crop nutrient needs as determined by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The application of poultry waste shall be managed to minimize runoff, leaching, and volatilization losses, and reduce adverse water quality impacts from nitrogen;

b. For all nutrient management plans developed pursuant to this section after October 1, 2001, phosphorous application rates shall not exceed the greater of crop nutrient needs or crop nutrient removal, as determined by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The application of poultry waste shall be managed to minimize runoff and leaching and reduce adverse water quality impacts from phosphorus;

c. By December 31, 2005, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality, shall (i) complete an examination of current developments in scientific research and technology that shall include a review of land application of poultry waste, soil nutrient retention capacity, and water quality degradation and (ii) adopt and implement regulatory or other changes, if any, to its nutrient management plan program that it concludes are appropriate as a result of this examination; and

d. Notwithstanding subdivision 2 b, upon the effective date of the Department of Conservation and Recreation's revised regulatory criteria and standards governing phosphorous application rates adopted pursuant to subdivision 2 c, or on October 31, 2005, whichever is later, phosphorous application rates for all nutrient management plans developed pursuant to this section shall conform solely to such regulatory criteria and standards adopted by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, as may be amended by the Department of Environmental Quality on and after July 1, 2013, to protect water quality or to reduce soil concentrations of phosphorus or phosphorous loadings. The application of poultry waste shall be managed to minimize runoff and leaching and reduce adverse water quality impacts from phosphorus.

D. The program shall reflect Board consideration of existing state-approved nutrient management plans and existing general permit programs for other confined animal feeding operations, and may include such other provisions as the Board determines appropriate for the protection of state waters.

E. After October 1, 2001, all persons owning or operating a confined poultry feeding operation shall operate in compliance with the provisions of this section and any regulations promulgated thereunder.

F. Any person violating this section shall be subject only to the provisions of §§ 62.1-44.23 and 62.1-44.32 (a), except that any civil penalty shall not exceed $2,500 for any confined animal feeding operation covered by a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit.

G. On or before January 1, 2000, or prior to commencing operations, each commercial poultry processor operating in the Commonwealth shall file with the Board a plan under which the processor, either directly or under contract with a third party, shall:

1. Provide technical assistance to the poultry growers with whom it contracts on the proper management and storage of poultry waste in accordance with best management practices;

2. Provide education programs on poultry waste nutrient management for the poultry growers with whom it contracts as well as for poultry litter brokers and persons utilizing poultry waste;

3. Provide a toll-free hotline and advertising program to assist poultry growers with excess amounts of poultry waste to make available such waste to persons in other areas who can use such waste as a fertilizer consistent with the provisions of subdivision C 2 or for other alternative purposes;

4. Participate in the development of a poultry waste transportation and alternative use equal matching grant program between the Commonwealth and commercial poultry processors to (i) facilitate the transportation of excess poultry waste in the possession of poultry growers with whom it contracts to persons in other areas who can use such waste as a fertilizer consistent with the provisions of subdivision C 2 or for other alternative purposes and (ii) encourage alternative uses to land application of poultry waste;

5. Conduct research on the reduction of phosphorus in poultry waste, innovative best management practices for poultry waste, water quality issues concerning poultry waste, or alternative uses of poultry waste; and

6. Conduct research on and consider implementation of nutrient reduction strategies in the formulation of feed. Such nutrient reduction strategies may include the addition of phytase or other feed additives or modifications to reduce nutrients in poultry waste.

H. Any amendments to the plan required by subsection G shall be filed with the Board before they are implemented. After January 1, 2000, each commercial poultry processor shall implement its plan and any amendments thereto. Each commercial poultry processor shall report annually to the Board on the activities it has undertaken pursuant to its plan and any amendments thereto. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section or to implement and follow a filed plan or any amendments thereto shall constitute a violation of this section.

§ 62.1-44.19:3. Prohibition on land application, marketing and distribution of sewage sludge without permit; ordinances; notice requirement; fees.

A. 1. No owner of a sewage treatment works shall land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge from such treatment works except in compliance with a valid Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit or valid Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit.

2. Sewage sludge shall be treated to meet standards for land application as required by Board regulation prior to delivery at the land application site. No person shall alter the composition of sewage sludge at a site approved for land application of sewage sludge under a Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit or a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Any person who engages in the alteration of such sewage sludge shall be subject to the penalties provided in Article 6 (§ 62.1-44.31 et seq.) of this chapter. The addition of lime or deodorants to sewage sludge that has been treated to meet land application standards shall not constitute alteration of the composition of sewage sludge. The Department may authorize public institutions of higher education to conduct scientific research on the composition of sewage sludge that may be applied to land.

3. No person shall contract or propose to contract, with the owner of a sewage treatment works, to land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge in the Commonwealth, nor shall any person land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge in the Commonwealth without a current Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit authorizing land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge and specifying the location or locations, and the terms and conditions of such land application, marketing or distribution. The permit application shall not be complete unless it includes the landowner's written consent to apply sewage sludge on his property.

4. The land disposal of lime-stabilized septage and unstabilized septage is prohibited.

5. Beginning July 1, 2007, no application for a permit or variance to authorize the storage of sewage sludge shall be complete unless it contains certification from the governing body of the locality in which the sewage sludge is to be stored that the storage site is consistent with all applicable ordinances. The governing body shall confirm or deny consistency within 30 days of receiving a request for certification. If the governing body does not so respond, the site shall be deemed consistent.

B. The Board, with the assistance of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Health, shall adopt regulations to ensure that (i) sewage sludge permitted for land application, marketing, or distribution is properly treated or stabilized; (ii) land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge is performed in a manner that will protect public health and the environment; and (iii) the escape, flow or discharge of sewage sludge into state waters, in a manner that would cause pollution of state waters, as those terms are defined in § 62.1-44.3, shall be prevented.

C. Regulations adopted by the Board, with the assistance of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Health pursuant to subsection B, shall include:

1. Requirements and procedures for the issuance and amendment of permits, including general permits, authorizing the land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge;

2. Procedures for amending land application permits to include additional application sites and sewage sludge types;

3. Standards for treatment or stabilization of sewage sludge prior to land application, marketing or distribution;

4. Requirements for determining the suitability of land application sites and facilities used in land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge;

5. Required procedures for land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge;

6. Requirements for sampling, analysis, recordkeeping, and reporting in connection with land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge;

7. Provisions for notification of local governing bodies to ensure compliance with §§ 62.1-44.15:3 and 62.1-44.19:3.4;

8. Requirements for site-specific nutrient management plans, which shall be developed by persons certified in accordance with § 10.1-104.2 prior to land application for all sites where sewage sludge is land applied, and approved by the Department of Conservation and Recreation or on and after July 1, 2013, the Department Environmental Quality, prior to permit issuance under specific conditions, including but not limited to, sites operated by an owner or lessee of a Confined Animal Feeding Operation, as defined in subsection A of § 62.1-44.17:1, or Confined Poultry Feeding Operation, as defined in § 62.1-44.17:1.1, sites where the permit authorizes land application more frequently than once every three years at greater than 50 percent of the annual agronomic rate, and other sites based on site-specific conditions that increase the risk that land application may adversely impact state waters;

9. Procedures for the prompt investigation and disposition of complaints concerning land application of sewage sludge, including the requirements that (i) holders of permits issued under this section shall report all complaints received by them to the Department and to the local governing body of the jurisdiction in which the complaint originates, and (ii) localities receiving complaints concerning land application of sewage sludge shall notify the Department and the permit holder. The Department shall maintain a searchable electronic database of complaints received during the current and preceding calendar year, which shall include information detailing each complaint and how it was resolved; and

10. Procedures for receiving and responding to public comments on applications for permits and for permit amendments authorizing land application at additional sites. Such procedures shall provide that an application for any permit amendments to increase the acreage authorized by the initial permit by 50 percent or more shall be treated as a new application for purposes of public notice and public hearings.

D. Prior to issuance of a permit authorizing the land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge, the Department shall consult with, and give full consideration to the written recommendations of the Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Such consultation shall include any public health risks or water quality impacts associated with the permitted activity. The Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Recreation may submit written comments on proposed permits within 30 days after notification by the Department.

E. Where, because of site-specific conditions, including soil type, identified during the permit application review process, the Department determines that special requirements are necessary to protect the environment or the health, safety or welfare of persons residing in the vicinity of a proposed land application site, the Department may incorporate in the permit at the time it is issued reasonable special conditions regarding buffering, transportation routes, slope, material source, methods of handling and application, and time of day restrictions exceeding those required by the regulations adopted under this section. Before incorporating any such conditions into the permit, the Department shall provide written notice to the permit applicant, specifying the reasons therefor and identifying the site-specific conditions justifying the additional requirements. The Department shall incorporate into the notice any written requests or recommendations concerning such site-specific conditions submitted by the local governing body where the land application is to take place. The permit applicant shall have at least 14 days in which to review and respond to the proposed conditions.

F. The Board shall adopt regulations prescribing a fee to be charged to all permit holders and persons applying for permits and permit modifications pursuant to this section. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Sludge Management Fund. The fee for the initial issuance of a permit shall be $5,000. The fee for the reissuance, amendment, or modification of a permit for an existing site shall not exceed $1,000 and shall be charged only for permit actions initiated by the permit holder. Fees collected under this section shall be exempt from statewide indirect costs charged and collected by the Department of Accounts and shall not supplant or reduce the general fund appropriation to the Department.

G. There is hereby established in the treasury a special fund to be known as the Sludge Management Fund, hereinafter referred to as the Fund. The fees required by this section shall be transmitted to the Comptroller to be deposited into the Fund. The income and principal of the Fund shall be used only and exclusively for the Department's direct and indirect costs associated with the processing of an application to issue, reissue, amend, or modify any permit to land apply, distribute, or market sewage sludge, the administration and management of the Department's sewage sludge land application program, including but not limited to, monitoring and inspecting, the Department of Conservation and Recreation's costs for implementation of the sewage sludge application program, and to reimburse localities with duly adopted ordinances providing for the testing and monitoring of the land application of sewage sludge. The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of the moneys deposited in the Fund. No part of the Fund, either principal or interest earned thereon, shall revert to the general fund of the state treasury.

H. All persons holding or applying for a permit authorizing the land application of sewage sludge shall provide to the Board written evidence of financial responsibility, which shall be available to pay claims for cleanup costs, personal injury, and property damages resulting from the transportation, storage or land application of sewage sludge. The Board shall, by regulation, establish and prescribe mechanisms for meeting the financial responsibility requirements of this section.

I. Any county, city or town may adopt an ordinance that provides for the testing and monitoring of the land application of sewage sludge within its political boundaries to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

J. The Department, upon the timely request of any individual to test the sewage sludge at a specific site, shall collect samples of the sewage sludge at the site prior to the land application and submit such samples to a laboratory. The testing shall include an analysis of the (i) concentration of trace elements, (ii) coliform count, and (iii) pH level. The results of the laboratory analysis shall be (a) furnished to the individual requesting that the test be conducted and (b) reviewed by the Department. The person requesting the test and analysis of the sewage sludge shall pay the costs of sampling, testing, and analysis.

K. At least 100 days prior to commencing land application of sewage sludge at a permitted site, the permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the chief executive officer or his designee for the local government where the site is located. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the sewage sludge to be applied to the site. This requirement may be satisfied by providing a list of all available permitted sites in the locality at least 100 days prior to commencing the application at any site on the list. This requirement shall not apply to any application commenced prior to October 10, 2005. If the site is located in more than one county, the notice shall be provided to all jurisdictions where the site is located.

L. The permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the Department at least 14 days prior to commencing land application of sewage sludge at a permitted site. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the sewage sludge to be applied to the site.

M. The Department shall randomly conduct unannounced site inspections while land application of sewage sludge is in progress at a sufficient frequency to determine compliance with the requirements of this section, § 62.1-44.19:3.1, or regulations adopted under those sections.

N. Surface incorporation into the soil of sewage sludge applied to cropland may be required when practicable and compatible with a soil conservation plan meeting the standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

O. The Board shall develop regulations specifying and providing for extended buffers to be employed for application of sewage sludge (i) to hay, pasture, and forestlands; or (ii) to croplands where surface incorporation is not practicable or is incompatible with a soil conservation plan meeting the standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Such extended buffers may be included by the Department as site specific permit conditions pursuant to subsection E, as an alternative to surface incorporation when necessary to protect odor sensitive receptors as determined by the Department or the local monitor.

P. The Board shall adopt regulations requiring the payment of a fee for the land application of sewage sludge, pursuant to permits issued under this section. The person land applying sewage sludge shall (i) provide advance notice of the estimated fee to the generator of the sewage sludge unless notification is waived, (ii) collect the fee from the generator, and (iii) remit the fee to the Department as provided for by regulation. The fee shall be imposed on each dry ton of sewage sludge that is land applied in the Commonwealth. The regulations shall include requirements and procedures for:

1. Collection of fees by the Department;

2. Deposit of the fees into the Fund; and

3. Disbursement of proceeds by the Department pursuant to subsection G.

Q. The Department, in consultation with the Department of Health, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, shall establish and implement a program to train persons employed by those local governments that have adopted ordinances, pursuant to this section, to test and monitor the land application of sewage sludge. The program shall include, at a minimum, instruction in: (i) the provisions of the Virginia Biosolids Use Regulations; (ii) land application methods and equipment, including methods and processes for preparation and stabilization of sewage sludge that is land applied; (iii) sampling and chain of custody control; (iv) preparation and implementation of nutrient management plans for land application sites; (v) complaint response and preparation of complaint and inspection reports; (vi) enforcement authority and procedures; (vii) interaction and communication with the public; and (viii) preparation of applications for reimbursement of local monitoring costs disbursed pursuant to subsection G. To the extent feasible, the program shall emphasize in-field instruction and practical training. Persons employed by local governments shall successfully complete such training before the local government may request reimbursement from the Board for testing and monitoring of land application of sewage sludge performed by the person. The completion of training shall not be a prerequisite to the exercise of authority granted to local governments by any applicable provision of law.

The Department may:

1. Charge attendees a reasonable fee to recover the actual costs of preparing course materials and providing facilities and instructors for the program. The fee shall be reimbursable from the Fund established pursuant to this section; and

2. Request and accept the assistance and participation of other state agencies and institutions in preparing and presenting the course of training established by this subsection.

R. Localities, as part of their zoning ordinances, may designate or reasonably restrict the storage of sewage sludge based on criteria directly related to the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens and the environment. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, a locality may by ordinance require that a special exception or a special use permit be obtained to begin the storage of sewage sludge on any property in its jurisdiction, including any area that is zoned as an agricultural district or classification. Such ordinances shall not restrict the storage of sewage sludge on a farm as long as such sludge is being stored (i) solely for land application on that farm and (ii) for a period no longer than 45 days. No person shall apply to the State Health Commissioner or the Department of Environmental Quality for a permit, a variance, or a permit modification authorizing such storage without first complying with all requirements adopted pursuant to this subsection.

§ 62.1-44.19:13. Definitions.

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

"Annual mass load of total nitrogen" (expressed in pounds per year) means the daily total nitrogen concentration (expressed as mg/L to the nearest 0.01 mg/L) multiplied by the flow volume of effluent discharged during the 24-hour period (expressed as MGD to the nearest 0.01 MGD), multiplied by 8.34 and rounded to the nearest whole number to convert to pounds per day (lbs/day) units, then totaled for the calendar month to convert to pounds per month (lbs/mo) units, and then totaled for the calendar year to convert to pounds per year (lbs/yr) units.

"Annual mass load of total phosphorus" (expressed in pounds per year) means the daily total phosphorus concentration (expressed as mg/L to the nearest 0.01mg/L) multiplied by the flow volume of effluent discharged during the 24-hour period (expressed as MGD to the nearest 0.01 MGD) multiplied by 8.34 and rounded to the nearest whole number to convert to pounds per day (lbs/day) units, then totaled for the calendar month to convert to pounds per month (lbs/mo) units, and then totaled for the calendar year to convert to pounds per year (lbs/yr) units.

"Association" means the Virginia Nutrient Credit Exchange Association authorized by this article.

"Attenuation" means the rate at which nutrients are reduced through natural processes during transport in water.

"Best management practice," "practice," or "BMP" means a structural practice, nonstructural practice, or other management practice used to prevent or reduce nutrient loads associated with stormwater from reaching surface waters or the adverse effects thereof.

"Biological nutrient removal technology" means (i) technology that will achieve an annual average total nitrogen effluent concentration of eight milligrams per liter and an annual average total phosphorus effluent concentration of one milligram per liter, or (ii) equivalent reductions in loads of total nitrogen and total phosphorus through the recycle or reuse of wastewater as determined by the Department.

"Delivered total nitrogen load" means the discharged mass load of total nitrogen from a point source that is adjusted by the delivery factor for that point source.

"Delivered total phosphorus load" means the discharged mass load of total phosphorus from a point source that is adjusted by the delivery factor for that point source.

"Delivery factor" means an estimate of the number of pounds of total nitrogen or total phosphorus delivered to tidal waters for every pound discharged from a permitted facility, as determined by the specific geographic location of the permitted facility, to account for attenuation that occurs during riverine transport between the permitted facility and tidal waters. Delivery factors shall be calculated using the Chesapeake Bay Program watershed model.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Equivalent load" means 2,300 pounds per year of total nitrogen and 300 pounds per year of total phosphorus at a flow volume of 40,000 gallons per day; 5,700 pounds per year of total nitrogen and 760 pounds per year of total phosphorus at a flow volume of 100,000 gallons per day; and 28,500 pounds per year of total nitrogen and 3,800 pounds per year of total phosphorus at a flow volume of 500,000 gallons per day.

"Facility" means a point source discharging or proposing to discharge total nitrogen or total phosphorus to the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries. This term does not include confined animal feeding operations, discharges of stormwater, return flows from irrigated agriculture, or vessels.

"General permit" means the general permit authorized by this article.

"MS4" means a municipal separate storm sewer system.

"Nutrient credit" or "credit" means a nutrient reduction that is certified pursuant to this article and expressed in pounds of phosphorus or nitrogen either (i) delivered to tidal waters when the credit is generated within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed or (ii) as otherwise specified when generated in the Southern Rivers watersheds. These credits do not include point source nitrogen credits or point source phosphorus credits as defined in this section.

"Nutrient credit-generating entity" means an entity that generates nonpoint source nutrient credits.

"Permitted facility" means a facility authorized by the general permit to discharge total nitrogen or total phosphorus. For the sole purpose of generating point source nitrogen credits or point source phosphorus credits, "permitted facility" shall also mean the Blue Plains wastewater treatment facility operated by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.

"Permittee" means a person authorized by the general permit to discharge total nitrogen or total phosphorus.

"Point source nitrogen credit" means the difference between (i) the waste load allocation for a permitted facility specified as an annual mass load of total nitrogen, and (ii) the monitored annual mass load of total nitrogen discharged by that facility, where clause (ii) is less than clause (i), and where the difference is adjusted by the applicable delivery factor and expressed as pounds per year of delivered total nitrogen load.

"Point source phosphorus credit" means the difference between (i) the waste load allocation for a permitted facility specified as an annual mass load of total phosphorus, and (ii) the monitored annual mass load of total phosphorus discharged by that facility, where clause (ii) is less than clause (i), and where the difference is adjusted by the applicable delivery factor and expressed as pounds per year of delivered total phosphorus load.

"State-of-the-art nutrient removal technology" means (i) technology that will achieve an annual average total nitrogen effluent concentration of three milligrams per liter and an annual average total phosphorus effluent concentration of 0.3 milligrams per liter, or (ii) equivalent load reductions in total nitrogen and total phosphorus through recycle or reuse of wastewater as determined by the Department.

"Tributaries" means those river basins for which separate tributary strategies were prepared pursuant to § 2.2-218 and includes the Potomac, Rappahannock, York, and James River Basins, and the Eastern Coastal Basin, which encompasses the creeks and rivers of the Eastern Shore of Virginia that are west of Route 13 and drain into the Chesapeake Bay.

"Waste load allocation" means (i) the water quality-based annual mass load of total nitrogen or annual mass load of total phosphorus allocated to individual facilities pursuant to the Water Quality Management Planning Regulation (9 VAC 25-720) or its successor, or permitted capacity in the case of nonsignificant dischargers; (ii) the water quality-based annual mass load of total nitrogen or annual mass load of total phosphorus acquired pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:15 for new or expanded facilities; or (iii) applicable total nitrogen or total phosphorus waste load allocations under the Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) to restore or protect the water quality and beneficial uses of the Chesapeake Bay or its tidal tributaries.

§ 62.1-44.19:15. New or expanded facilities.

A. An owner or operator of a new or expanded facility shall comply with the applicable requirements of this section as a condition of the facility's coverage under the general permit.

1. An owner or operator of a facility authorized by a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit first issued before July 1, 2005, that expands his facility to discharge 100,000 gallons or more per day, or an equivalent load directly into tidal waters, or 500,000 gallons or more per day, or an equivalent load, directly into nontidal waters shall demonstrate to the Department that he has acquired waste load allocations sufficient to offset any increase in his delivered total nitrogen and delivered total phosphorus loads resulting from any expansion beyond his waste load allocations or permitted design capacity as of July 1, 2005, and will install state-of-the-art nutrient removal technology at the time of the expansion.

2. An owner or operator of a facility authorized by a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit first issued before July 1, 2005, that expands his facility to discharge 100,000 gallons or more per day up to and including 499,999 gallons per day, or an equivalent load, directly into nontidal waters, shall demonstrate to the Department that he has acquired waste load allocations sufficient to offset any increase in his delivered total nitrogen and delivered total phosphorus loads resulting from any expansion beyond his permitted capacity as of July 1, 2005, and will install, at a minimum, biological nutrient removal technology at the time of the expansion.

3. An owner or operator of a facility authorized by a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit first issued before July 1, 2005, that expands his facility to discharge 40,000 gallons or more per day up to and including 99,999 gallons per day, or an equivalent load, directly into tidal or nontidal waters, shall demonstrate to the Department that he has acquired waste load allocations sufficient to offset any increase in his delivered total nitrogen and delivered total phosphorus loads resulting from any expansion beyond his permitted capacity as of July 1, 2005.

4. An owner or operator of a facility authorized by a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit first issued on or after July 1, 2005, to discharge 40,000 gallons or more per day, or an equivalent load, shall demonstrate to the Department that he has acquired waste load allocations sufficient to offset his delivered total nitrogen and delivered total phosphorus loads, and will install (i) at a minimum, biological nutrient removal technology at any facility authorized to discharge up to and including 99,999 gallons per day, or an equivalent load, directly into tidal and nontidal waters, or up to and including 499,999 gallons per day, or an equivalent load, to nontidal waters; and (ii) state-of-the-art nutrient removal technology at any facility authorized to discharge 100,000 gallons or more per day, or an equivalent load, directly into tidal waters, or 500,000 gallons or more per day, or an equivalent load, directly into nontidal waters.

5. An owner or operator of a facility treating domestic sewage authorized by a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit with a discharge greater than 1,000 gallons per day up to and including 39,999 gallons per day that has not commenced the discharge of pollutants prior to January 1, 2011, shall demonstrate to the Department that he has acquired waste load allocations sufficient to offset his delivered total nitrogen and delivered total phosphorus loads prior to commencing the discharge, except when the facility is for short-term temporary use only or when treatment of domestic sewage is not the primary purpose of the facility.

B. Waste load allocations required by this section to offset new or increased delivered total nitrogen and delivered total phosphorus loads shall be acquired in accordance with this subsection.

1. Such allocations may be acquired from one or a combination of the following:

a. Acquisition of all or a portion of the waste load allocations or point source nitrogen or point source phosphorus credits from one or more permitted facilities in the same tributary;

b. Acquisition of credits certified by the Board pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:20 or certified by the Soil and Water Conservation Board pursuant to § 10.1-603.15:2. Such best management practices shall achieve reductions beyond those already required by or funded under federal or state law, or the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan, and shall be installed in the same tributary in which the new or expanded facility is located and included as conditions of the facility's individual Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit;

c. Acquisition of allocations purchased through the Nutrient Offset Fund established pursuant to § 10.1-2128.2; or

d. Acquisition of allocations through such other means as may be approved by the Department on a case-by-case basis.

2. Such allocations or credits shall be provided for a minimum period of five years with each registration under the general permit. This subdivision shall not preclude the Board from adopting longer-term or permanent allocation requirements by regulation.

3. The Board shall give priority to allocations or credits acquired in accordance with subdivisions 1 a, 1 b, and 1 d. The Board shall approve allocations acquired in accordance with subdivision 1 d only after the owner or operator has demonstrated that he has made a good faith effort to acquire sufficient allocations in accordance with subdivisions 1 a, 1 b, and 1 d and that such allocations are not reasonably available taking into account timing, cost, and other relevant factors.

4. Notwithstanding the priority provisions in subdivision 3, the Board may grant a waste load allocation in accordance with subdivision 1 d to an owner or operator of a facility authorized by a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit to land apply domestic sewage if (i) the Virginia Pollution Abatement permit was issued before July 1, 2005; (ii) the waste load allocation does not exceed such facility's permitted design capacity as of July 1, 2005; (iii) the waste treated by the existing facility is going to be treated and discharged pursuant to a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for a new discharge; and (iv) the owner or operator installs state-of-the-art nutrient removal technology at such facility. Such facilities cannot generate credits or waste load allocations, based upon the removal of land application sites, that can be acquired by other permitted facilities to meet the requirements of this article.

C. Until such time as the Director finds that no allocations are reasonably available in an individual tributary, the general permit shall provide for the acquisition of allocations through payments into the Nutrient Offset Fund established in § 10.1-2128.2. Such payments shall be promptly applied by the Department to achieve equivalent point or nonpoint source reductions in the same tributary beyond those reductions already required by or funded under federal or state law or the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan. The general permit shall base the cost of each pound of allocation on (i) the estimated cost of achieving a reduction of one pound of nitrogen or phosphorus at the facility that is securing the allocation, or comparable facility, for each pound of allocation acquired; or (ii) the average cost of reducing two pounds of nitrogen or phosphorus from nonpoint sources in the same tributary for each pound of allocation acquired, whichever is higher. Upon each reissuance of the general permit, the Board may adjust the cost of each pound of allocation based on current costs and cost estimates.

D. The acquisition of nutrient allocations or credits from animal waste-to-energy or animal waste reduction facilities, or the acquisition of such nutrient allocations or credits from entities acting on behalf of such facilities, shall be considered point source allocations or credits for all nutrient trading purposes and shall not be subject to any otherwise applicable nonpoint source trading ratio if the best management practice being used to generate such nutrient allocations or credits is a point source nutrient removal technology. Point source nutrient removal technology shall include animal waste gasification in which lab analysis of the animal waste reveals the concentration of nutrients in the animal waste being fed into the gasifier, and the fate of the nutrients during the animal waste gasification process, is known and documented using studies such as air emissions tests and ash analyses.

§ 62.1-44.19:20. Nutrient credit certification.

A. The Board may adopt regulations for the purpose of establishing procedures for the certification of point source nutrient credits except that no certification shall be required for point source nitrogen and point source phosphorus credits generated by point sources regulated under the Watershed General Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit issued pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:14. The Board may shall adopt regulations for the purpose of establishing procedures for the certification of nonpoint source nutrient credits other than (i) point source nitrogen or point source phosphorus credits generated by point sources covered by the general permit issued pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:14 and (ii) nutrient credits certified by the Soil and Water Conservation Board and the Department of Conservation and Recreation pursuant to Article 1.1:1 (§ 10.1-603.15:1 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 10.1. During the promulgation of the regulations, the Board shall consult with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to avoid duplication and to promote consistency where appropriate.

B. Regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall:

1. Establish procedures for the certification and registration of credits, including:

a. Certifying credits that may be generated from effective nutrient controls or removal practices, including activities associated with the types of facilities or practices historically regulated by the Board, such as water withdrawal and treatment and wastewater collection, treatment, and beneficial reuse; and

b. Certifying credits that may be generated from agricultural and urban stormwater best management practices, use or management of manures, managed turf, land use conversion, stream or wetlands projects, shellfish aquaculture, algal harvesting, and other established or innovative methods of nutrient control or removal, as appropriate;

c. Establishing a process and standards for wetland or stream credits to be converted to nutrient credits. Such process and standards shall only apply to wetland or stream credits that were established after July 1, 2005, and have not been transferred or used. Under no circumstances shall such credits be used for both wetland or stream credit and nutrient credit purposes;

d. Certifying credits from multiple practices that are bundled as a package by the applicant;

e. Prohibiting the certification of credits generated from activities funded by federal or state water quality grant funds other than controls and practices under subdivision B 1 a; however, baseline levels may be achieved through the use of such grants;

f. Establishing a timely and efficient certification process including application requirements, a reasonable application fee schedule not to exceed $10,000 per application, and review and approval procedures; and

g. Requiring public notification of a proposed nutrient credit-generating entity;

2. Establish credit calculation procedures for proposed credit-generating practices, including the determination of:

a. Baselines for credits certified under subdivision B 1 a in accordance with any applicable provisions of the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan or approved TMDLs; and

b. Baselines established for agricultural practices, which shall be those actions necessary to achieve a level of reduction assigned in the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan or approved TMDLs as implemented on the tract, field, or other land area under consideration;

c. Baselines for urban practices from new development and redevelopment, which shall be in compliance with postconstruction nutrient loading requirements of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program regulations. Baselines for all other existing development shall be at a level necessary to achieve the reductions assigned in the urban sector in the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan or approved TMDLs;

d. Baselines for land use conversion, which shall be based on the pre-conversion land use and the level of reductions assigned in the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan or approved TMDLs applicable to that land use;

e. Baselines for other nonpoint source credit-generating practices, which shall be based on the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan or approved TMDLs using the best available scientific and technical information;

f. Unless otherwise established by the Board, for certification within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed a credit-generating practice that involves land use conversion, which shall represent controls beyond those in place as of July 1, 2005. For other waters for which a TMDL has been approved, the practice shall represent controls beyond those in place at the time of TMDL approval;

g. Baseline dates for all other credit-generating practices, which shall be based on the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan or approved TMDLs; and

h. Credit quantities, which shall be established using the best available scientific and technical information at the time of certification;

3. Provide certification of credits on an appropriate temporal basis, such as annual, term of years, or perpetual, depending on the nature of the credit-generating practice. A credit shall be certified for a term of no less than 12 months;

4. Establish operation and maintenance requirements and associated financial assurance requirements to include alternatives such as requirements to reasonably assure the generation of the credit depending on the nature of the credit-generating activity and use, such as legal instruments for perpetual credits, operation and maintenance requirements, and associated financial assurance requirements. Financial assurance requirements may include letters of credit, escrows, surety bonds, insurance, and where the credits are used or generated by a locality, authority, utility, sanitation district, or permittee operating an MS4 or a point source permitted under this article, its existing tax or rate authority;

5. Establish appropriate reporting requirements;

6. Provide for the ability of the Department to inspect or audit for compliance with the requirements of such regulations;

7. Provide that the option to acquire nutrient credits for compliance purposes shall not eliminate any requirement to comply with local water quality requirements; and

8. Establish a credit retirement requirement whereby five percent of nonpoint source credits in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed other than controls and practices under subdivision B 1 a are permanently retired at the time of certification pursuant to this section for the purposes of offsetting growth in unregulated nutrient loads; and

9. Establish such other requirements as the Board deems necessary and appropriate.

C. Prior to the adoption of such regulations, the Board shall certify credits that may be generated from effective nutrient controls or removal practices, including activities associated with the types of facilities or practices historically regulated by the Board, such as water withdrawal and treatment and wastewater collection, treatment, and beneficial reuse, on a case-by-case basis using the best available scientific and technical information.

D. The Department shall establish and maintain an online Virginia Nutrient Credit Registry of credits as follows:

1. The registry shall include all nonpoint source credits certified pursuant to this article and may include point source nitrogen and point source phosphorus credits generated from point sources covered by the general permit issued pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:14 or point source nutrient credits certified pursuant to this section at the option of the owner. No other credits shall be valid for compliance purposes.

2. Registration of credits on the registry shall not preclude or restrict the right of the owner of such credits from transferring the credits on such commercial terms as may be established by and between the owner and the regulated or unregulated party acquiring the credits.

3. The Department shall establish procedures for the listing and tracking of credits on the registry, including but not limited to (i) notification of the availability of new nutrient credits to the locality where the credit-generating practice is implemented at least five business days prior to listing on the registry to provide the locality an opportunity to acquire such credits at fair market value for compliance purposes and (ii) notification that the listing of credits on the registry does not constitute a representation by the Board or the owner that the credits will satisfy the specific regulatory requirements applicable to the prospective user's intended use and that the prospective user is encouraged to contact the Board for technical assistance to identify limitations, if any, applicable to the intended use.

4. The registry shall be publicly accessible without charge.

E. The owner or operator of a nonpoint source nutrient credit-generating entity that fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions of § 62.1-44.19:22.

F. Nutrient credits from stormwater nonpoint nutrient credit-generating facilities in receipt of a Nonpoint Nutrient Offset Authorization for Transfer letter from the Department prior to July 1, 2012, shall be considered certified nutrient credits and shall not be subject to further certification requirements or to the credit retirement requirement under subdivision B 8. However, such facilities shall be subject to the other provisions of this article, including registration, inspection, reporting, and enforcement.

§ 62.1-44.19:21. Nutrient credit use by regulated entities.

A. An MS4 permittee may acquire, use, and transfer nutrient credits for purposes of compliance with any waste load allocations established as effluent limitations in an MS4 permit issued pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:25. Such method of compliance may be approved by the Department following review of a compliance plan submitted by the permittee that includes the use of nutrient credits. The permittee may use such credits for compliance purposes only if (i) the credits, whether annual, term, or perpetual, are generated and applied for purposes of compliance for the same calendar year; (ii) the credits are acquired no later than a date following the calendar year in which the credits are applied as specified by the Department consistent with the permittee's Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) permit annual report deadline under such permit; (iii) the credits are generated in the same locality or tributary, except that permittees in the Eastern Coastal Basin may also acquire credits from the Potomac and Rappahannock tributaries; and (iv) the credits either are point source nitrogen or point source phosphorus credits generated by point sources covered by the general permit issued pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:14, or are certified pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:20. An MS4 permittee may enter into an agreement with one or more other MS4 permittees within the same locality or within the same or adjacent eight-digit hydrologic unit code to collectively meet the sum of any waste load allocations in their permits. Such permittees shall submit to the Department for approval a compliance plan to achieve their aggregate permit waste load allocations.

B. Those applicants required to comply with water quality requirements for land-disturbing activities operating under a General VSMP Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities or a Construction Individual Permit may acquire and use perpetual nutrient credits certified and registered on the Virginia Nutrient Credit Registry in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:35.

C. Confined animal feeding operations issued permits pursuant to this chapter may acquire, use, and transfer credits for compliance with any waste load allocations contained in the provisions of a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit. Such method of compliance may be approved by the Department following review of a compliance plan submitted by the permittee that includes the use of nutrient credits.

D. Facilities registered under the Industrial Stormwater General Permit issued pursuant to this chapter may acquire, use, and transfer credits for compliance with any waste load allocations established as effluent limitations in a VPDES permit. Such method of compliance may be approved by the Department following review of a compliance plan submitted by the permittee that includes the use of nutrient credits.

E. Public notice of each compliance plan submitted for approval pursuant to this section shall be given by the Department.

F. This section shall not be construed to limit or otherwise affect the authority of the Board to establish and enforce more stringent water quality-based effluent limitations for total nitrogen or total phosphorus in permits where those limitations are necessary to protect local water quality. The exchange or acquisition of credits pursuant to this article shall not affect any requirement to comply with such local water quality-based limitations.

§ 62.1-44.19:22. Enforcement and penalties.

A. Transfer of certified nutrient credits by an operator of a nutrient credit-generating entity may be suspended by the Department until such time as the operator comes into compliance with this article and attendant regulations.

B. Any operator of a nutrient credit-generating entity who violates any provision of this article, or of any regulations adopted hereunder, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 within the discretion of the court. The Department may issue a summons for collection of the civil penalty, and the action may be prosecuted in the appropriate circuit court. When the penalties are assessed by the court as a result of a summons issued by the Department, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29.

§ 62.1-44.19:23. Appeals.

Any person applying to establish a nutrient credit-generating entity or an operator of a nutrient credit-generating entity aggrieved by any action of the Department taken in accordance with this section, or by inaction of the Department, shall have the right to review in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

§ 62.1-44.23. Enforcement by injunction, etc.

Any person violating or failing, neglecting or refusing to obey any rule, regulation, order, water quality standard, pretreatment standard, or requirement of or any provision of any certificate issued by the Board, or by the owner of a publicly owned treatment works issued to an industrial user, or any provisions of this chapter, except as provided by a separate article, may be compelled in a proceeding instituted in any appropriate court by the Board to obey same and to comply therewith by injunction, mandamus or other appropriate remedy.

§ 62.1-44.32. Penalties.

(a) Any Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any person who violates any provision of this chapter, or who fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any order of the Board, or order of a court, issued as herein provided, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $32,500 for each violation within the discretion of the court. Each day of violation of each requirement shall constitute a separate offense. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund pursuant to Chapter 25 of Title 10.1, excluding penalties assessed for violations of Article 9 (§ 62.1-44.34:8 et seq.) or 10 (§ 62.1-44.34:10 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1, or a regulation, administrative or judicial order, or term or condition of approval relating to or issued under those articles.

Such civil penalties may, in the discretion of the court assessing them, be directed to be paid into the treasury of the county, city, or town in which the violation occurred, to be used for the purpose of abating environmental pollution therein in such manner as the court may, by order, direct, except that where the owner in violation is such county, city or town itself, or its agent, the court shall direct such penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund pursuant to Chapter 25 of Title 10.1, excluding penalties assessed for violations of Article 9 or 10 of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1, or a regulation, administrative or judicial order, or term or condition of approval relating to or issued under those articles.

In the event that a county, city, or town, or its agent, is the owner, such county, city, or town, or its agent, may initiate a civil action against any user or users of a waste water treatment facility to recover that portion of any civil penalty imposed against the owner proximately resulting from the act or acts of such user or users in violation of any applicable federal, state, or local requirements.

(b) Any Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any person who willfully or negligently violates any provision of this chapter, any regulation or order of the Board, any condition of a certificate or any order of a court shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $32,500, either or both. Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this chapter, any regulation or order of the Board, any condition of a certificate or any order of a court issued as herein provided, or who knowingly makes any false statement in any form required to be submitted under this chapter or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or method required to be maintained under this chapter, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than three years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 for each violation. Any defendant that is not an individual shall, upon conviction of a violation under this subsection, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $10,000. Each day of violation of each requirement shall constitute a separate offense.

(c) Any Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any person who knowingly violates any provision of this chapter, and who knows at that time that he thereby places another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than 15 years and a fine of not more than $250,000, either or both. A defendant that is not an individual shall, upon conviction of a violation under this subsection, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding the greater of $1 million or an amount that is three times the economic benefit realized by the defendant as a result of the offense. The maximum penalty shall be doubled with respect to both fine and imprisonment for any subsequent conviction of the same person under this subsection.

(d) Criminal prosecution under this section shall be commenced within three years of discovery of the offense, notwithstanding the limitations provided in any other statute.

§ 62.1-44.44. Construction of chapter.

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as superseding any provisions of Chapter 5 of Title 10.1, or as limiting or affecting any powers, duties or responsibilities conferred or imposed heretofore or hereafter on the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as altering, or as authorizing any alteration of, any existing riparian rights or other vested rights in water or water use.

§ 62.1-73. Appointment and removal of Virginia members of Commission.

In pursuance of Article IV of said compact there shall be three members of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission from Virginia. One member Two members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, from the membership of the State Water Control Board continued under § 62.1-44.7. The term of the commissioner shall be coincident with that of his term upon the State Water Control Board. Any vacancy in the office of the commissioner shall be filled by appointment by the Governor. The second third Virginia member of the Commission shall be the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality. The third Virginia member shall be the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Any member of the Commission appointed pursuant to this section who cannot be present at a meeting of the Commission, or at any committee or subcommittee of the Commission, may designate any employee of the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, or a member of the State Water Control Board to attend the meeting and vote on his behalf.

Any commissioner may be removed from office by the Governor.

§ 62.1-195.1. Chesapeake Bay; drilling for oil or gas prohibited.

A. Notwithstanding any other law, a person shall not drill for oil or gas in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay or any of its tributaries. In Tidewater Virginia, as defined in § 10.1-2101 62.1-44.15:68, a person shall not drill for oil or gas in, whichever is the greater distance, as measured landward of the shoreline:

1. Those Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas, as defined in § 10.1-2101 62.1-44.15:68, which a local government designates as "Resource Protection Areas" and incorporates into its local comprehensive plan. "Resource Protection Areas" shall be defined according to the criteria developed by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation State Water Control Board pursuant to § 10.1-2107 62.1-44.15:72; or

2. Five hundred feet from the shoreline of the waters of the Chesapeake Bay or any of its tributaries.

B. In the event that any person desires to drill for oil or gas in any area of Tidewater Virginia where drilling is not prohibited by the provisions of subsection A, he shall submit to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy as part of his application for permit to drill an environmental impact assessment. The environmental impact assessment shall include:

1. The probabilities and consequences of accidental discharge of oil or gas into the environment during drilling, production, and transportation on:

a. Finfish, shellfish, and other marine or freshwater organisms;

b. Birds and other wildlife that use the air and water resources;

c. Air and water quality; and

d. Land and water resources;

2. Recommendations for minimizing any adverse economic, fiscal, or environmental impacts; and

3. An examination of the secondary environmental effects of induced economic development due to the drilling and production.

C. Upon receipt of an environmental impact assessment, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy shall notify the Department of Environmental Quality to coordinate a review of the environmental impact assessment. The Department of Environmental Quality shall:

1. Publish in the Virginia Register of Regulations a notice sufficient to identify the environmental impact assessment and providing an opportunity for public review of and comment on the assessment. The period for public review and comment shall not be less than 30 days from the date of publication;

2. Submit the environmental impact assessment to all appropriate state agencies to review the assessment and submit their comments to the Department of Environmental Quality; and

3. Based upon the review by all appropriate state agencies and the public comments received, submit findings and recommendations to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, within 90 days after notification and receipt of the environmental impact assessment from the Department.

D. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy may not grant a permit under § 45.1-361.29 until it has considered the findings and recommendations of the Department of Environmental Quality.

E. The Department of Environmental Quality shall, in conjunction with other state agencies and in conformance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), develop criteria and procedures to assure the orderly preparation and evaluation of environmental impact assessments required by this section.

F. A person may drill an exploratory well or a gas well in any area of Tidewater Virginia where drilling is not prohibited by the provisions of subsection A only if:

1. For directional drilling, the person has the permission of the owners of all lands to be directionally drilled into;

2. The person files an oil discharge contingency plan and proof of financial responsibility to implement the plan, both of which have been filed with and approved by the State Water Control Board. For purposes of this section, the oil discharge contingency plan shall comply with the requirements set forth in § 62.1-44.34:15. The Board's regulations governing the amount of any financial responsibility required shall take into account the type of operation, location of the well, the risk of discharge or accidental release, the potential damage or injury to state waters or sensitive natural resource features or the impairment of their beneficial use that may result from discharge or release, the potential cost of containment and cleanup, and the nature and degree of injury or interference with general health, welfare and property that may result from discharge or accidental release;

3. All land-disturbing activities resulting from the construction and operation of the permanent facilities necessary to implement the contingency plan and the area within the berm will be located outside of those areas described in subsection A;

4. The drilling site is stabilized with boards or gravel or other materials which will result in minimal amounts of runoff;

5. Persons certified in blowout prevention are present at all times during drilling;

6. Conductor pipe is set as necessary from the surface;

7. Casing is set and pressure grouted from the surface to a point at least 2500 feet below the surface or 300 feet below the deepest known ground water, as defined in § 62.1-255, for a beneficial use, as defined in § 62.1-10, whichever is deeper;

8. Freshwater-based drilling mud is used during drilling;

9. There is no onsite disposal of drilling muds, produced contaminated fluids, waste contaminated fluids or other contaminated fluids;

10. Multiple blow-out preventers are employed; and

11. The person complies with all requirements of Chapter 22.1 (§ 45.1-361.1 et seq.) of Title 45.1 and regulations promulgated thereunder.

G. The provisions of subsection A and subdivisions F 1 and 4 through 9 shall be enforced consistent with the requirements of Chapter 22.1 (§ 45.1-361.1 et seq.) of Title 45.1.

H. In the event that exploration activities in Tidewater Virginia result in a finding by the Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy that production of commercially recoverable quantities of oil is likely and imminent, the Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy shall notify the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the Secretary of Natural Resources. At that time, the Secretaries shall develop a joint report to the Governor and the General Assembly assessing the environmental risks and safeguards; transportation issues; state-of-the-art oil production well technology; economic impacts; regulatory initiatives; operational standards; and other matters related to the production of oil in the region. No permits for oil production wells shall be issued until (i) the Governor has had an opportunity to review the report and make recommendations, in the public interest, for legislative and regulatory changes, (ii) the General Assembly, during the next upcoming regular session, has acted on the Governor's recommendations or on its own initiatives, and (iii) any resulting legislation has become effective. The report by the Secretaries and the Governor's recommendations shall be completed within 18 months of the findings of the Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

§ 62.1-229.4. Loans for stormwater runoff control best management practices.

Loans may be made from the Fund, in the Board's discretion, to a local government for the purpose of constructing facilities or structures or implementing other best management practices that reduce or prevent pollution of state waters caused by stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces. The Board, in consultation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, shall develop guidelines for the administration of such loans and shall determine the terms and conditions of any loan from the Fund. Unless otherwise required by law, loans for such facilities, structures, and other best management practices may be made only when loan requests for eligible wastewater treatment facilities designed to meet the water quality standards established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15 have first been satisfied. The Board shall give priority (i) first to local governments that have adopted a stormwater control program in accordance with § 15.2-2114, (ii) second to projects designed to reduce or prevent a pollutant in a water body where the water body is in violation of water quality standards established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15, (iii) third to local governments subject to an MS4 discharge permit issued by the Board in accordance with § 10.1-603.2:2 62.1-44.15:20, (iv) fourth to local governments that have adopted a stormwater management program in accordance with Article 1.1 (§ 10.1-603.1 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 10.1 the stormwater management provisions of the State Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.), and (v) fifth to all others.

2. That §§ 10.1-104.1 through 10.1-104.6 and Article 1.1 (§§ 10.1-104.7, 10.1-104.8, and 10.1-104.9) of Chapter 1, Chapter 5 (§§ 10.1-500 through 10.1-571), Articles 1.1 (§§ 10.1-603.1 through 10.1-603.15), 1.1:1 (§§ 10.1-603.15:1 through 10.1-603.15:5), and 3 (§§ 10.1-614 through 10.1-635) of Chapter 6, and Chapter 21 (§§ 10.1-2100 through 10.1-2115) of Title 10.1 of the Code of Virginia are repealed.

3. That § 62.1-44.15:36 as created by this act shall be repealed upon the effective date of a statewide permit fee schedule pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:28, as added by this act, by the Soil and Water Conservation Board prior to July 1, 2013, or by the State Water Control Board on or after July 1, 2013, whichever occurs sooner.

4. That the transfer of the responsibility for administering the issuance of national pollutant discharge elimination system permits for the control of stormwater discharges shall become effective on July 1, 2013, or upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rescission of authorization for delegation of program authority to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, whichever occurs later.

5. That upon the Governor's approval of the provisions of this act, the Department of Environmental Quality shall seek the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rescission of authorization for delegation of program authority to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to return delegation of program authority to the State Water Control Board for the issuance of the national pollutant discharge elimination system permits for the control of stormwater discharges for MS4 and construction activities under the federal Clean Water Act. Permits issued by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board or a Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program authority or a Virginia Stormwater Management Program authority acting under the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board's authority that have not expired or been revoked or terminated before or on the program transfer date shall continue to remain in full force and effect until their specified expiration dates.

6. That the regulations adopted by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to administer and implement the Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§ 10.1-603.1 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 10.1- 560 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 10.1- 2100 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) are transferred from the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to the State Water Control Board, and the State Water Control Board may amend, modify, or delete provisions in these regulations in order to implement this act. Such regulations shall remain in full force and effect until altered, amended, or rescinded by the State Water Control Board.

7. That the initial actions of the State Water Control Board to adopt, with necessary amendments, the regulations implementing the programs being transferred by this act from the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to the State Water Control Board shall be exempt from Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia. After transfer of the programs, if the State Water Control Board determines that additional amendments to the regulations are necessary solely to enable implementation of the programs in accordance with this act, the regulatory actions necessary shall be exempt from Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia, except that the Department of Environmental Quality shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the regulatory actions.

8. That any regulatory action initiated by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to amend the programs being transferred by this act may be continued by the State Water Control Board at the time of the program transfer and the State Water Control Board shall act expeditiously to address all such actions.

9. That the full-time employees and total maximum employment level employed in the administration of the programs being transferred by this act shall be transferred from the Department of Conservation and Recreation to the Department of Environmental Quality. The Department of Conservation and Recreation is directed to transfer to the Department of Environmental Quality all appropriations, including special funds, for programs identified for transfer by this act. The Department of Environmental Quality is authorized to hire additional staff to operate the programs transferred by this act.

10. That the initial actions of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to adopt, with necessary amendments, the Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations transferred by this act from the Department of Conservation and Recreation to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall be exempt from Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

11. That after transfer of the Nutrient Management Training and Certification program, if the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board determines that additional amendments to the regulations are necessary solely to enable implementation of the program in accordance with this act, the regulatory actions necessary shall be exempt from Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia, except that the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the regulatory actions.

12. That if no funds are available to the Department of Environmental Quality for the purpose of testing and implementing the software for the Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan Program set forth in subsection B of § 10.1-1187.8 as created by this act, the Department may defer the development of the necessary software until such funds become available.

13. That the initial actions of the Board of Conservation and Recreation to adopt, with necessary amendments, the Impounding Structure Regulations transferred by this act from the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to the Board of Conservation and Recreation shall be exempt from Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

14. That after transfer of the Impounding Structure Regulations, if the Board of Conservation and Recreation determines that additional amendments to the regulations are necessary solely to enable implementation of the program in accordance with this act, the regulatory actions necessary shall be exempt from Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia, except that the Board of Conservation and Recreation shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the regulatory actions.

15. That the regulations of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board necessary to implement the provisions of § 10.1-1187.9 as created by this act shall be adopted no later than July 1, 2014, and the associated regulatory actions shall be exempt from Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia, except that the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the regulations prior to adoption.

16. That the initial regulations adopted by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board necessary to implement the provisions of Article 1.7 (§ 10.1-1187.102 et seq.) of Chapter 11.1 of Title 10.1 as created by this act shall be subject to the requirements set out in §§ 2.2-4007.03, 2.2-4007.04, 2.2-4007.05, and 2.2-4026 through 2.2-4030 of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), and shall be published in the Virginia Register of Regulations. The Board shall convene a stakeholder group to assist in development of these regulations, with representation from agricultural and environmental interests as well as Soil and Water Conservation Districts. All other provisions of the Administrative Process Act shall not apply to the adoption of any regulation pursuant to this article. After the close of the 60-day comment period, the Board may adopt a final regulation, with or without changes. Such regulation shall become effective 15 days after publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations, unless the Board has withdrawn or suspended the regulation or a later date has been set by the Board. The Board shall also hold at least one public hearing on the proposed regulation during the 60-day comment period. The notice for such public hearing shall include the date, time, and place of the hearing.

17. That guidance of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, and the former Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Board relating to programs to be transferred by this act shall remain in effect until amended or repealed.