Vol. 37 Iss. 17 - April 12, 2021

Chapter 260
Notice of Intended Regulatory Action

Notice is hereby given in accordance with § 2.2-4007.01 of the Code of Virginia that the State Water Control Board intends to consider amending 9VAC25-260, Water Quality Standards. The subject matter of the rulemaking is turbidity in the Commonwealth's surface waters. Turbidity is a measure of water clarity and the degree to which water loses its transparency. Turbidity is influenced by suspended particles such as clay, silt, sand, organic matter, plankton, and microorganisms, as well as color and dyes. Substances that produce turbidity are included in Virginia's general criteria in 9VAC25-260-20 among a list of substances to be controlled in order to, for example, avoid direct or indirect interference with designated uses of state waters. The purpose of the proposed action is to address a directive by the State Water Control Board to develop numeric turbidity criteria. The existing regulation will be amended to include numeric turbidity criteria for the protection of Virginia's surface water designated uses. Changes may also be proposed to improve implementation of these criteria in Virginia's water pollution control programs. All reasonable alternatives will be considered during the public participation process. The Department of Environmental Quality will review turbidity standards that currently exist in other states to evaluate applicability to Virginia.

The agency intends to hold a public hearing on the proposed action after publication in the Virginia Register.

Statutory Authority: § 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; 33 USC § 1251 et seq. of the federal Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Part 131.

Public Comment Deadline: May 12, 2021.

Agency Contact: David Whitehurst, Department of Environmental Quality, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218, telephone (804) 698-4121, email

VA.R. Doc. No. R21-6576; Filed March 23, 2021