Vol. 39 Iss. 4 - October 10, 2022

Chapter 840



Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The State Water Control Board is claiming an exemption from Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4006 A 4 a of the Code of Virginia, which excludes regulations that are necessary to conform to changes in Virginia statutory law or the appropriation act where no agency discretion is involved. The board will receive, consider, and respond to petitions by any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision.

Title of Regulation: 9VAC25-840. Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations (amending 9VAC25-840-10, 9VAC25-840-60, 9VAC25-840-90, 9VAC25-840-100; repealing 9VAC25-840-110).

Statutory Authority: § 62.1-44.15:52 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: November 9, 2022.

Agency Contact: Scott Van Der Hyde, Regulatory Analyst, Department of Environmental Quality, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 659-1541, FAX (804) 698-4178, or email


Pursuant to Chapter 356 of the 2022 Acts of Assembly, the amendments conform the regulation to a statutorily change shifting authority to issue and enforce permits from the State Water Control Board to the Department of Environmental Quality.

9VAC25-840-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. In addition, some terms not defined herein are defined in § 62.1-44.15:51 of the Erosion and Sediment Control Law.

"Act" means the Erosion and Sediment Control Law, Article 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Adequate channel" means a watercourse that will convey the designated frequency storm event without overtopping its banks or causing erosive damage to the bed, banks and overbank sections of the same.

"Agreement in lieu of a plan" means a contract between the VESCP 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 VESCP authority in lieu of an erosion and sediment control plan.

"Applicant" means any person submitting an erosion and sediment control plan or an agreement in lieu of a plan for approval or requesting the issuance of a permit, when required, authorizing land-disturbing activities to commence.

"Board" means the State Water Control Board. When used outside the context of the promulgation of regulations, including regulations to establish general permits, "board" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Causeway" means a temporary structural span constructed across a flowing watercourse or wetland to allow construction traffic to access the area without causing erosion damage.

"Channel" means a natural stream or manmade waterway.

"Cofferdam" means a watertight temporary structure in a river, lake, etc., for keeping the water from an enclosed area that has been pumped dry so that bridge foundations, dams, etc., may be constructed.

"Dam" means a barrier to confine or raise water for storage or diversion, to create a hydraulic head, to prevent gully erosion, or to retain soil, rock or other debris.

"Denuded" means a term applied to land that has been physically disturbed and no longer supports vegetative cover.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Development" means a tract or parcel of land developed or to be developed as a single unit under single ownership or unified control which is to be used for any business or industrial purpose or is to contain three or more residential dwelling units.

"Dike" means an earthen embankment constructed to confine or control water, especially one built along the banks of a river to prevent overflow of lowlands; levee.

"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 3 (§ 10.1- 506 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 10.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Diversion" means a channel with a supporting ridge on the lower side constructed across or at the bottom of a slope for the purpose of intercepting surface runoff.

"Dormant" means denuded land that is not actively being brought to a desired grade or condition.

"Energy dissipator" means a nonerodible structure which reduces the velocity of concentrated flow to reduce its erosive effects.

"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 and all information deemed necessary by the plan-approving authority to assure that the entire unit or units of land will be so treated to achieve the conservation objectives.

"Flume" means a constructed device lined with erosion-resistant materials intended to convey water on steep grades.

"Live watercourse" means a definite channel with bed and banks within which concentrated water flows continuously.

"Locality" means a county, city or town.

"Natural stream" means nontidal waterways that are part of the natural topography. They usually maintain a continuous or seasonal flow during the year and are characterized as being irregular in cross-section with a meandering course. Constructed channels such as drainage ditches or swales shall not be considered natural streams.

"Nonerodible" means a material, e.g., riprap, concrete, plastic, etc., that will not experience surface wear due to natural forces.

"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.

"Post-development" means conditions that may be reasonably expected or anticipated to exist after completion of the land development activity on a specific site or tract of land.

"Program administrator" means the person or persons responsible for administering and enforcing the erosion and sediment control program of a VESCP authority.

"Pre-development" means conditions at the time the erosion and sediment control plan is submitted to the VESCP authority. Where phased development or plan approval occurs (preliminary grading, roads and utilities, etc.), the existing conditions at the time the erosion and sediment control plan for the initial phase is submitted for approval shall establish pre-development conditions.

"Sediment basin" means a temporary impoundment built to retain sediment and debris with a controlled stormwater release structure.

"Sediment trap" means a temporary impoundment built to retain sediment and debris which is formed by constructing an earthen embankment with a stone outlet.

"Sheet flow" (also called overland flow) means shallow, unconcentrated and irregular flow down a slope. The length of strip for overland flow usually does not exceed 200 feet under natural conditions.

"Shore erosion control project" means an erosion control project approved by local wetlands boards, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the department, or the United States Army Corps of Engineers and located on tidal waters and within nonvegetated or vegetated wetlands as defined in Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Slope drain" means tubing or conduit made of nonerosive material extending from the top to the bottom of a cut or fill slope with an energy dissipator at the outlet end.

"Stabilized" means land that has been treated to withstand normal exposure to natural forces without incurring erosion damage.

"Storm sewer inlet" means a structure through which stormwater is introduced into an underground conveyance system.

"Stormwater detention" means the process of temporarily impounding runoff and discharging it through a hydraulic outlet structure to a downstream conveyance system.

"Temporary vehicular stream crossing" means a temporary nonerodible structural span installed across a flowing watercourse for use by construction traffic. Structures may include bridges, round pipes or pipe arches constructed on or through nonerodible material.

"Ten-year storm" means a storm that is capable of producing rainfall expected to be equaled or exceeded on the average of once in 10 years. It may also be expressed as an exceedance probability with a 10% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

"Two-year storm" means a storm that is capable of producing rainfall expected to be equaled or exceeded on the average of once in two years. It may also be expressed as an exceedance probability with a 50% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

"Twenty-five-year storm" means a storm that is capable of producing rainfall expected to be equaled or exceeded on the average of once in 25 years. It may also be expressed as exceedance probability with a 4.0% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program" or "VESCP" means a program approved by the board department 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 the Act and this chapter.

"Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program authority" or "VESCP authority" means an authority approved by the board department 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 of the Code of Virginia.

9VAC25-840-60. Maintenance and inspections.

A. All erosion and sediment control structures and systems shall be maintained, inspected and repaired as needed to insure continued performance of their intended function. A statement describing the maintenance responsibilities of the permittee shall be included in the approved erosion and sediment control plan.

B. Periodic inspections are required on all projects by the VESCP authority. The VESCP authority shall either:

1. Provide for an inspection during or immediately following initial installation of erosion and sediment controls, at least once in every two-week period, within 48 hours following any runoff producing storm event, and at the completion of the project prior to the release of any performance bonds; or

2. Establish an alternative inspection program which ensures compliance with the approved erosion and sediment control plan. Any alternative inspection program shall be:

a. Approved by the board department prior to implementation;

b. Established in writing;

c. Based on a system of priorities that, at a minimum, address the amount of disturbed project area, site conditions and stage of construction; and

d. Documented by inspection records.

9VAC25-840-90. Review and evaluation of VESCPs: minimum program standards.

A. This section sets forth the criteria that will be used by the department to determine whether a VESCP operating under authority of the Act, satisfies minimum standards of effectiveness, as follows.

Each VESCP must contain an ordinance or other appropriate document or documents adopted by the VESCP authority. Such document or documents must be consistent with the Act and this chapter, including the following criteria:

1. The document or documents shall include or reference the definition of land-disturbing activity including exemptions, as well as any other significant terms, as necessary to produce an effective VESCP.

2. The document or documents shall identify the VESCP authority and any soil and water conservation district, adjacent locality, or other public or private entities that the VESCP authority entered into agreements or contracts with to assist with carrying out the provisions of the Act and this chapter, and must include the requirements and design standards to be used in the program.

3. The document or documents shall include procedures for submission and approval of plans, issuance of permits, monitoring and inspections of land-disturbing activities. The position, agency, department, or other party responsible for conducting inspections shall be identified. The VESCP authority shall maintain, either on-site or in VESCP files, a copy of the approved plan and a record of inspections for each active land-disturbing activity.

4. Each 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.

5. The VESCP authority must take appropriate enforcement actions, where authorized to do so, to achieve compliance with the program and maintain a record of enforcement actions for all active land-disturbing activities.

B. The department shall periodically conduct a comprehensive review and evaluation of local programs. The department will coordinate the review with its other program reviews for the same entity to avoid redundancy. The review and evaluation of a local program shall consist of the following: (i) consultation with the local program administrator or designee or designees; (ii) review of the local ordinance and other applicable documents; (iii) review of plans approved by the program; (iv) inspection of regulated activities; and (v) review of enforcement actions where authorized to do so. The department is also authorized to conduct a partial program compliance review.

C. Local programs shall be reviewed and evaluated for effectiveness in carrying out the Act and this chapter using the criteria in this section.

D. If deficiencies noted in the review will cause the erosion and sediment control program to be inconsistent with the state program and this chapter, the board department shall provide the VESCP authority with a copy of its decision that specifies the deficiencies, action needed to be taken, and an approved corrective action plan and schedule required to attain the minimum standard of effectiveness. If the VESCP authority has not implemented the necessary compliance actions identified by the board department within the corrective action schedule, or such additional period as is granted to complete the implementation of the corrective action, then the board department shall have the authority to (i) issue a special order to any VESCP imposing a civil penalty set out in § 62.1-44.15:54 F of the Act or (ii) revoke its approval of the VESCP. The Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) shall govern the review activities and proceedings of the board department and the judicial review thereof. In lieu of issuing a special order or revoking the program, the board department is authorized to take legal action against a VESCP to ensure compliance.

E. Review and evaluation of VESCPs shall be conducted according to a schedule adopted by the department.

9VAC25-840-100. State agency projects.

A. All state agency land-disturbing activities that are not exempt and that have commenced without an approved erosion and sediment control plan shall immediately cease until the state agency has submitted annual standards and specifications for its conduct of land-disturbing activities which has been reviewed and approved by the department as being consistent with the Act and this chapter, or an erosion and sediment control plan has been submitted to and approved by the department. A formal "Notice of Plan Requirement" will be sent to the state agency under whose purview the project lies since that agency is responsible for compliance with the Act and this chapter.

B. Where inspections by department personnel reveal deficiencies in carrying out an approved plan, the person responsible for carrying out the plan, as well as the state agency responsible, will be issued a notice to comply with specific actions and the deadlines that shall be met. Failure to meet the prescribed deadlines can result in the issuance of a stop work order for all land-disturbing activities on the project at the discretion of the department. The stop work order will be lifted once the required erosion and sediment control measures are in place and inspected by department staff.

C. Whenever the Commonwealth or any of its agencies fails to comply within the time provided in an appropriate final order, the director of the department may petition for compliance as follows: For violations in the Natural and Historic Resources Secretariat, to the Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources; for violations in other secretariats, to the appropriate Secretary; for violations in other state agencies, to the head of such agency. Where the petition does not achieve timely compliance, the director shall bring the matter to the Governor for resolution. The board or the department may also pursue enforcement as provided by § 62.1-44.15:63 of the Act.

D. Where compliance will require the appropriation of funds, the director shall cooperate with the appropriate agency head in seeking such an appropriation; where the director determines that an emergency exists, he shall petition the Governor for funds from the Civil Contingency Fund or other appropriate source.

9VAC25-840-110. Delegation of authority. (Repealed.)

The director, or his designee, may perform any act of the board provided under this chapter, except as limited by § 62.1-44.14 of the Code of Virginia.

VA.R. Doc. No. R23-7253; Filed September 09, 2022