Vol. 39 Iss. 5 - October 24, 2022

Chapter 71



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: 9VAC25-71. Regulations Governing the Discharge of Sewage and Other Wastes from Boats (amending 9VAC25-71-10).

Statutory Authority: § 62.1-44.33 of the Code of Virginia; § 312 of the federal Clean Water Act.

Effective Date: November 23, 2022.

Agency Contact: Justin Williams, Department of Environmental Quality, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218, telephone (804) 659-1125, 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, including changing "board" to "department" and the definition of "board," removing delegation of authority provisions, and correcting Code of Virginia citations.

9VAC25-71-10. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

"Act" means the Clean Water Act (33 USC § 1251 et seq.) and standards and regulations promulgated thereunder.

"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.

"Container seal" means a tamper-evident plastic or wire security device.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Discharge" includes, but is not limited to, any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, or dumping.

"Discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel" means discharges of graywater (galley, bath and shower water), bilge water, cooling water, weather deck runoff, ballast water, oil water separator effluent, and any other discharge from a properly functioning marine engine or propulsion system, shipboard maneuvering system, crew habitability system, or installed major equipment, such as an aircraft carrier elevator or catapult, or from a protective, preservative, or adsorptive application to the hull of a vessel, or a discharge in connection with the testing, maintenance, and repair of a system described above whenever the vessel is waterborne. It does not include a discharge of rubbish, trash, garbage, other such material discharged overboard or pollution.

"Houseboat" means a vessel that is used primarily as a residence and is not used primarily as a means of transportation.

"Industrial wastes" means liquid or other wastes resulting from any process of industry, manufacture, trade or business, or from the development of natural resources.

"Macerator pump valve" means a valve in a vessel's sewage piping that in the open position allows an overboard discharge of sewage via a through-hull fitting.

"Marina" means any installation, operating under public or private ownership, that provides dockage or moorage for boats (exclusive of paddle or rowboats) and provides, through sale, rental or fee basis, any equipment, supply or service (fuel, electricity or water) for the convenience of the public or its lessee, renters or users of its facilities.

"Marine sanitation device" means any equipment installed on a boat or vessel and that is designed to receive, retain, treat, or discharge sewage, and any process to treat such sewage.

"No Discharge Zone" means an area where a state has received an affirmative determination from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that there are adequate facilities for the removal of sewage from vessels (holding tank pump-out facilities) in accordance with § 312(f)(3) of the Act, and where federal approval has been received allowing a complete prohibition of all treated or untreated discharges of sewage from all vessels;

"Other waste" means decayed wood, sawdust, shavings, bark, lime, garbage, refuse, ashes, offal, tar, oil, chemicals, and all other substances, except industrial waste and sewage, which may cause pollution in any state waters.

"Pollution" means such alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of any state waters as will or is likely to create a nuisance or render such waters (i) harmful or detrimental or injurious to the public health, safety or welfare, or to the health of animals, fish or aquatic life; (ii) unsuitable with reasonable treatment for use as present or possible future sources of public water supply; or (iii) unsuitable for recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other reasonable uses; provided that (a) an alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological property of state waters, or a discharge or deposit of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes to state waters by any owner which by itself is not sufficient to cause pollution, but which, in combination with such alteration of or discharge or deposit to state waters by other owners, is sufficient to cause pollution; (b) the discharge of untreated sewage by any owner into state waters; and (c) contributing to the contravention of standards of water quality duly established by the board, are "pollution" for the terms and purposes of this chapter.

"Pump-out facility" means any device, equipment or method of removing sewage from a marine sanitation device. Also it shall include any holding tanks either portable, movable or permanently installed, and any sewage treatment method or disposable equipment used to treat, or ultimately dispose of, sewage removed from boats.

"Sewage" means human body wastes, the wastes from toilets and other receptacles intended to receive or retain human wastes, and liquid-carried human wastes together with such industrial wastes and other liquid as may be present.

"State" means the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"State waters" means all water, on the surface and under the ground, wholly or partially within or bordering the Commonwealth of Virginia or within its jurisdiction, including wetlands.

"Vessel" means every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used on the waters of the state, including boats and houseboats regardless of size, means of propulsion or place of registry.

"Y-valve" means a valve in a vessel's sewage piping that in the open position allows an overboard discharge of sewage via a through-hull fitting, and in the closed position prevents an overboard discharge and retains sewage in a holding tank.

VA.R. Doc. No. R23-7241; Filed September 09, 2022