Vol. 39 Iss. 5 - October 24, 2022

Chapter 380



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: 9VAC25-380. Wetlands Policy (amending 9VAC25-380-30, 9VAC25-380-40).

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

Effective Date: November 23, 2022.

Agency Contact: Dave Davis, Department of Environmental Quality, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218, telephone (804) 698-4105, FAX (804) 698-4032, 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.

9VAC25-380-30. Policy.

A. In its decision processes, it shall be the board's Department of Environmental Quality's policy to give particular cognizance and consideration to any proposal to the State Water Control Board Department of Environmental Quality (department) that has the potential to damage wetlands, to recognize the irreplaceable value and man's dependence on them to maintain an environment acceptable to society, and to preserve and protect them from damaging misuses.

B. It shall be the board's department's policy to minimize alteration in the quantity or quality of the natural flow of water that nourishes wetlands and to protect wetlands from adverse dredging or filling practices, solid waste management practices, siltation, or the addition of pesticides, salts, or toxic materials arising from non-point source wastes and through construction activities, and to prevent violation of applicable water quality standards from such environmental insults.

C. It shall be the policy of this board the department not to approve the construction of waste water treatment facilities or other waste treatment-associated appurtenances which may interfere with the existing wetland ecosystem except where no other alternative of lesser environmental damage is found to be feasible. In the application for such facilities or appurtenances, where there is reason to believe that wetlands will be damaged, an assessment will be requested from the applicant that delineates the various alternatives that have been investigated for the control or treatment of the waste water, including the reasons for rejecting those alternatives not used. A full economic appraisal of all alternatives should be included to the extent possible.

D. To promote the most environmentally protective measures for the wetlands, it shall be the policy of the board department to advise those applicants for waste treatment facilities that the selection of the most environmentally protective alternative should be made, and to advise those applicants for discharge permits for all other activities which may affect the wetlands that those activities should be carried in the most environmentally protective manner. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Marine Resources Commission, and any other appropriate state or federal agency will be consulted to aid in the determination of the probable impact on the pertinent fish and wildlife resources of wetlands. In the event of projected significant adverse environmental impact, a public hearing on the wetlands issue may be held to aid in the selection of the most appropriate action, and the board department may deny the issuance of a discharge permit, and may recommend against the furnishing of appropriate state or federal grant funds.

9VAC25-380-40. Implementation.

The board Department of Environmental Quality will apply this policy to the extent of its authorities in conducting all program activities, including regulatory activities, research, development and demonstration, technical assistance, and the administration of all state and federal grants programs.

VA.R. Doc. No. R23-7248; Filed September 09, 2022