Virginia Stormwater Update

05 March, 2024

Breaking Down the Latest VPDES Construction General Permit Requirement

The current Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) Construction General Permit (CGP) expires in June 2024, along with stormwater management (SWM) grandfathering.

Here’s what development teams need to know to stay compliant and strategize stormwater management design moving forward.

What’s Happening?

The current VPDES CGP will expire on June 30, 2024.  The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) approved the reissuance of the CGP at their February 23, 2024 meeting.  The final regulations and paperwork are forthcoming and are expected to be finalized this spring.

All projects involving land disturbance of more than one acre that will remain under active construction through the expiration date must apply for new CGP coverage. Applicants must submit a Registration Statement and may be required to revise their project’s stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPP) to reflect any applicable regulatory changes.

In addition, any projects previously grandfathered under the IIC stormwater technical criteria (effective before July 1, 2014) will no longer be eligible for grandfathering. If such a project is not under active construction by June 30, 2024, the site’s stormwater management facilities must be updated to meet the current stormwater criteria (IIB).

Why Now?

The CGP regulates the discharge of stormwater runoff from construction activities in Virginia.  Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) authorities require evidence of CGP coverage before either land disturbance, or the start of construction. Every five years, a new CGP is issued, typically including modifications to the previous permit.

What Does It Mean for Development Teams?

If your project was designed using the current stormwater management design criteria, updating a CGP is relatively straightforward. A site civil engineering consultant will update SWPPP documents to reflect minor changes in the permit criteria and resubmit your application to the VDEQ.

While final approval may be delayed due to an influx of paperwork at the state level, applications received by June 30, 2024 are generally considered covered until further notice.

If your site has leveraged stormwater management grandfathering in the last few CGP cycles and will not be under active construction by June 30, 2024, any undeveloped portions of the site may need to be redesigned.

Changes to the method for calculating water quality compliance, channel protection compliance, flood protection compliance, and downstream analysis may necessitate the implementation of additional best management practices (BMPs) on site, increased stormwater detention volume, and offsite analysis. These changes are anticipated to increase both design and construction costs. Because each site is unique and at a different stage of development, engage a consultant like Bohler to identify a working approach for your project.

After the site’s stormwater management design has been brought into compliance, the engineering team must resubmit plans and documents to VDEQ or the local VSMP authority for review and approval before obtaining a current CGP.

Maintaining Compliance

Bohler’s permitting team is available to provide guidance or to handle any submission requirements related to obtaining a new CGP.

If your site was approved under the previous stormwater management regulations, Bohler can help address impacts to your site layout and stormwater management design.

This is a fluid situation.  Bohler’s team is actively monitoring and adapting to permit modifications, in an effort to empower Bohler’s clients to make well-informed, proactive decisions and stay ahead of potential nonconformities on their sites.

About Keith Simpson, PE
Keith Simpson Herndon Associate

Keith is an Associate and Director of Engineering for Bohler’s Mid-Atlantic division. In this role, he works closely with project managers and site civil design teams across Bohler’s footprint to reinforce standard operating procedures that ensure efficiency, quality, and consistency in our communication and site plan deliverables. In addition, Keith leads Bohler’s Quality Assurance/Quality Control team, which is focused on developing design solutions that improve the constructability of Bohler’s projects and streamline overall timelines.

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