Even though it’s likely that non-MS4 localities will be able to ‘opt out’ of being the administrator of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program, communities like Campbell County are ‘opting in’ – understanding the benefits to its development community by having the program run locally – a ‘one-stop shop’ for permitting. Read more about Campbell County’s efforts here:
Road surfaces play a huge role in stormwater runoff and green infrastructure is one way to meet stormwater management head on that is both affordable and resilient. To that end the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Wastewater Management and the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Project Development and Environmental Review are teaming up to co-sponsor the webcast “Innovative Transportation Stormwater Management: Green Infrastructure in Road Projects.” The webinar will be conducted on March 6th from 1:00pm until 3:00pm Eastern.
For more information and to register follow the link below:
It appears that legislation to reverse the requirement for all localities to administer the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) will pass in the General Assembly; however, many non-MS4 localities are planning to ‘opt-in’ to having a local VSMP, instead of having DEQ take it over. Why? One word – Control – control over plan review and inspection outcomes and timeframes. These ‘opt-in’ localities have enough development projects to justify the additional staff and resources to manage the VSMP. Additionally these localities see the advantage to providing a ‘one-stop shop’ for their owners and developers.
For the past 2 years localities across the Commonwealth have been preparing to locally administer the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) and are becoming increasingly concerned about the costs of implementation. However, with the Senate passing of SB423, it is likely that non-MS4 localities will no longer be required to locally administer the VSMP – these localities will have the option to have the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) administer and enforce the VSMP. Additionally, this Bill provides:
- Reciprocity with programs in other states for the certification of proprietary best management practices (BMPs)
- An agreement-in-lieu-of a stormwater management plan, and
- Updates the hearings and appeals processes
Information regarding Senate Bill 423 can be found here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=141&typ=bil&val=sb423
- New Revenue Source – Stormwater utility fees will provide revenue to fund stormwater improvement projects. These projects are geared to correct past deficiencies (undersized conveyance systems and/or flooding problems) and/or to implement stormwater quality improvement projects throughout the City. These improvements are necessitated by the City’s new municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit and the Virginia Stormwater Management Program regulations.
- Encourage Conservation Projects and Low Impact Development – Homeowners and businesses alike can implement best management practice (BMP) facilities on their property to mitigate the impact that development on their property has on local drainage areas and the entire watershed..
In an interview with Roanoke City engineer Phil Schirmer, he shares some of the ways that property owners can implement strategies to reduce their stormwater footprint and reduce the fee that they will pay to the City under new stormwater utility fee programs.
Signs are pointing to the Virginia General Assembly adopting HB1173 on the heels of a 93-1 vote on Wednesday in the House of Delegates. HB1173 will allow for non-MS4 localities to opt out of becoming the VSMP Authority and transfer those responsibilities to DEQ. There are other notable revisions to the Virginia Stormwater Management Law provided in HB1173 including:
- Incorporation of an “agreement in lieu of” for construction of a single-family residence,
- A provision for non-MS4 localities to opt out of serving asVSMP authority,
- A requirement that the State enforce state permits,
- Reciprocity with “…programs in other states for the certification of proprietary best management practices,” and
- Updates to the hearings and appeals processes.
Yesterday, the Senate referred HB1173 to the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources. The latest version of the Bill and revisions included in HB1173 can be found at http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB1173H2
Albemarle County staff have been working to meet State DEQ-mandated deadlines regarding stormwater regulations. In the coming months there will be one opportunity prior to the June 13th implementation deadline on May 15th to ask questions and provide comments to the County on how these regulations and new ordinances will affect the citizens and development community in the County. Currently, there are multiple bills in the General Assembly seeking to delay the implementation schedule so that localities can better complete the planning process as well as receive input and feedback from their local communities. Please follow the link below to read more from Cville Magazine including viewpoints of several individuals representing organizations on various sides of the discussion. Please share your thoughts as well by commenting below.
For those not already following these Bills, here are links to several important legislative Bills in the 2014 Virginia General Assembly that will have an important impact on how localities as well as the general public – home and business owners as well as developers – may be impacted by ongoing changes to stormwater programs and policies in Virginia.
Legislation related to the delayed implementation of VSMP Local Programs for MS4 localities:
House Bill 697 (HB 697) Patron Delegates Poindexter, Helsel, Fariss, Peace and Ramadan and Senator: Stosch http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB697
House Bill 1071 (HB 1071) Patron Delegate Fariss http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB1071
House Bill 1117 (HB 1117) Patron Delegate Wright http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB1117
Senate Bill 530 (SB 530) Patron Senator Hanger http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+SB530
Other proposed stormwater legislation:
Senate Bill 53 (SB 53) Patrons Senators Stuart and Smith http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+SB53 – Waiver of stormwater charges for places of worship
House Bill 261 (HB 261) Patron Delegate Scott http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB261 – Stormwater management program; regulations; single-family residence
House Bill 649 (HB 649) Patron Delegate Ransone http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB649 – Stormwater management program; regulations; single-family residence
House Bill 673 (HB 673) Patrons Poindexter & Wright http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB673 – Stormwater management permit fees; land-disturbing activities of one to five acres involving single-family residences
House Bill 846 (HB 846) Patron Delegate Lewis http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB846 – Virginia Stormwater Management Program; exemptions for certain localities
House Bill 1173 (HB 1173) Patrons Delegates Hodges and Fariss http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB1173 – Stormwater management programs; optional for some localities
Senate Bill 469 (SB 469) Patrons Senators Smith, Carrico and Puckett http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+SB469 – Stormwater Management Program; localities with minimal Chesapeake Bay watershed
What are local media reporting?
Though local stormwater programs have been debated for many years, a July 1, 2014 deadline for the implementation of new stormwater management programs to be administered by Virginia localities is the target of proposed legislation in the 2014 session of the General Assembly. Groups including the Virginia Association of Counties who represents Virginia’s 95 counties by unanimous vote of its membership in November voted to support a one-year delay, to July 2015.
While localities argue that the timeframe to implement these new programs has been too tight to meet the 2014 deadline, groups including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation say that the time is now to act and that “We do not need to delay any more.” Both sides of the arguement recognize that stormwater programs should include a sustainable funding model. Relying solely on fees charged for new development exposes localities to revenue swings due to the “boom and bust” nature of construction in addition to concerns that these fees may not cover the entire cost of such programs.
Read more at TimesDispatch.com and watch a short video by Times Dispatch photographer/videographer Rex Springston by selecting the link below.
Shorelines, marshes, and wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay are in jeopardy – not just from erosion and water quality issues – but also from both rising sea levels and sinking lands. Scientists have projected that “if current trends hold, Virginia’s waters could go up an additional 1.5 feet by about 2050 and 5 feet or more by 2100.”
Bay marshes and beaches have coped with aerosion and sea-level rise by migrating inland. Faced with a more rapid rate of sea level rise, these marshes and beaches can’t keep pace and risk becoming mud flats or open water.
“At a foot per century, obviously, they were able to keep up,” said Carl Hershner, a Virginia Institute of Marine Science wetlands expert, “But at 2 feet per century, it’s looking like they are not.”
Learn more about the struggle that Dameron Marsh and other coastal areas are fighting to preserve historic shorelines.