|Action||Amend Parts I, II, and III of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit Regulations to address water quality and quantity and local stormwater management program criteria.|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/21/2009|
As a civil engineer involved in both consulting and land development in Central Virginia, I am concerned about the implementation of the proposed stormwater regulations. During the review process, it has become apparent that there are numerous issues which have not been adequately studied or addressed. Among those issues are:
1. The potential cost of these regulations. There will be an economic impact on local governments in establishing local stormwater programs to implement the regulations. There will be costs to every citizen of Virginia through stormwater fees required to implement the complex treatment practices that will be required. And, there will be increased costs for developers that far exceed their share of the burden for clean water.
2. The sprawl that will be generated by these regulations. In order to comply with the proposed regulations, it will, in many cases, be necessary to use substantially more land to obtain the same amount of office space, retail shops, industrial areas, and residences. While one of the stated objectives of the proposed regulations is to reduce sprawl, the exact opposite result is being achieved. The ability to create high density urban centers will be virtually destroyed.
3. There are no provisions in the regulations to address vesting of development rights. In many instances, developers may have gone through lengthy zoning and approval processes only to find that the proposed regulations will require entirely new methods of treating stormwater runoff. The financial burden of this scenario will be devastating to development in Virginia.
4. The regulations will hurt the economy of Virginia by causing major companies to select other states in which to relocate their operations. It will be much more difficult for economic development agencies to attract new companies to Virginia.
5. The inability to attract new businesses to Virginia will ultimately lead to the loss of jobs and revenue to the Commonwealth. Virginia has always prided itself on being a positive growth state, not a negative growth state.
6. Finally, the science behind these proposed regulations appears to be flawed. It seems that the agencies responsible for the proposed regulations want to put the stated goal of 0.28 pounds of phosphorus "off limits" for discussion. If the science that resulted in this goal was sound and justified, there should be no reluctance to discuss it.
Thank you for your consideration of these concerns.
Alvin S. Mistr, Jr., P.E.