|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|
The work that’s been done to include Rainwater Harvesting in the proposed Virginia Stormwater Management Regulations is very exciting, but the guidance could be even stronger.
By capturing rainwater and reusing it within a development, nutrients that would normally be discharged from the site are retained. This reduced environmental impact is achieved while offering a benefit to the developer though reduced water consumption and the associated savings. By acknowledging the nutrient removal benefits of cisterns (Reference: Table 1 – BMP Removal Efficiencies),
Where the proposed changes could be improved upon is in the language regarding stormwater quantity discharges. Section 4VAC-50-60-74 Stormwater Harvesting says (on line 1212) “stormwater harvesting is encouraged.” While this is a step in the right direction, more guidance to the locality is needed to ensure consistent application across the state.
For example, most new developments include a pond or underground stormwater detention system that collects stormwater runoff, holds it temporarily and discharges it slowly to reduce the potential to erode natural waterways or prevent flooding of municipal storm sewers. It would be beneficial if the new regulations included guidance on how the detention volume could be converted to a harvesting system.
There are a number of methods for making this conversion. Two simple alternatives include:
1) Identify a percentage of the detention volume that may be converted to harvesting. (Example: Up to 100% of the required detention volume may be diverted into a Cistern for reuse. Where the previous regulation required a 10,000 cubic foot pond, the new regulation allows the pond to be reduced to 7,500 cubic feet if a 2,500 cubic foot cistern is installed.)
2) Identify a ratio at which detention volume may be converted to harvesting. (Example: 75% of the harvesting volume will be credited toward the detention requirements for the site. Where the previous regulation required a 10,000 cubic foot pond, the new regulation allows the pond to be reduced to 7,500 cubic feet if a 3,333 cubic foot cistern is installed, as 75% of 3,333 is 2,500 cubic feet.)
The primary benefit of inserting this language into the regulations would be to strengthen the Commonwealth’s stance on encouraging stormwater reuse and ensuring consistent application of the regulations throughout
Care must be taken, however, to ensure that runoff stored in a cistern will be used on-site. Obviously if there is no use of the harvested water and the cistern remains full, all runoff directed to the cistern exits through the over-flow, and the expected benefits are lost. However, models are easily developed that balance the volume of water stored with the water demands of the site. Limits should be placed on the maximum allowable size of the cistern. Again, many options exist for creating these limits based on average daily demand, peak monthly demand, or the size of the collection area.
Market-based solutions are the best hope
Regulations should provide clear quidance to those that have to implement/enforce them. If it is the intent of the regulations to require any group to be in compliance then the financial burden should be addressed as to whom is responsible.
as a resident of Virginia, i urge you to adopt the propsed storm water management programl, reject the homebuilders alternative proposal, and create incentives in the storm water program for new development to occur in towns and cities instead of converting farmland and forrestland. my family and i feel that preserving our water quality is so important to our future and the overall health of our area.
thank you for your consideration.
Please hear our pleas.
To start, I'd like to offer my full support to the amendments for the stormwater management regulations. It is a long time coming and a huge step in the right direction.
However, I've heard much concern about the applicability of these amendments to development on prior developed lands (20% phosphorous reduction requirement) , particularly relating to the disincentive such requirements might put on the already incredibly disincentized redevelopment and infill development process. The eating up of greenfield sites, regardless of new standards, is going to be more detrimental to overall water quality than the reuse and improvement of existing lands. We need to ensure that these regulations are not overbearing on brownfield/grayfield developers while at the same time recognizing the diversity of redevelopment scenarios. I'm not convinced that an infill development on prior developed lands within a downtown-urban area should have to meet the same 20% reduction as the redevelopment of a suburban strip location where asphalt removal can account for much of the reduction in phosphorous runoff. Some sort of sliding scale system, perhaps relating to impervious ground surface area (parking lots and sidewalks) of the predevelopment site, may fit the bill. However, I realize its not a simple problem and thus, there is no simple solution.
Regardless, these issues within the new regulations are small details within an otherwise necessary agenda. Mitigating or eliminating pollution from the sources is many times more efficient than cleaning downstream. These new regulations need to be adopted for the health of Virginia now and in the future.
Effective 3-Year Planning Process
We applaud DCR for the three-year effort that has culminated in the proposed stormwater regulations. This inclusive process, with representation from conservation groups, the building industry, local elected officials, and government agencies, resulted in a vastly improved stormwater management program. We believe the proposed regulations have been properly vetted to ensure that they are achievable from both an engineering and an economic perspective.
Communities Value Clean Water
Clean water in our streams and rivers is important to communities in the
Urgency of Action on Stormwater
Pollution from stormwater run-off must be addressed in
Source: 2006 Chesapeake Bay Program Office (See EPA’s 2007 Report Development Growth Outpacing Progress in Watershed Efforts to Restore the
Land development in the
Well-designed Program Will Achieve Results
If adopted, we believe that the new stormwater management program will be fair, effective, and achievable. Because localities can opt to run their own programs along with current erosion and sediment control programs, streamlined planning will occur at the local level. The proposed fee structure will ensure that localities will not be burdened should they choose to implement a local program. Finally, the proposed regulations will ensure that stormwater control costs are predictable and consistent for developers.
Please Consider Impact on Growth Patterns
We ask DCR to ensure that the proposed regulation does not provide incentives for new development to occur in farmland and forestland. Redevelopment and in-fill development in town and cities, with land conservation in rural areas, will ultimately provide the best outcome for clean water as well as livable communities. Therefore, if minor changes to the proposed regulations are necessary to encourage responsible growth patterns, we request that those changes are made prior to adopting the final regulation.
Again, we applaud the three-year effort that has led to this proposed program. And we urge DCR and the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to adopt the Virginia Stormwater Management Regulations.
Kate Giese Wofford, Shenandoah Valley Network
YES, WE NEED TO KEEP THE RIVER CLEAN AND DRUG/TRASH FREE. FOR THE FISH AND WILDLIFE, AS WELL AS THE SPORTS PEOPLE, AND SWIMMERS THAT ENJOY THE SHENANDOAH RIVER.
I OPERATE A SPORTING GOODS STORE, AND MY BAIT SALES AND FISHING SUPPLY SALES ARE ALMOST AT A STAND STILL. I MYSELF HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED THE RIVER. BUT SINCE ALL OF THE HEALTH ISSUES,I STAY AWAY.
I urge you to adopt the proposed storm water management program and reject the homebuilders alternative. The Shenandoah River is in sad shape and absolutely must be brought back to good health. We have the opportunity now to begin to restore it to its past beauty, let's not let it continue to deteriorate.
Let 's get going and start the process of inproving the quality of water all the way down to the Ocean.
I support the new storm water regulations. As a home remodeling contractor, I view building and protecting the environment as equally important and compatable.
The state, through its regulations, should do all possible to ensure that all new and currently existing development limits stormwater runoff and the pollution of water runoff. This should include modification of parking lots to allow water permeation, the creation of permeable buffer areas around new development, the forbidding of new large impervious surfaces, the channeling of unavoidable runoff into permeable areas. It should include development of the necessary engineering calculations to estimate the effectiveness of runoff-limitation features, quantitative measures of this effectiveness, and a continuing inspection process to ensure that these features function as planned.
I am a resident of Fairfax County, retired from a career as a scientist for the government, concerned for and active in the support of natural areas such as Huntley Meadows, Dyke Marsh, Cameron Run, and the Potomac River.
I am writing to convey my appreciation and approval for the proposed changes to Virginia's stormwater regulations.
Any changes that protect our local waters and help clean up the Chesapeake Bay are worthwhile. I hope that steps will be taken, however, to protect Smart Growth policies, such as infill development, if that can be accomplished in an environmentally sensible way.
Thanks for the opportunity to provide my input.
I urge you to support the strongest possible storm water regulations. I used to canoe and fish Virginia rivers regularly. But recently, with all the fish kills, I rarely visit the rivers I used to love. One of the leading causes of poor water quality is run-off from development. Since good storm water regulation is practical and afffordable, allowing developers and builders to unnecessarily pollute our rivers should be considered a crime. Please beef-up storm water regulation and protect our rivers and the Bay.
John and Judy Mathwin
July 4, 2009
I am writing on behalf of the 4000 members of the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited to urge the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to amend parts I, II, and III of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit Regulations to address water quality and quantity and local stromwater management program criteria. Virginia has a critical role to play in the restoration of the Chesapeak Bay, and such a large task is made of many small pieces of work. The proposed ammendments will ultimately help protect Virginia's rivers and streams, our irreplaceable natural resources, and improve the quality of life for all Virginians.
Robert C. Rosenthal, DVM, PhD
One of the things needing to be addressed is the transporting of sludge down from NY and neighboring states, filled with arsenic, lead, and other industrial contaminants. This sludge is being poured freely on our Virginia lands, specifically farmlands, where they permeate the crops, soil and eventually end up in our systems and in the waters. There should be some regulation on sludge; some places have even outlawed them! Why can't we? Laboratory evaluation of sludge would not accurately identify all the contaminants...it would just be able to test a section of a huge truckload, and they come from multiple polluting industries. Why do we have to destroy our Virginia land by absorbing other state's poisons?
As a fly-fisherman and outdoor enthusiast I treasure clean water. It isnot only important from a recreational standpoint, but also it just makes sense to not have to worry about the water that we come in contact with. We have learned from past mistakes that the easy way out of dumping whatever we want into the stream eventually will cost us time and money in cleanup. Please do your part in putting strong laws into place that keep the waters the way they should be.
I'm thrilled to live in such a beautiful area with so many gorgeous rivers and trails!
I'm ashamed, however, that my profession in constuction is the biggst contributor to the our river's poor health. We've seen such an increased awareness in sustainable materials. It's ironic then that the lack of just good construction practices and their enforcement destroys the very land we're advertising as "sustained".
Please pass this regulation so we may continue to enjoy our lands!
I am a user of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and other smaller rivers in the area. As a long time fly fisherman, canoe floater, and patron of the river I have witnessed the serious decline of the quality of these waters. Runoff from new developments is a major contributor to this decline although there are other culprits as well. I don't have many more years to enjoy these rivers but those who follow me will be denied the great pleasure given everyone by these wonders of nature if we don't act now to protect it. I beseech you to listen to the citizens and not the developers and pass regulations to eliminate or greatly reduce the runoff problem.
I am a 75 year old native Virginian. I pay my taxes and I vote.
Regards the Public Hearing in Manassas at 7:00 PM on July 7th, stormwater damage from over development, I support the pending stormwater regulation.
What the State of Virginia has allowed to happen to its streams and rivers is a disgrace and crime. Please stop it!
I ask you to support this legislation. Stream and river water quality should not be compromised for further development. Requiring developers to meet strict standards with regard to water runoff will ensure that they use building methods and materials such as impervious asphalt and concrete, as well as water management planning. These need to become a part of all future building plans so that any development will have a minimum impact on the environment or otherwise not occur.
We cannot keep doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.
Please make sure that homeowners, neighborhood owners associations, and rental property companies, as well as all landscaped properties, public or private, also must comply with proper use and disposal of lawn chemicals and runoff--and that any proposed renovation or construction near waterways includes appropriate mitigation towards the water's edge (as in: maintaining 100' of marsh/resident trees and shrubs/no lawn to the river/stream bank). Thank you.
We must pass this now. Long overdue but at least it's a start.
I would like to add my comments in support of the Stormwater Regulations and I feel that they should pass in the current form.
My family has been boating and using the Bay and its tributaries since I was five years old. Our family has been using the Bay for three generations. We just returned from a trip to Alaska and it seems as if Alaska is still undeveloped and unpolluted. I feel that the Chesapeake Bay should be the same. I realize that it will never be Alaska but we should do what we can to restore the Bay and its tributaries to a "clean" state.
Some discussion points against the regulation and the counter point are listed below.
Too expensive to comply –
Too expensive to comply
It will be more expensive, but costs are in the ballpark of current requirements that already exist in some localities.
– • – – Thanks.
–Current regulations provide for off-set programs that can provide additional flexibility and lower costs.
•Economic recession has hit the development industry hard and now is not the time for new regulations
–The new stormwater regulations will not go into effect for at least 2 ½ to 3 years
Thanks.We should not sacrifice future clean water based on current economic conditions. The developers had many years of growth. If we don't do it now it will only become harder to do it in the future.
As a commonwealth resident and voter, I strongly support the new regulations to control runoff and polution from new development. Poor water quality will actually diminish our growth and severely limit recreation and enjoyment of the wonderful resources currently available. The deplorable condition of the Shennandoah River is a prime example of the impact of our failure to control runoff and polution. In that case the polution may be the result of things other than new development, but the result is the same, a beautiful natural resource ruined by short-sightedness. The members of the Water Control board can be assured that the citizens of the commonwealth fully support these critical regulations and to not support them is a tragic failure of will. I pray you all find the backbone to vote for these new regulations.
I support clean water and want the Commonwealth to take strong action to control runoff from development, which is hurting our local waterways and the Bay.
I urge you to pass the proposed stormwater regulations in their current form.
I live near the
Some say the regulations are too expensive to comply. Untrue. It may be more expensive, but costs are similar to current requirements that already exist in some localities.
Some say the economic recession has hit the development industry too hard and now is not the time for new regulations. Untrue. The new regulations will not go into effect for 2-3 years from now. We should not sacrifice future clean water based on current economic conditions. Now is not the time to turn our backs on the health and well being of future generations.
Some say the 0.28 P criteria is not sound. Untrue. This number is based on meeting
I want you to take strong action to control runoff from development which is hurting
As a resident of the Commonwealth and citizen concerned with the almost unchecked construction by developers, I urge our legistlators to support the proposed regulations in their current form. I care about having clean water for my children and grandchildren. The Virginia Home Builders Association is little concered with the harm their dvelopment causes both the bay and our rivers. This legislation is an opportunity for our elected officials to send a clear message to buildeers and take strong action to control runoff from development that is severely damaging our waterways.
At a time when the entire Bay is going to be under a TMDL, how can the Commonwealth do anything other than pass the proposed Stormwater Regulations? The proposed regulations have been worked on for over three years with all parties having an opportunity to participate. Do not allow this thoughtful, scientific process to be derailed by a group who has steadfastly refused to participate and now comes forward with a "half-baked" proposal that does not protect our waterways.
When there is a discussion about how expensive the regulations will be for the building community, know that any additional cost will be passed on. Often, instead of looking at the real cost of doing business, the tax payers end up subsidizing an industry that is causing the mess.
The Cheasapeake Bay and all the tributaries are reaching a point of no return. We can not wait any long to provide meaningful regulations that stop hurting the quality of our water. We know how to begin fixing our problem. The proposed stormwater regulations are a step in the right direction. Doing nothing is not an option. Doing less than what is being proposed should also not be an option. If we choose to do less than what is being proposed, we should expect more of the kinds of "horrors expessed in the attached article: "Is Flesh-Eating Disease on the Rise?" We have the scientific knowlegde on how to fix the Bay problems. Let's have the backbone to implement it!
A few times in our lives the oppurtunity to correct problems and preserve resources confronts us head on. This issue should be an automatic yes vote. I challenge anyone to produce an argument that overshadows the need for this legislation. A vote in the affirmative is REQUIRED for the future of all our waterways and wetlands. We must stop the needless pollution now.
member-Friends of the Rappahannock
There is nothing more valuable than clean water. Please pass the proposed regulations in their current form.
I want the Commonwealth to take strong action to control runoff from development. The proposed regulations should be passed in the current form.
Please pass the proposed stormwater regulations as currently drafted. The Chesapeake Bay is in serious danger of becoming a marine wasteland and we must do everything possible to restore its health.
I live near Fredericksburg , Virginia. More ambitious LID stormwater codes than that proposed for the Commonwealth have been adopted by the Fredericksburg City Council and the Safford County Board of Supervisors, each WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE LOCAL BUILDERS ASSOCIATION.
This is the smart way to manage growth and development while economically working to protect our state's drinking waters and rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Absent decisive action, we can expect EPA to move aggressively on mandatory regulations that will be far more stringent and oneroous for builders. Let's lead by example in our own state, make our own decisions.
After air, water is the most precious resource we have....and we have precious little left.
It is fearsome to think what runoff (that becomes someone's drinking water) is not being tested for. We carry a water filter when visiting Pittsburgh, Washington DC and Philadelphia family members whose water supply carries a stench, unpalatable taste and who knows what else.
And just when we see the Bay coming back, we have mercury issues all over again due to mandated use of compact fluorscent lamps but no real means to handle used/broken lamps that by their volumes are far worse than regulated car junk yards with their mercury switches.
When will we ever learn? Life on this planet, as we know it, is nearing its end. If we stop crapping on it maybe we can squeeze a few more years for the next generation. Adopt the proposed storm water management program as submitted.
We are extremely lucky as Virginians to have this beautiful water surrounding us, and particularily as an inhabitant of Fredericksburg, right along the banks of the Rappahanock River, I care about the state of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Unfortunately, we have not reached a stage in which industry is building to not only "not harm" the environment, but also to utilize it and nourish it well. As it stands, industry--which this particular set of regulations affects--is taken aback by any limits given to them, regardless of how beneficial they might be (even to their companies) in the long run.
As a concerned citizen, I think it is important that lawmakers do not stay in the pockets of financial giants like the Virginia Association of Home Builders, and instead make decisions for the benefit of the masses, and Virginia itself.
Having lived in the
Before it is too late, pass meaningful regulations on stormwater and similar land use issues before "develop"-and-move-on-"entrepreneurs" destroy forever what can never be retrieved or which can only be revived with costly and lengthy public remedies.
I care about clean water and want the Commonwealth to take strong action to control RUNOFF FROM DEVELOPMENT, which is hurting the Bay and ruining the fishing in my favorite watersheds (Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and James).
The proposed stromwater regulations SHOULD BE PASSED IN THEIR CURRENT FORM.
Diluting this legislation will only increase river pollution and the death of the Chesapeake Bay.
1. This does not establish regulations to improve water quality, it drastically increases the existing regulations governing development that are adequate and already in place.
2. This regulatory change, without any legislative action, effectively increases the scope of the Chesapeake Bay Act from all land east of i-95 to include the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. How can that be legal?
3. This increase in regulation will cost private business over $2.0 Billion dollars to implement for no measurable increase in the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay or its contributory streams. Private development accounts for less than 5% of the land flowing to the Chesapeake Bay. This 2.0 Billion dollars will be paid by:
a Home owners in cost of homes
b. Private businesses in lease rates and cost of land for new construction
c. Put Virginia in a material competive DISADVANTAGE, to attract future business to Virginia.
Please do not let developers water (pun intended) down these requlations. We all recognize that it is difficult to control development in Virginia but it is critical that we control the increased runoff that accompanies this development to protect our rivers and the bay. Living in Fredericksburg we all see how important a healthy river is to the life of a city and its citizens. Please hold the line enough time and compromise has gone into the proposed regulations, it is time to move ahead.
I support the regulations as proposed. We have done enough damage to our environment and need to put proper regulations in place. We may never be able to restore the Chespeake from the runoff of previous years.
We need to protect our environment now and not wait.
As a resident of Virginia for 30 years, I am extremely interested in saving and improving the quality of our lakes, streams, and rivers. Our children and grandchildren deserve the right to clean water; now is the time to put strong measures into place. I urge the Soil and Water Board to pass the proposed regulations in their current form. Do not "water" them down at the last minute, and do not put this action off any longer. Let's take strong action to control runoff from development, which is so damaging to the Chesapeake and it's tributaries.
After 3 years of work and unprecedented level of public involvement, the Commonwealth of Virginia has released its proposed new regulations to control polluted runoff from new development. This new proposal places greater controls on polluted runoff coming from new development which is essential in our quest to restore clean water to our rivers and the Bay - which is a battle we are currently losing to erosion and pollution through development. Virginia has paid a high price for degraded water quality and will continue to incur a cost if the Comoonwealth's clean water commitments are not kept. Please do not weaken the proposed regulations and allow our water qualtiy problems to escalate. I strongly urge that the proposed regulation be kept strong. Thank you.
As a student in high school, I will be inheriting problems that face our community in a few years. While working with the local organizations Friends of the Rappahhanock, I have become aware of the issues that face our environment. Please, please pass this new regulatory proposal, the quality of the river, and surrounding areas is vital to our community.
While reasonable efforts to improve storm water quality are commendable, ornerous regulations will only lower polution by detering growth. The current standards, if enforced uniformly, provide a reasonable balance between growth and polution.
VOTE NO to the new standards.