Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Natural and Historic Resources
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Environmental Quality
Petition 380
Petition Information
Petition Title Endless Caverns North Project/Endless Caverns South Project, Notice of Deficiencies, Request for Permanent Cancellation of PBR, and Petition to Amend DEQ Regulations under the APA
Date Filed 12/9/2022    [Transmittal Sheet]
Petitioner Joni Lam 
Petitioner's Request

The following facts and deficiencies are submitted in response to Energix Renewable Energies 30-day comment period notice for the period November 9, 2022 through December 9, 2022 for a 15.68-megawatt Endless Caverns North Project utility scale solar site in Endless Caverns (and related Endless Caverns South). This comment period forms part and parcel of Energix’s PBR application to the Department of Environmental Quality dated October 2022. Because of Energix Renewable Energies’ systematic abuse of the PBR process, this document is also a petition for DEQ to amend its existing regulation of Solar Project Notices of Intent. A copy of this PBR deficiency filing and included Administrative Process Act § 2.2-4007 Petitions for new or amended regulations; opportunity for public comment has been filed with the DEQ, Governor of Virginia, the State Attorney General, and the petitioners’ state and local representatives, as well as other interested parties.


Energix subverted community stakeholder interests and did not properly notify DEQ by its filing of a NOI until five months after its simultaneous December 8, 2021 preliminary site plan filing and the SUP vote. DEQ should mandate that all Notices of Intent for solar utilities under PBR be filed at least three months before the mandatory public meeting or six months before any county board of supervisor vote is taken on a special use permit. "As early in the project development process as practicable” should be further defined as "and at least three months before the mandatory public meeting or six months before any county board of supervisor vote.” Any refiling of Notices of Intent after a special use permit is issued should trigger a restart of the public meeting and SUP vote, or DEQ will not consider the SUP submitted with PBRs as valid.


Energix has faced denial of permits or has been forced to withdraw its applications in New Kent County (New Kent Solar LLC, November, 2022),Pulaski County (Energix Helios Solar LLC, October, 2022), Caroline County (Energix Racehorse Solar, September 2022), Dinwiddie County (Energix Lily Pond Solar, October 2021), and Franklin County. It appears that Energix is trying to mislead communities about its record by filing materially misleading NOIs or filing them too late in the process to have any impact on permitting. DEQ should mandate that all Notices of Intent list the name of the owner operator and the address of the official headquarters of the owner operator, as opposed to misleading shared office space addresses.


As in Endless Caverns, Energix appears to be inundating counties and the DEQ with proposed solar sites and with misleading NOI’s in order to avoid HB206 environmental protections, which are to commence in 2024. DEQ should flag for extra scrutiny Energix PBR applications that have misleading NOIs or that have "out of sequence” document chronologies in order to protect communities from environmental harm.


Rockingham County stakeholders value the contribution of their farmers and property owners too much to allow Energix to hurt farmers who support repairs that DEQ has mandated. This PBR must fail because Energix appears to weaponize DEQ- mandated repair actions against innocent parties, and DEQ has no policies in place to protect landowners. DEQ should amend its administrative procedures so that operators of solar utilities are not allowed to financially jeopardize landowners cooperating with DEQ-mandated repairs.

Agency's Plan

The Department of Environmental Quality, as required by Virginia law, is submitting notice of the petition for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations and announcing a public comment period. Following receipt of comments on the petition, the Department will consider whether to grant or deny the petition for rulemaking.

Comment Period Began 1/2/2023    Ended 1/23/2023
Virginia Register Announcement Submitted on 12/9/2022
The Virginia Register of Regulations
Published on: 1/2/2023     Volume: 39  Issue: 10
Agency Decision Take no action [Transmittal Sheet]    
Response Date 4/11/2023
Decision Publication Date Published on: 5/8/2023     Volume: 39  Issue: 19
Agency Decision Summary

Based on public comment and staff analysis, the Director denied the petition for rulemaking for the following reasons:


1. The petition arrived during an active rulemaking to amend the Solar PBR, and it is during that rulemaking that the concerns of the petitioner may be addressed as appropriate.


2. All entities conducting business in the Commonwealth of Virginia must be registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC). Owners of LLCs can be identified by performing an online search through the SCC's Business Entity Lookup. The business record will list the owner's name, status (whether the entity is in good standing with the state), annual report filing history, and registered agent.


3. DEQ does not have the authority to reject a permit application outright due to perceived past indiscretions by an applicant. Every complete permit application will be reviewed in accordance with the Solar PBR regulation.

Contact Information
Name / Title: Susan Tripp  / Renewable Energy PBR Coordinator
Address: 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, 23218
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)664-3470    FAX: (804)698-4178    TDD: ()-