Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
State Water Control Board
General Permit for Use of Surficial Aquifer on the Eastern Shore [9 VAC 25 ‑ 910]
Action Creation of a General Permit for Use of the Surficial Aquifer on the Eastern Shore
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 10/29/2021
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10/29/21  8:25 pm
Commenter: Susan Mastyl, Virginia Eastern Shore Clean Water Council

General Permit for Use of Surficial Aquifer on the Eastern Shore

As a member of the Regulatory Advisory Panel, I voiced my concerns that the original intent of the legislation had been lost, ie, "to provide incentives for the withdrawal of ground water from the surficial aquifer in the Eastern Shore ... [which] may include extended permit terms of as long as 20 years, an accelerated permit process, discounted permit fees, other subsidies, or other incentives." The group decided that extending the permit term wasn't feasible, and our largest users, namely agriculture, are exempt from permit fees. That leaves the accelerated process, which by itself seems to be a very weak incentive. There are real pressures convincing poultry farmers and other large users to use the deep aquifer, and nothing in the proposed general permit will change their mind. DEQ staff indicated that it is not within their purview to provide "other subsidies or other incentives." If not DEQ, then who? If not the State Water Control Board, then who? If we really want to move users to the surficial aquifer, this is not enough to accomplish that goal. 

CommentID: 116582