Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board
Stormwater Management Regulations AS 9 VAC 25-870 [4 VAC 50 ‑ 60]
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.
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 8/21/2009
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7/8/09  6:22 pm
Commenter: Richard Souter, WVS Companies

Phosphorous removal and stormwater regulations
To whom it may concern
I have never understood why developers should be responsible for paying the price for treating pollutants that are not generated from their project. I specifically make the distinction here between urban and suburban development. Urban development is dense with mid to high rise buildings which are mostly impervious to runoff, whereas suburban development has far larger pervious areas but is prone to runoff that washes fertilizer from yards into streets. We develop urban style projects that are for the most part impervious to stormwater. It is difficult to see how phosphorous, in any meaningful concentration, can even get into that system at all. We do however take the treating of urban style pollutants very seriously, and those pollutants would include such things as oil, grit and some heavy metals.
On one of our current projects, on one side of a jurisdictional line, we have used BMPs, such as the Storm Scepter, and they have more than adequately treated the kinds of pollutants that an impervious site would generate. On the other side of a jurisdictional line we are being forced to come up with a far more expensive and intrusive solution because of the regulatory requirement to treat phosphorous. I cannot see how it is possible for a project to produce phosphorous when we don’t fertilize. Not only is it expensive to put BMPs in place to treat for phosphorous, it is also very difficult to fit them into a dense urban setting.
I agree that phosphorous concentrations in stormwater should be reduced in an attempt to further clean up our rivers, but VDCR should be focusing on the cause of the pollution in the first place, rather than making urban style developers treat a pollutant that is not generated by their development. Urban developers should be held accountable for treating urban pollutants, which in my mind do not include phosphorous. It makes little sense to expect urban developers to pick up this financial burden in the first place, and it appears that this new proposed regulation is only going to compound the issue.
My primary point is that not all developments are the same in regard to phosphorous generation, and that a blanket regulatory approach to the treatment of phosphorous unjustly adds a significant cost to urban developments.

Yours truly

Richard Souter

CommentID: 9231