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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8/14/09  2:05 pm
Commenter: Robert Duckett, Peninsula Housing & Builders Association

Proposed DCR stormwater regulations - Part II technical standards

On behalf of the Peninsula Housing & Builders Association’s members, I wish to express PHBA’s objections regarding the technical mandates in the proposed stormwater regulations. These regulations would significantly harm our members’ ability to provide housing, and they would endanger Virginia’s reputation as one of the best places in America to do business.

We encourage the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board members to vote no on Part II, which contains the proposed new technical standards, and reconvene the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to continue work on these requirements and consider alternative regulatory arrangements.
Please consider these items as you make your decision:
·        These regulations are the least efficient way to address pollutant removal in the bay. The state Dept. of Planning and Budget has determined that these regulations will result in “significant” mitigation costs in comparison to the benefits realized.
·        These regulations apply one standard across Virginia, even though there has been no scientific evidence presented to justify this approach. Bay advocates acknowledge that "the water quality impact of a pound of nitrogen or phosphorus varies based on where it enters tidal waters."
·        As several localities have pointed out, these proposed regulations will promote sprawl by requiring more land to be used to meet the same demand for commercial and industrial floor space and residential units.
·        During the recent TAC process, stakeholders were told that the technical requirements were “off limits,” but many stakeholders had and still have concerns that have not been adequately addressed or even addressed at all.
·        During the Board’s September 2008 public hearing, six of the nine TAC members who spoke asked you to hold off on Part II. There is hardly consensus on this issue.
·        There are alternatives that would do more to help the Chesapeake Bay at less financial and environmental cost to Virginia. These alternatives deserve a full vetting by a reconvened TAC.
·        By promoting sprawl, these proposed regulations will make it much tougher build the town center and village style projects that characterize smart growth and are envisioned in state law.
Again, we urge you vote NO on Part II of the proposed stormwater requirements and reconvene the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Thank you for your consideration.
CommentID: 9546