|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|
Potomac Conservancy commends the Virginia Soil & Water Conservation Board and the Department of Conservation & Recreation for putting forward a balanced package of amendments to 4 VAC 50-60 in order to address the pervasive problems caused by excess urban and suburban stormwater runoff.
These amendments are especially appropriate given the growth in pollutant loads from stormwater runoff, while pollution from other sources (such as agriculture and point sources) is decreasing.
We support the emphasis on low impact development techniques, and we look forward to the newest and best technology being brought to bear through the continually updated list of approved Best Management Practices.
We also appreciate the extensive and open process of drafting these revisions with multiple stakeholders over 3-plus years. The robust science behind the new standards is leading edge, yet has been tempered by economic and social needs. The provision for water quality offsets introduces flexibility to improve water quality without causing undue financial hardship for sites where full water quality gains would otherwise be too costly. We support a statewide water quality offset program; however, offsets should be within the same watershed as the development project.
We offer two minor edits to the proposed rule:
1) Out of concern that redevelopment projects might be at a disadvantage as the amendment is currently written, we recommend that an allowance be made in 4 VAC 50-60-66A.4. & B.4. to provide that redevelopment in UDA’s that discharge into unstable or flooding natural channels be required to reduce runoff to below pre-developed quantities. This simple modification would ensure redevelopment is not discouraged in favor of sprawl. Engineering analysis performed on two case study sites confirmed the effectiveness of the suggested language.
2) Given the likelihood that BMP pollutant removal efficiencies will change over time, Table 1 should be removed from 4 VAC 50-60-65 and placed on the Virginia Stormwater BMP Clearinghouse website.
In summary, Potomac Conservancy strongly supports the draft amendments, and supports their swift approval by the Board.