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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8/21/09  4:21 pm
Commenter: Andrew Gould, P.E., Timmons Group Stormwater Services Manager

Part II Technical Criteria Need Further Refinement Before Implementation
August 21, 2009
Regulatory Coordinator
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
203 Governor Street, Suite 302
Richmond, VA 23219
RE:  Draft Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit Regulations
Dear Regulatory Coordinator:
Timmons Group supports the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (Board) and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (Department) in their efforts to improve and update the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit Regulations.  Furthermore, we acknowledge the Department's efforts to work with the many stakeholders to develop a workable program.
However,  we have concluded that further refinement of the Part II Technical Criteria is needed before these regulations are implemented.  We have studied the proposed regulations and have applied them to several development projects.  Through this analysis, we have developed the following observations:
1.  We have reviewed the Department's justification of the 0.28 lb/acre/year standard, but we still have significant questions on the necessity of this standard.  Further analysis is needed to determine the appropriate phosphorous runoff standard appropriate for Virginia watersheds.  We understand that the USEPA is in the process of developing a TMDL for the Bay.  We suggest that the results of this analysis be considered before determining phosphorous runoff standards for Virginia.
2.  We do not believe that a single phosphorous runoff standard is applicable for all of Virginia's watersheds.  Close to half of the land area in Virginia does not drain to the Chesapeake Bay.  Therefore, it is not appropriate to use water quality standards in the Bay to deteremine stormwater management practices for areas that do not drain to the Bay.
3.  We do not believe that the energy balance approach for determining stormwater detention requirements for site development is appropriate nor necessary.  While we acknowledge that Minimum Standard 19 does not always protect the receiving channel and needs to be updated, we believe the energy balance approach is unnecessarily burdensome.  James City County has a Stream Protection Criteria that essentially holds the volume of the 1-year 24-hr storm on-site and releases it over 24 hours.  This has found to be effective even with highy erodible outfall channel conditions.  We suggest that the deprtment consider this standard, or something similar, in lieu of the energy balance approach.   
4.  We suggest the regulations allow for a developer to meet 80% - 90% of their phosphorous removal requirement using on-site controls, but then allow for the locality to accept payment into a local watershed restoration fund to off-set the remaining phosphorous removal requirement.  We believe that any regional watershed restoration projects funded by such means should be located within the same jurisdiction as the original development project.  

5.  We suggest that the proposed regulations allow for flexibility at the local level to account for unique watershed characteristics and regional opportunities. Many localities including Henrico County, Chesterfield County, Hanover County, James City County and others have developed specific programs that make sense for their watersheds and their communities. We encourage the Board and the Department to recognize the value of these local programs and allow for the continuation of these programs.

6.  We encourage the Board and the Department to look for opportunities to streamline the implementation and enforcement of local programs. In some cases local inspectors visit a site to inspect erosion, sediment control and stormwater management measures, and then a state inspector will inspect the same site for the same issues. This is redundant and an inefficient use of resources.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this regulatory process.  We look forward to future updates and draft regulations. If you have any questions or need additional explanation on the comments provided, please do not hesitate to contact me at (804) 433-2982 or at
Andrew Gould, P.E.  
Stormwater Services Manager
Timmons Group        
CommentID: 9896