Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Environmental Quality

General Notice
Public Comment Period – Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, Version 1.0
Date Posted: 2/23/2024
Expiration Date: 3/27/2024
Submitted to Registrar for publication: NO
No comment forum defined for this notice.

This General Notice restates information in the Description of Proposed Guidance Document Changes and Contact Information for GM24-2001, Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, Version 1.0, that will be published in the Virginia Register of Regulations (Register) on Monday, February 26, 2024.  Publication in the Register marks the beginning of the 30-day public comment period for a guidance document that is required by § 2.2-4002.1 of the Code of Virginia before the guidance can become effective.  The 30-day public comment period closes at 11:59 pm on March 27, 2024.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is posting the General Notice because the format is easier to read and follow than the description on Town Hall.  It also includes active hyperlinks for the Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, Version 1.0, and relevant pages on DEQ’s website.

Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, Version 1.0

Description of Proposed Guidance Document Changes

The Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, Version 1.0 (Handbook) provides guidance to implement water quantity and water quality criteria in the Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Regulation, 9VAC25-875, effective July 1, 2024. The Handbook replaces nine guidance documents, listed below, that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) plans to rescind effective July 1, 2025:

  1. Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook, Third Edition, 1992
  2. Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, First Edition, 1999
  3. Guidance Document on VSMP Site Inspection Strategies
  4. Guidance Document on Utilization of Nonpoint Nutrient Offsets
  5. Guidance Memo No. 14-2002 Implementation Guidance for the 2009 General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities, 9VAC25-880
  6. Guidance Memo No. 14-2014 Implementation Guidance for Section 47 (time limits on applicability of approved design criteria) and Section 48 (grandfathering)
  7. Guidance Memo No. 15-2003 Postdevelopment SW Mgmt Implementation Guidance for Linear Utility Projects
  8. Guidance Memo No. 22-2011 Streamlined Plan Review for Construction Stormwater Plans and Erosion and Sediment Control Plans submitted by a Licensed Design Professional and reviewed by a Dual Combined Administrator for Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management
  9. Guidance Memo No. 22-2012 Stormwater Management and Erosion & Sediment Control Design Guide

The reason that the guidance documents will be rescinded effective July 1, 2025, through a separate Town Hall notice, is that they have been incorporated into the Handbook to reduce complexity and improve the ease of use. A one-year transition period allows plans and permit applications submitted between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025 to utilize either the existing manuals, handbooks and guidance or the Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, Version 1.0.

The Handbook is available as a Portable Document Format (pdf) file and online at Due to the large file size and number of pages in the Handbook, DEQ recommends using the web-based version to review it and submit comments.  Chapters, best management practice specifications, and other information from the Handbook may be downloaded from the website as pdf files.

Written comments on the Handbook may be submitted directly through the enCodePlus website that is hosting the Handbook, as well as through the Town Hall website (, and by email to the contact address provided with this notice. Instructions for submitting comments through the host website are available from the “Comment” link on the webpage banner. DEQ will use comments received during this forum and after the Handbook becomes effective to maintain its content consistent with the process for updates and revisions described in Chapter 1: Introduction.

DEQ formed a Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAG) to help develop the Handbook and its content.  The SAG met 12 times between July 2022 and October 2023.  Members of the SAG were provided an opportunity review and provide feedback on a draft version of the Handbook during November 2023.  DEQ reviewed and revised the draft Handbook based on the feedback SAG members provided.  Handbook Version 1.0 reflects those revisions.  Two Excel spreadsheets with comments SAG members submitted on the draft version of the Handbook, and responses to those comments, are available from the DEQ website at: under the Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, Version 1.0 banner.  

Contact Information

Becky Rochet, Deputy Director, Water Permitting Division

1111 East Main St, Suite 1400

P.O. Box 1105

Richmond, VA 23219

(804) 801-2950

Contact Information
Name / Title: Rebeccah Rochet  / Deputy Director, Water Permitting Division
Address: 1111 East Main St, Suite 1400
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, 23219
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)801-2950    FAX: ()-    TDD: ()-