Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Natural and Historic Resources
Department of Environmental Quality
State Water Control Board
Petition 68
Petition Information
Petition Title Prevention of Degradation of Water Quality on the Eastern Shore as a Result of Large Scale Agricultural Operations
Date Filed 12/4/2008   
Petitioner Pete Terry 
Petitioner's Request

The petitioner requests the promulgation of a new regulation or amendment of an existing regulation to prevent the future actual and potential impairment of state water pursuant to the State Water Control Board's authority and responsibility.  The substance and purpose of the rulemaking is to prevent the further degradation of water quality to tributaries on the Eastern Shore of Virginia as the result of large scale agricultural operations.  The large scale agricultural options utilize a system of ditching and other conveyances in their agricultural operations.  The petitioner believes that the ditches and conveyances are constructed in such a fashion as to serve as conduits from the growers property to public property with the ultimate destination being streams and tributaries leading to larger water bodies.  Water from such conduits has the potential to degrade water quality with the potential resulting adverse impact on habitat and fisheries. 


Agency's Plan

The State Water Control Board has received the petition and is now announcing a 21-day public comment period as provided for by the Administrative Process Act.  Upon completion of the comment period, the comments will be reviewed by the State Water Control Board and a decision made as to whether or not to initiate a rulemaking at a future meeting of the Board.

The comment period begins on January 5, 2009 and ends on January 26, 2009.  Comments should be directed to:  Rick Weeks, Chief Deputy, Department of Environmental Quality, 629 East Main Street, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218, fax: 804-698-4346 or email:

Comment Period Began 1/5/2009    Ended 1/26/2009
Agency Decision Take no action    
Response Date 4/28/2009
Agency Decision Summary

A NOIRA was published to initiate a rulemaking in response to this petition.  However, a memorandum of agreement was entered into by the Eastern Shore Soil and Water Conservation District and the tomato growers addressing the water quality concerns to be addressed by the regulation.  As a result, the regulatory action was withdrawn.