Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
State Water Control Board
General VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities (formerly Part XIV, 4VAC50-60) [9 VAC 25 ‑ 880]
Action Amend and Reissue the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 6/7/2013
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
6/6/13  3:46 pm
Commenter: Steve Barnes, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

Proposed Amendments to the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) appreciates the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed amendments and reissuance of the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities.  As a federal agency with resource stewardship responsibilities for land and water resources under the TVA Act, TVA considers itself a partner with Virginia, supporting the promulgation of rules and regulations that minimize the Commonwealth’s environmental impacts to both aquatic and terrestrial resources. TVA has reviewed the proposed amendments and offers the following comments:

4VAC50-60-1130. Authorization to discharge.

  1. Paragraph A: If construction cannot begin until receiving acceptance of the registration statement from the board, scheduling can become a critical issue in the project planning process. TVA suggests limiting the review period e.g., 30 days, that would authorize construction following a defined time period after a complete registration statement is submitted. This would allow time to effectively manage projects and construction activities.
  2. Paragraph A.1.c: Clarify that minor maintenance activities would not be considered “Discharge of storm water associated with construction activities including stormwater associated with emergency-related construction related activities”. TVA suggests adding an additional paragraph, i.e., ‘Maintenance performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original purpose of the site would not be considered construction, e.g. re-clearing, minor excavation performed around an existing structure necessary for maintenance or repair, and repaving of an existing road, is not considered a construction activity for the purpose of this permit.’

4VAC50-60-1170. General permit.  Section II.A.2.b(4)

  1. Paragraph (g): The intent about preserving topsoil should be clarified by rewording to ‘...preserve topsoil in place and/or preserve for reuse elsewhere on the project where feasible;’
  2. Paragraph (h) states that “...stabilization of denuded areas shall be initiated immediately upon reaching final grade or for areas that may not be at final grade but will remain dormant for longer than 14 days. Temporary stabilization shall be installed within seven days of initiation.”
    • Similar to Section I.B.4.c for inspections, there should be an exception for snow cover or frozen ground conditions for stabilization. Additionally, there should be an exception for adverse soggy ground conditions which would also preclude immediate initiation of stabilization measures. TVA suggests rewording paragraph (h) to read ‘...but will remain dormant for longer than 14 days, except where the initiation of stabilization measures is precluded by weather conditions. In those cases, stabilization measures shall be initiated as soon as practicable.’
  3. Paragraph (i): Prohibits discharges from basins and other impoundments unless an outlet structure that withdraws water from the surface is utilized. It should be noted that 40 CFR 450.21(f) provides “when discharging from basins and impoundments, utilize outlet structures that withdraw water from the surface, unless infeasible.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explained its reasoning for including the “unless infeasible” language:
    • For certain controls, EPA included “unless infeasible” to recognize that there may be some sites where a particular control measure cannot be implemented, thus allowing flexibility for permittees. TVA requests that the “unless infeasible” language be included.

TVA appreciates your consideration of the above comments. If you have any questions or wish to discuss any of these comments, please contact Steve Barnes at 423-751-6436 or by email at


John W. Myers
Environmental Policy and Regulatory Affairs





CommentID: 28475