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     Back to List of Comments
6/7/13  9:42 pm
Commenter: Shenandoah Riverkeeper

Part 3 Shenandoah Riverkeeper -Gen. Permit Reg., Discharges of SW from Construction Activities


4. Citizens are deprived of the right to notice and comment procedures required by the

Clean Water Act and state law, because they are given no opportunity to review and

comment upon Registration Statements and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans

(SWPPPs) prior to coverage of activities under the general permit.



The opportunity for citizens to help shape water quality limitations and permit conditions

and to be involved in enforcement of those permits is a cornerstone of the Clean Water Act.  Public notice and opportunity to comment on regulatory proposals and permits are

mechanisms that were highly valued by the Act’s drafters and are meant to be not only

allowed but encouraged by EPA and other permitting authorities. 


The failure of the DCR and the Soil and Water Conservation to provide for full public participation in the permitting process at a stage and in a way that is meaningful violates the letter and the spirit of the Clean Water Act and of Virginia law.  To comment on a general permit at the stage when no meaningful limitations or effective controls have yet been included is meaningless.  The only way that public participation can be of value is for citizens to see and understand the entire system of BMPs, to comment on the unique conditions at each land area and in each receiving stream, and to ensure that their local waters are protected appropriately with water quality-based limits where they are needed. 



5. Citizens are deprived of the right to review of SWPPSs that are revised during the

period of permit coverage, thus hindering their right to pursue citizen enforcement of

the regulation.


Based upon the same reasoning and legal assertion mentioned above, we assert that the

failure to provide access to SWPPPs during the permit period deprives citizens of a legal

right to be involved in the permitting and enforcement processes. First, the changes to

SWPPPs that are made during the life of a project and permit may rise to the level that it

requires further notice and opportunity to comment, due to the effects it may have on the

environment. In other cases, citizens will simply be better able to track conditions and

compliance at the sites and to have appropriate information and evidence needed to

pursue citizens suits or other measures.


6. For land-disturbing projects operated by entities of Virginia state government, citizens

will be subject to deprivation of property without due process of law, in violation of the

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.


Land-disturbing actions undertaken by government entities in Virginia, constitute state

action that has the potential, actually the likelihood, that private property will be affected

by pollution from those activities. By approving the general permit regulation and

coverage of individual projects under the permit, without providing for public notice and

an opportunity to be heard, the state violates the constitutional protection against

depriving persons of property without due process. In the same way that

Thank you for your efforts in this matter and for considering these comments.




Jeff Kelble

Shenandoah Riverkeeper

CommentID: 28511