Virginia’s New Proposed Stormwater Regulations

June 22, 2009

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) expects to publish proposed stormwater regulations this month that (i) set a numeric standard for total phosphorus load in stormwater discharges for new and redevelopment projects, (ii) include water quantity discharge requirements that will affect new and redevelopment projects in the Commonwealth, (iii) establish a mechanism for qualified local program management of the stormwater permitting process, and (iv) set permit fees. The proposed regulations are designed, in large part, to help the Commonwealth achieve nutrient reduction in the Chesapeake Bay and the regulations provide both an opportunity and a mechanism for developers to incorporate low impact development techniques into new and redevelopment projects.

Given the Commonwealth’s strong commitment to improving the water quality of the Bay, it is not surprising that DCR is pursuing stringent stormwater regulations. Among the specific issues that the public should consider carefully are the proposed water quantity requirements, the water quality requirements including the 0.28 lbs/acre/year total phosphorus load requirement, the treatment requirements for redevelopment projects, and the proposal for local program management. Proposed regulations are expected to be published in the June 22, 2009 issue of the Virginia Register of Regulations ( and a 60-day official public comment period will follow that publication. DCR hopes to publish final regulations in the fall.

McGuireWoods has substantial experience working with regulatory agencies in Virginia in rule-making efforts. If you would like a copy of the proposed regulations or if you have questions or would like us to help you prepare comments on those regulations, please call Heather Stevenson in our Richmond office.