Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP):
As the TJSWCD experiences continued development, minimizing the impact of that development on area waterways is becoming more critical. The TJSWCD continues to provide technical assistance to localities in this area.
For several years, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has been working on revising the Virginia Stormwater Management Program regulations. The TJSWCD served on the state Technical Advisory Committee to assist with these efforts. During this past year, the draft regulations were published for public comment. The TJSWCD conducted work sessions for each of its localities to ensure that accurate information was available to the public and to local officials and to facilitate informed comments. (Three of these work sessions were conducted in partnership with the Rivanna River Basin Commission, which also played a prominent role in information dissemination about the proposed Regulations.) As of July 1, 2013, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality administers the VSMP.
The new regulations mean that a Stormwater Management Ordinance will be in effect in every locality in Virginia. Some localities will administer the program themselves, some may administer it through Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Both water quantity and water quality criteria are more stringent than previous regulations. These new regulations and new technical standards impact both local governments and developers. The TJSWCD will continue to assist with training, information dissemination, and program implementation as the new regulations take effect throughout Virginia.
Under the Clean Water Act, operators of municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) are regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program. This program is administered by Virginia Department of Environmental Quality under the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) program. This permitting mechanism is designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing pollutants into local streams and rivers.
The Rivanna Regional Stormwater Education Partnership (RRSEP) is comprised of local general permit holders - Albemarle County, Albemarle County Public Schools, Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, Piedmont Virginia Community College, University of Virginia, Virginia Department of Transportation, and the City of Charlottesville. The TJSWCD provides coordination for this partnership. The RRSEP partnership fulfills three of the six minimum control measures identified in the MS4 permit:
- Public Education and Outreach: The TJSWCD conducts teacher and student educational programs, workshops and tours, and provides website development and maintenance to meet this commitment.
- Public Involvement and Participation: The TJSWCD strives to get the public involved by utilizing citizen volunteers to assist with river clean-ups, rain barrel workshops, and placing informational placards on storm drains. The District also works with homeowner associations to educate homeowners and help them understand their responsibilities in maintaining best management practices within their subdivisions.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE): The TJSWCD supports this program by surveying streams, mapping stormwater outfalls, and keeping an eye out for potential illegal discharges. The District also provides a hotline (phone and web-based) as a means for citizens to report potentially harmful discharges to waterways.
For more information on the state’s MS4 program, click here.
The most recent version of the permit (expires June 30, 2018) may be found on Virginia's Legislative Information System under 9VAC25-890-40.
The TJSWCD works with homeowner associations to encourage improved maintenance of best management practices (BMPs) on private land.