As noted in our previous stormwater regulation discussion , The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board has been considering amending their regulations. Per the Virginia Association of Counties, the Board adopted an amended version of the regulations last night. The extensive amendments will translate to a new public comment period to begin on October 26. The Board is scheduled to vote on final adoption “sometime around December 9” according the VACO.
Amongst other changes, the VACO reports the following changes to the rule:
- The phosphorus limit was raised from 0.28 ounds per acre per year to 0.45 pounds in areas outside the Chesapeake Bay watershed
- Sites under an acre of disturbed land will be allowed phosphorus run-off of 0.45 pounds per acre per year as opposed to the original blanket 0.28 pounds
- Redevelopment projects required to reduce predevelopment load of phosphorus by 20%
- Local governments can adopt urban development areas permitting 0.45 pounds
It appears from the changes that concerns raised by local governments and the home building industry gained some traction. It is particularly interesting that the argument that the original structure of the regulations actually encouraged sprawl seems to have taken some root with the urban development districts and using a reduction model for redevelopment projects. (Hat tip to Andrew McRoberts editor of the Virginia Local Government Law blog for passing along this breaking news yesterday on Twitter).
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