Exceptional Waters Nomination in 2011-12 for Bull Run in Virginia’s Fairfax and Prince William Counties

In January 2011, the National Park Service filed a petition with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) nominating a section of Bull Run, on the border of Fairfax and Prince William counties, to be designated as an “Exceptional State Water” (also referred to as a “Tier III Water”).   The stream segment under consideration runs from the from the confluence of Little Bull Run (locally known as Catharpin Run) downstream to the crossing of Interstate 66.  An Exceptional Waters designation is intended to protect the current quality of waters with exceptional recreational or ecological value, and it prohibits any permanent new or increased point-source discharges.

A 21-day public comment period on the nomination ended June 27, 2011, and a 60-day comment period for localities ended June 23.  A Notice of Intended Regulatory Action was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on November 21, 2011.

On June 25, 2012, Virginia’s State Water Control Board voted to withdraw the nomination, citing potential impacts of the designation and the withdrawal of the nomination petition by the Park Service.

Sources:  Bull Run Exceptional Waters Nomination, Field Notes (by Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc.), 6/20/11; Bull Run Exceptional Waters Nomination Withdrawn, Field Notes, 7/19/12; Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice, online at http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/l/ViewAction.cfm?ActionID=3565.

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