HB 1281, sponsored by Del. Kathy Byron (R-22nd) of Lynchburg during the 2012 Virginia General Assembly, would have authorized the State Water Control Board to assume full responsibility for regulating wetlands and dredge and fill programs that currently are regulated in Virginia by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, under Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act. HB 1281 failed in the House Chesapeake, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. As an alternative, Del. Byron introduced HJR 243, which passed. The resolution requested that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) study the benefits and costs of Virginia’s seeking authority from the EPA to administer the Section 404 permitting program.
Accordingly, in summer 2012 the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) convened a group of stakeholders to assist in determining the benefits and costs of the Commonwealth seeking authority from the EPA for the Section 404 permitting program. For more information, contact William Norris, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218; phone (804) 698-4022 ; FAX (804)698-4347; TDD (804) 698-4021; William.Norris@deq.virginia.gov.