Since August 2013, Virginia localities have been planning, approving, and then implementing local stormwater-management programs—including finding ways to finance such programs—required for the Local Virginia Stormwater Management Program. The local efforts are required by state regulations developed in response to bills in the 2012 Virginia General Assembly (HB 1065 and SB 407). Those bills required localities (except for towns that do not operate a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, or MS4, required by federal law and regulations) to adopt a stormwater management program consistent with state regulations, and the bills called for integration of elements of the Commonwealth’s Erosion and Sediment Control Act, Stormwater Management Act, and Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. The state regulations became effective in November 2012, and the deadline for localities to adopt a program was June 13, 2013, unless they had requested a one-year extension by April 1, 2013. July 1, 2014, was set as the deadline for implementation of local programs, but companion bills passed by the 2014 Virginia General Assembly (HB 1173/SB 423) delayed for six months (until January 2015) the requirement for localities to implement a local stormwater-management program, and provided that the Department of Environmental Quality will establish such a program if a locality chooses not to do so (if the locality is not required by the federal Clean Water to have a municipal separate storm sewer system, or MS4).
On July 1, 2013, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality became the lead state agency for stormwater-management regulation and programs; the DEQ main Web page for the Virginia Stormwater Management Program is http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.
Stormwater management at the local level is also a significant aspect of efforts by Virginia and other states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to meet the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) pollution-reduction plan, issued by the U.S. EPA in December 2010. DEQ information about Virginia’s actions under the Bay TMDL is online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/ChesapeakeBay/ChesapeakeBayTMDL.aspx.
An excellent reference for the developments in 2013 and 2014 in Virginia’s regulations of stormwater runoff is available in the March 11, 2014, issue (Vol. 22, No. 1) of Field Notes, a newsletter published by Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (located in Gainesville, Va.). The article, “Stormwater Regulations Guidance and FAQ’s,” is available online at http://www.wetlandstudies.com/newsletters/2014/march/SWregulations.html, or contact the company at 5300 Wellington Branch Drive, Suite 100, Gainesville, VA 20155; phone (703) 679-5600; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
News Accounts on Stormwater Management in Virginia and Other Chesapeake Bay States
(Three sections: Articles in each section are listed from most recent to oldest; started March 2013)
1) Items specifically on Virginia’s local opt-out on stormwater management program
[Permission was granted under HB 1173/SB 423 in the 2014 Virginia General Assembly for localities to choose not to operate a local stormwater-management program, if the locality is not required to have a municipal separate storm sewer system, or MS4, permit under the federal Clean Water Act. If a locality opts-out, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) establishes a program in that locality.]
Supervisors to consider resolution on stormwater regulation changes, Martinsville Bulletin, 10/26/15 [regarding Henry County’s opposition to stormwater-regulation changes that may be proposed to the 2016 Virginia General Assembly, which could result in the Va. Department of Environmental Quality no longer managing Henry County’s local stormwater program].
Gloucester [County] to implement local stormwater management program [only locality in Virginia’s Middle Peninsula to do so], Daily Press, 6/16/14.
[Pulaski] County opting out of storm water program, Southwest Times, 5/7/14.
Counties to let state handle stormwater program [Shenandoah County and Warren County], Northern Virginia Daily, 5/1/14.
Supervisors eye storm water control [in Gloucester County], Daily Press, 3/27/14.
Franklin County officials face storm water choice, Roanoke Times, 3/24/14.
Localities get bigger role in cleaning up stormwater, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/22/14 [good overview article].
2) Other Virginia Items
Judge rejects Norfolk Southern’s legal bid to avoid Roanoke stormwater fee, Roanoke Times, 12/26/17.
[Albemarle County] Supervisors briefed on stormwater fee, stream buffer rules, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 12/7/17.
Estimated costs for water resources program rise, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 10/4/17.
Panel hears more details on Albemarle stormwater fee, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 9/11/17.
City [of Alexandria, Va.] considers stormwater management fee, Alexandria Times, 9/21/16.
[Town of Christiansburg, Va.] Stormwater fee to improve stream health and address flooding, Roanoke Times, 6/23/16.
City finds solutions to flooding and stormwater pollution, WHAG TV-Hagerstown, Md., 5/11/16 [regarding work in the City of Winchester, Va.].
Chesterfield [County, Va.] to consider stormwater utility; cost to homes would be $24 annually, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/19/16.
Stafford stormwater management bill cut in half, Inside NoVa, 11/18/15.
The County’s Rising Water Programs, Crozet Gazette, 9/4/15 [a detailed analysis of Albemarle County’s stormwater-utility fee].
Albemarle tackles best way to pay for water resources protection, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 7/1/15.
Supervisors [in Goochland County] vote to handle stormwater permitting in-house, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/20/15.
JCC Supervisors Oppose Utility to Handle Stormwater Problems, Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, 2/24/15 [James City County supervisors intend to use general revenues instead].
Town [of Blacksburg] preparing to open stormwater tax tap, Roanoke Times, 12/13/14 [Blacksburg stormwater fee to begin with utility bills in January 2015].
Virginia Awards $21.5 Million in Grants for Stormwater Pollution Reduction Efforts, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 12/9/14. Sixty-four projects in 25 Virginia localities will share $21.5 million from the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund, established by the 2013 Virginia General Assembly. This will make $28 million awarded from the fund in 2014, with another $6.5 million scheduled to be awarded in 2015. Several news accounts follow: Norfolk gets state cash [$1.5 million] for stormwater projects, Virginian-Pilot, 12/11/14; City [of Lynchburg] to receive grant money [$1.7 million] for stormwater projects, Lynchburg News & Advance, 12/10/14; Hampton Roads shares in $21 million in pollution-reduction grants, Daily Press, 12/9/14; and Local governments get money for stormwater projects, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/9/14; and
Prince William County agencies join forces to fight pollution, Washington Post, 10/29/14. [Prince William County Service Authority and the county’s Watershed Management Division collaborating on getting residents and businesses not to dispose of water in county’s stormwater system.]
Community committee meets to discuss stormwater, The (Waynesboro) News Virginian, 10/8/14.
Warren County landfill fix under construction, nvdaily.com, 9/15/14. [Stormwater isn’t just an urban runoff problem: this article describes Warren County’s efforts to divert stormwater flow away from a closed landfill in order to reduce potential for chemical leachates from the landfill to reach waterways.].
Botetourt County to host meeting on new stormwater requirements, Roanoke Times, 9/21/14.
MWAA [Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority] Adopts Stormwater Regulations, Potentially Delaying Silver Line Phase 2, WAMU-FM, 9/16/14; and Silver line changes equals higher toll road charges, wusa9.com, 9/18/14.
Stormwater rules boost paperwork, Lynchburg News & Advance, 8/8/14.
New Va. environmental rules mean higher fees for building homes [focus here is on Bedford County, Campbell County, and City of Lynchburg], Lynchburg News & Advance, 7/6/14.
Stafford makes cuts to fund its stormwater system [after county board of supervisors rejected local stormwater tax], Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, as published by Insurance News Net, 6/18/14.
Lynchburg City Council to hold public hearing on stormwater [held on June 10, 2014], Lynchburg News & Advance, 6/9/14.
Arlington [County] cracks down on car-wash fundraisers, [due to stormwater run-off], Washington Post, 6/8/14.
Roanoke’s [City of Roanoke] new stormwater fees set to show up soon, Roanoke Times, 6/8/14.
[City of Falls Church civil engineer Jason Widstrom] Answers Questions on City’s New Stormwater Utility Fee [includes helpful diagram], Falls Church News Press, 6/5/14.
New storm water regulations [in City of Chesapeake] could slow down Dominion Blvd. project, WVEC-TV Norfolk, 5/28/14.
Salem City Council approves new storm water fees, Roanoke Times, 5/27/14.
Roanoke County seeking input for stormwater program, Roanoke Times, 5/21/14.
Stormwater rules have counties eyeing new procedures [Chesterfield and Henrico counties], Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/19/14.
Governor visits VIMS to sign stormwater management bill, William & Mary News, 5/19/14.
Roanoke [City] OK’s $260 million budget, including new storm water fee, Roanoke Times, 5/12/14.
Botetourt ready to issue storm water permits, Roanoke Times, 3/22/14.
Isle of Wight [County] supervisors OK plan to ease stormwater fees for some [waiver for certain non-residential properties, including churches and non-profit organizations], Daily Press, 3/20/14.
Hanover [County] preps for 15-year stormwater plan [for restoring streams and modifying stormwater ponds, to reduce slow speed of stormwater flows and remove more sediment and nutrient contaminants], Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/20/14.
Henrico [County] eyes funding solutions for stormwater regulations [dedicating tax revenue from new construction, estimated to generate $2.3 million in Fiscal Year 2014-15], Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/20/14.
One state-mandated stormwater requirement enacted in Campbell County [placing stormwater management under local control], Lynchburg News & Advance, 3/5/14.
Appomattox, Campbell county stormwater plans go to public hearing, Lynchburg News & Advance, 3/3/14.
Roanoke County mulls storm water fee, Roanoke Times, 2/20/14.
Going clear: Albemarle’s complex, costly quandary over stormwater management, C-ville.com, 1/24/13.
Bay group: Stormwater runoff must be reduced, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 1/20/14.
Several [Virginia and Maryland Counties in DC Area] Offering Rebates For Addressing Stormwater Runoff, WUSA 9 (Washington D.C.) TV, 1/13/14.
A small victory in the battle against urban runoff, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/29/13.
[Virginia] sends stormwater money [$22.9 million] to  localities, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/21/13.
PG [Prince George County] still debating stormwater fees, The (Petersburg Va.) Progress-Index, 12/2/13.
Roanoke City Council creates storm water utility, Roanoke Times, 11/19/13.
[City of] Roanoke’s storm water fee estimator now online for all properties, Roanoke Times, 10/10/13.
New stormwater rules will govern runoff and pollutants, Daily Press, 9/25/13.
[New Kent County Planning] Commission cancels called meeting about stormwater ordinance, The (West Point Va.) Tidewater Review, 9/17/13.
Planning continues for city’s stormwater utility fee, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 9/19/13.
Roanoke [City] maps parcels for storm water runoff, Roanoke Times, 9/11/13; Opinion: Bracing for storm water fees [in the City of Roanoke], Roanoke Times, 9/8/13.
Stormwater inspections and costs to increase for Albemarle developers, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 9/6/13.
Lynchburg Business Helps City Clean Stormwater Runoff, ABC 13 (Lynchburg Va.) TV, 8/29/13.
New stormwater management rules in the offing [in Newport News], Daily Press, 8/29/13.
Prince George [County] considers storm water fee to ease burden of state mandate, The (Petersburg Va.) Progress-Index, 8/25/13.
Costly stormwater monitoring coming to Staunton, Newsleader.com, 8/20/13.
Counties [in northern Shenandoah Valley] face deadlines for storm runoff regs, Northern Virginia Daily, 7/18/13.
Fairfax County considers stormwater regulations, Fairfax (Va.) Times, 6/12/13.
Storm water: A problem as unstoppable as rain that Roanoke must solve, Roanoke Times, 6/9/13 [an overview of developments statewide, with particular focus on Roanoke River watershed].
Storm water may drain Roanoke County, Roanoke Times, 4/23/13.
[Albemarle] County public works plan for stormwater mandate [also includes information on action by City of Charlottesville], Charlottesville Daily Progress, 3/25/13.
JCC [James City County] Developers to Face New Stormwater Fees Regulations, Williamsburg Yorktown (Va.) Daily, 3/3/13.
[Chesterfield] County to map uncharted waters of storm drains, The Chesterfield (Va.) Observer, 2/6/13.
New [Fairfax County] Storm Water Plan Cuts 60% Off Original Cost, The Falls Church (Va.) News Press, 2/4/13.
Lynchburg could see 3-to-1 benefit on stormwater improvements, study says, Lynchburg News & Advance, 1/8/13.
3) In other Chesapeake Bay states
Anne Arundel County Council to consider repealing stormwater fee, (Annapolis, Md.) Capital Gazette, 2/15/15.
“Rain Tax” Repeal Brings Debate, Possible Lawsuits, WBAL (Baltimore, Md.)-1090 AM, 2/15/15. [On February 10, 2015, Md. Gov. Larry Hogan introduced legislation into the Maryland General Assembly to repeal Maryland’s 2012 law requiring the City of Baltimore and nine large counties to impose a stormwater-management fee.]
8 Municipal MS4, TMDL Permit Training Workshops Set For Coming Months, North Central Pa. News, 1/6/15.
County Executive Candidates [in Frederick County, Md.] Weigh In On Rain Tax, WFMD-FM (Frederick, Md.), 10/15/14.
Chambersburg [Penn.] to create [stormwater] agency to meet EPA demands, The (Chambersburg, Penn.) Public Opinion, 3/19/14.
Storm water mandates in the future for Conewago Township [Penn.], The (Hanover, Penn.) Evening Sun, 3/18/14.
[Delaware Gov. Jack] Markell seeks new tax to improve water, DelawareOnline.com, 3/5/14.
Water tax plan [by Delaware governor] draws criticism praise, DelawareOnline.com, 3/4/14.
House GOP rallies around ‘rain tax’ repeal [House Bill 50 in 2014 Maryland General Assembly would repeal the mandate that the state’s 10 largest localities assess stormwater fees], The (Annapolis Md.) Capital Gazette, 2/27/14.
Stormwater funding could improve ailing Magothy River, The (Annapolis Md.) Capital Gazette, 2/24/14.
[Frederick County, Md.] Commissioners pass clean water policy to help rain tax negotiations, The Frederick (Md.) News-Post, 1/10/14.
Legislators [in Maryland General Assembly] ready to fight rain tax among other issues, The Cumberland (Md.) Times-News, 1/7/14.
Bay advocates say [Maryland] lax in monitoring county stormwater controls, Baltimore Sun, 1/3/14.
State foresees shortfall in [stormwater] funds, The Frederick (Md.) News-Post, 12/19/13.
Stormwater Innovations Tour Comes to Frederick, WFMD (Frederick Md.) 930 AM, 12/18/13.
First Howard [County, Md.] stormwater fees included in December property taxes, Baltimore Sun, 12/11/13.
To comply with EPA regulations Dauphin County [Penn.] will need to update runoff systems, The (Harrisburg Pa.) Patriot-News, 12/4/13.
Anne Arundel [County, Maryland] Council defeats bill to lower stormwater fee to $1 [from current annual fees ranging from $34 to $170], The (Annapolis Md.) Capital Gazette, 11/18/13.
State warns Harford [County, Maryland] officials on ‘rain tax’ repeal, The Baltimore (Md.) Sun, 11/5/13.
Kittleman proposes repeal of stormwater fee, The Baltimore (Md.) Sun, 10/22/13;
Md. GOP gubernatorial hopeful David Craig seeks repeal of ‘rain tax’ in his home county [Harford County], Washington Post, 9/18/13.
Neuman Asks for Federal Help in Navigating Stormwater Fee Debacle, Patch.com (Anne Arundel County Md.), 9/5/13.
Martic chafes at new stormwater management rules, The (Lancaster Pa.) PennManor News, 9/4/13.
(Opinion) Pr. George’s council approves storm-water runoff plan; Confirms two department heads, Washington Post, 7/24/13.
Develop regionalized approach for stormwater, The (Luzerne County Pa.) Citizens Voice, 7/22/13.
D.C. issues stormwater rule to comply with federal requirements, Washington DC Green Business, Examiner.com, 7/21/13.
City [Hagerstown, Md., in Washington County] will not charge property owners stormwater fee to comply with Chesapeake Bay guidelines, (Hagerstown Md.) Herald-Mail, 7/9/13.
PennFuture praises new stormwater law, PR Newswire, 7/9/13.
Protest Brewing Over Maryland’s New “Rain Tax”, CBS Baltimore (Md.) TV, 7/9/13.
[Maryland state] Lawmaker kicks off campaign to repeal ‘rain tax’, The (Gaithersburg Md.) Gazette, 7/1/13.
‘Rain tax’ set to begin in Baltimore City and nine counties; Washington County not included, The (Hagerstown Md.) Herald-Mail, 6/26/13.
Howard County revises rain tax structure, Baltimore Sun, 6/20/13.
Backlash from stormwater fee catches advocates off guard, Bay Journal, June 2013.
Plenty Of ‘Rain Tax’ Tweaking Ahead Of Looming Deadline, WBAL (Baltimore Md.) Radio 1090 AM, 6/5/13.
Anne Arundel changes stormwater fee, Baltimore Sun, 5/20/13.
Revenue Source Key For Salisbury Stormwater Needs, [in Wicomico County, Md.; $23.2 million needed over next 10 years, according to U. of Md. study], The (Berlin Md.) Dispatch, 5/10/13.
Commissioners Say ‘Rain Tax’ Not Needed in Carroll County, Patch.com (Westminster Md.), 5/5/13.
Some execs say they can handle ‘rain tax’ [in Montgomery County, Md.], The (Gaithersburg Md.) Gazette, 5/3/13.
Stormwater bill hits Charles County’s rural families hard, Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, 4/17/13.
Harford council passes watered-down stormwater fee creates task force to study program, Baltimore Sun, 4/17/13.
As rhetoric grows, Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties face stormwater fees, Baltimore Sun, 4/15/13.
Lancaster city considers tapping property owners to help pay for ‘green’ improvements, Lancaster (Penn.) Online, 4/8/13.
Baltimore County proposes scale for state-mandated storm-water fee, Baltimore Sun, 3/12/13.
Officials here worry that stormwater management plan might be too expensive not effective, Lancaster (Penn.) Online, 3/12/13.
Chesapeake states lagging behind in stormwater fixes, Bay Journal, March 2013.