On February 11 and February 12, 2015, the Virginia State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold public hearings on proposed Nonpoint Source Nutrient Credits Regulations. The hearing of February 11 will be t the DEQ PRO Training Room, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen; the February 12 public hearing will be held at the DEQ Blue Ridge Regional Office, 3019 Peters Creek Road in Roanoke.
According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice about the Feb. 11 meeting, the proposed regulations would establish new Nutrient Trading Certification Regulations (4 VAC 50-80-10 et seq. in the Virginia Administrative Code) to govern the certification of certain nutrient credits. The action may also require revisions to the Stormwater Management regulations (4 VAC 50-60) related to nutrient credit use and additional off-site options for construction activities. The public comment period runs until 3/16/15. More information on the current proposal is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=3760&display=stages.
Additional background: The 2012 Virginia General Assembly passed the Nutrient Trading Act (HB 176 and SB 77), which required the Soil and Water Conservation Board to adopt regulations related to certification of nutrient credits from non-point sources, including credits generated from agricultural and urban stormwater best management practices, incineration or management of manures, land use conversion, stream or wetlands restoration, shellfish aquaculture, algal harvesting, and other methods of nutrient control or removal. Since then, the program has been transferred to the State Water Control Board and the DEQ. More information about Virginia’s nutrient credit trading program is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/PermittingCompliance/PollutionDischargeElimination/NutrientTrading.aspx.