When the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent an email to permittees about the June 30, 2024 expiration of the current General VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities, many concerned clients turned to Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI) for clarification. Virginia’s Construction General Permit has a five-year lifespan and the permit goes through a standard regulatory review process before a new one is issued. The new permit is in the review process now and is slated for finalizing this Spring so it can be in place on July 1, 2024. WSSI will work with all of our clients who have projects active under the current CGP to ensure continuity and compliance in your coverage. As always, we will be contacting each of you in the coming months about your individual projects.

How does this expiration impact my projects?

There are three scenarios for projects under the current VPDES CGP (effective July 1, 2019):

  1. If your project is complete, we recommend submitting a full termination package to DEQ to avoid the annual maintenance fees for projects that are active as of January 1, 2024.
  2. If your project will be complete before June 30, 2024, you can submit a full termination package to DEQ before the current permit ends on June 30, 2024. If you do not submit the complete termination package by that date, you will need authorization under the new permit.
  3. If your project will not achieve final stabilization before June 30, 2024 you must apply for permit coverage under the new permit.

It is critical to note that any application for reissuance of permit coverage under the new 2024 permit will be denied if the permittee has unpaid annual maintenance fees. DEQ’s email reminded permittees that fees will be assessed for any permits that will be in effect after December 31, 2023 ; those maintenance fees will be assessed in April 2024, if DEQ follows the schedule of past years.

What will change with the July 1, 2024 permit?

WSSI’s review of the 2024 permit draft language noted a number of changes that will impact land disturbing activities across the Commonwealth. Some of the most significant changes in the draft, which was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on August 14, 2023, include these:

  • Turbidity monitoring will be required for dewatering discharges to sediment impaired waters or exceptional waters.
    • The draft language allows the permittee to choose between two options; both require daily sampling during dewatering operations.
    • Corrective actions will be required if the turbidity benchmark is exceeded.
    • Dewatering of uncontaminated stormwater or groundwater from footer or foundations of single-family detached residential structures are exempt, provided such discharges do not discharge directly to surface waters.
  • Corrective actions are still to be implemented as soon as practicable after being identified but the 2024 permit has adjusted the deadline for corrective actions from seven calendar days to five business days.
  • If a control measure requires the same repair more than twice in the same location and the permittee wants that to be considered a “routine maintenance fix,” the permittee must provide documentation in the inspection report to support that concept. The corrective action must be taken as soon as practicable (consistent with the current permit).
  • An updated definition of “Qualified Personnel” has been included in the draft 2024 permit.
    Included in this definition are requirements for holding unexpired Project Inspector for Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management certifications, or an equivalent certification provided by the EPA, starting July 1, 2025. (WSSI has 59 staff who have DEQ certifications for Erosion and Sediment Control and for Stormwater Management. While the nuances of the “Qualified Personnel” definition are yet to be determined, we are confident that WSSI will be well prepared to meet the requirements.)

WSSI will be monitoring the progress of the 2024 permit and will provide updates via Field Notes. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the 2024 permit, please reach out to the contacts listed below.


  1. Draft language for the July 1, 2024 CGP [9VAC25-880. General VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities (amending 9VAC25-880-1 through 9VAC25-880-70)], published August 14, 2023.


  • Matt Elliott, CESSWI, CPESC

    Northern Regional Manager – Environmental Compliance

    Gainesville, Virginia

  • Jacob Bucher

    Southern Regional Manager – Environmental Compliance

    Richmond, Virginia