Updated July 3, 2024

Stormwater program changes in Virginia will reach a milestone date on July 1. As we have discussed in previous Field Notes articles, we are at the culmination of Virginia’s efforts to consolidate regulations, issue a new stormwater management handbook, revise the Virginia Runoff Reduction Method (VRRM) spreadsheet, and issue new Construction and Industrial General Permits.

What’s Happening Now?

The changes are efforts to consolidate requirements and streamline the permitting process.

Changes for Local Governments

Under the new permit, the individual Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program (VESCP) and Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) authorities will be replaced by Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program (VESMP) authorities. DEQ’s December 27, 2023 memo provided guidance for local program administrators, including a model ordinance. Localities are required to update their ordinances to comply with these changes by July 1, 2024.

Changes for Permittees

Changes for permittees revolve around the newly released Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, version 1.0, which replaces the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook (1992) and Virginia’s Stormwater Management Handbook (1999), effective July 1, 2024.

The stormwater handbook will be a living document and will be updated as DEQ and permittees navigate the revised regulations. WSSI will update our clients through project communications and through Field Notes as these changes merit.

The new VPDES VAR10 Construction General Permit brings changes to the permit process. We understand that the final version of the permit will be posted on Virginia Regulatory Town Hall on July 1 or sooner. When that is available we will update this article to highlight critical changes.

Update, July 3, 2024: DEQ released the VAR10 in its final form on June 30, following the language that was published as final in The Virginia Register of Regulations on March 25, 2024. Key changes are noted below. For more detail or questions, please contact your WSSI PM or the staff listed at the end of this article.

  • Turbidity monitoring will be required for dewatering discharges to sediment impaired waters or exceptional waters.
    • The language allows the permittee to choose between three options; all 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 is 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” which includes requirements for holding a combination of DEQ Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management inspection certifications; VDOT’s Construction General Permit Qualified Personnel Certificate; or an equivalent certification provided by the EPA, starting July 1, 2025. WSSI has more than 30 staff who are considered “Qualified Personnel” under the new regulation.



As we mentioned in our December 2023 Field Notes article, Virginia’s VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Sites (also known as the Construction General Permit) begins a new five-year permit cycle on July 1, 2024. WSSI has worked with clients to ensure that existing projects submitted a registration statement ahead of the May 1, 2024 deadline to obtain coverage under the new (2024-2029). VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Industrial Activities also begins a new cycle on July 1, 2024, and WSSI staff supported registration statement submittals ahead of the May 1, 2024 deadline.

Plan Review

While many changes are in effect on July 1 of this year, not everything happens at once. Per Director Rolband’s January 29, 2024 memo, plans submitted for review between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025 may follow either the new VSMH or the previous guidance. Beginning July 1, 2025, all plans must conform to the guidelines in the VSMH version 1.0.

Questions? Need Help?

If you have any questions about VPDES changes or need assistance with your permit, please contact your project manager or the staff below.


Updated July 3 to reflect the final VAR 10 language in lieu of the previously published strikethrough version.

  1. VAR10: General VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities, effective July 1, 2024.
  2. Virginia’s Stormwater Regulations: Consolidation Process Overlaps with the 2024 Construction General Permits (Field Notes, February 14, 2024)
  3. DEQ Director Rolband’s January 29, 2024 Guidance Memo (GM24-2001)
  4. 2024 VPDES Construction General Permit on the Horizon, as VA DEQ Reminds Permittees (Field Notes, December 7, 2023)
  5. Virginia DEQ’s webpage, “Stormwater – Construction”: https://www.deq.virginia.gov/permits/water/stormwater-construction


  • Jacob Bucher

    Director – Environmental Compliance, Southern Region

    Richmond, VA

  • Matt Elliott, CESSWI, CPESC

    Director – Environmental Compliance, Northern Region

    Gainesville, VA

  • Chris Schrinel, PE

    Manager – Engineering

    Richmond, VA

  • Jay Lemmerman, EIT

    Project Engineer

    Richmond, VA