Virginia CZM Program: 2012 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA CZM logo

47 

Grantee:

George Washington Regional Commission 

Project Title:

GWRC Coastal Technical Assistance Program    

Project Description as Proposed:

GWRC proposes to support the Coastal Zone program through the following activities:

1. Participation in Coastal PDC coordination meetings with DEQ-CZM staff.

2. Quarterly training meetings (at a minimum) of local environmental planners, MS4/stormwater program managers
    and/or planning directors, development review personnel, Rappahannock River Basin Commission and Soil &
    Water Conservation Districts to:

     a. Encourage the exchange of information and BMPs between localities 
     b. Organize & participate in training workshops.

3. Support local government implementation of state stormwater management regulations by the 2014 deadline
    working with the regional TMDL/MS4 workgroup.

Revisions to the Virginia Stormwater Management Regulations (SWM) (effective on 9/13/2011) provide localities the option of implementing SWM rules in a local program. The alternative is to have local development regulated under a DCR-run program. Localities that wish to adopt a local program are asked to notify DCR of their intent by March 2012. 

The Virginia Stormwater Management Act (“the Act”) mandates that a number of localities – primarily those covered by the Chesapeake Bay Act or that hold a federal municipal separate stormwater sewer system permit (known as an MS4) – develop and operate their own stormwater management program.  This requirement applies to all localities in the George Washington region.  The City of Fredericksburg and the Counties of Spotsylvania and Stafford have MS4 programs in place which may require amendment to comply with the Act .  The Act also provides a number of localities the option to implement stormwater management rules through a local program. These localities can either establish and operate their own program, keeping fees to pay for the program, or have local development regulated under a DCR-operated program.  These options apply to Caroline and King George Counties. 

The intent of this Coastal Technical Assistance activity is to provide staff support to the regional TMDL/WIP/MS4 working group to assist in the review of local ordinances and stormwater management programs, identify opportunities for coordinated and/or common ordinance language and barriers to coordinated regulatory program opportunities in the region.  Implementation of the revised regulations by local governments will begin on July 1, 2014, in conjunction with the reissuance of the Virginia General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities. The 2014 deadline provides local governments working with GWRC in this process a 12 month window (October 2012 – September 2013) for fact-finding and identification of barriers and opportunities and possible components of coordinated regional stormwater management program implemented through compatible local ordinances and program designs.   Local government programs must be developed and approved by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board prior to their implementation.  In FFY 2013-2014, GWRC anticipates continuing the efforts started under this program to help localities complete the design and implementation of their local stormwater management programs.

Federal Funding:

$30,000 

Project Contact:

Tim Ware, 540.373.2890; ware@gwregion.org  

Project Status:

10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013; Project Completed 

Final Product Received:

GWRC Coastal Technical Assistance Program Report, FY 2012 (pdf) 

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

In the FY 12-13 grant year, GWRC’s coastal zone management program local technical assistance effort was heavily focused on working with member local governments helping localities respond to the State mandate to integrate stormwater management (VSMP) regulations into local ordinances and develop an effective and compliant stormwater management program. Additionally, the CZM grant enabled limited GWRC staffing support to Caroline County, assisting the County's VSMP program response and providing other environmental planning assistance.

Product #1: Local Government Coordination and Training Program Report

GWRC staff convened several regional stormwater technical committee planning meetings to support the development of regional program options and foster regional technical communication sessions. GWRC held several meetings with PD 16 local staff in Fall 2012 to prepare the VSMP local implementation grant proposal, and upon receipt of the grant award,  GWRC staff began meeting with local government and supporting consultants to implement the VSMP grant proposal. Moreover these  meetings helped identify issues which may require legislative action to make the VSMP program less burdensome without comprising positive environmental outcomes, as well as defining ways to engage regional stakeholders and inform them of changes coming in local environmental review processes as a result of VSMP implementation.  On July 17, '13 GWRC hosted DCR -promoted VAST training session for all local government staff in PD 16 (and outside PD 16) at the Germanna Community College demonstrating the use of the Virginia Assessment Scenario Tool (VAST) developed by VDCR consultants to support local WIP strategy development. Additional VSMP training on August 28th was provided to local government attorneys to orient them to the many legal issues related to VSMP implementation.  Participation of local atttorneys helped ensure that local VSMP ordinances cover all required program elements and recognize potential internal inconsistencies in local code of ordinances resulting from enactment of VSMP ordinance. 

Product #2: Regional Stormwater Management Program Implementation Study

GWRC staff and consultant team provided support to regional VSMP technical and legal teams, providing:

· a legal analysis on local authority to collect various environmental fees,

· a comparative profile of various local and regional fund-raising schemes to finance local and regional VSMP program implementation,

· legal issues analysis and support to local government attorneys drafting local VSMP ordinances

· a draft VSMP ordinance for revised Caroline County and Development Application and Review Standard Operating Manual (with particular attention to promotion of Low Impact Development Practices).

Work on the regional VSMP program under the related DCR implementation grant will continue through the Spring, 2014.

Product #3: Supplemental Assistance

Green infrastructure targeting maps for conservation easement outreach efforts were developed to highlight areas of each of the counties in PD 16 where the previous regional green infrastructure plans had prioritized lands for conservation.  The high priority areas were then overlaid on the county parcel file and parcels were tagged which were located in the high priority areas. Then parcel ownership and other information from the parcel files for the high-priority area was supplied to the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) to expedite their conservation efforts in the highest priority areas (initially in Stafford County) (2011).

Product #4: Supplemental Assistance

GWRC staff provided Caroline County with digital map (.shp) files of the County's adopted Resource Protection Area (RPA) to be posted on County GIS webpage to increase public awareness of the most environmentally-sensitive areas of the County, and a polygon file of the boundaries of subdivisions, commercial and industrial planned unit developments to help the County monitor development activity for areas under a 'common plan of development' that are subject to VSMP requirements, as well as to facilitate the better organization of development plans and project documentation in the County Planning Office.  Maps for each locality highlighting the areas of highest regional priority for conservation easement activity to promote conservation and preservation of the region's green infrastructure as defined under previous CZM-supported work.  These map overlays were used to define parcels (and land owners) to be targeted in conservation promotion efforts through the Commission's conservation agent, the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT). 

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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