Laws, Regulations, & Guidance

Laws - Applicable Statutes from the Code of Virginia

Regulations - Applicable Regulations from the Virginia Administrative Code


Enforcement Manual

The Civil Enforcement Manual provides guidance to DEQ staff when evaluating, processing and adjudicating a violation of an environmental law or regulation. The policies and procedures described in the manual are provided to promote consistency and fairness in the enforcement process, as well as to inform the public of the rights and responsibilities associated with environmental compliance.

New sections and revised sections of the 1999 Manual (Revision 1) are listed below. 

 Chapter Number  Description  Revision  Effective Date
General Compliance Procedures  Guidance on the Compliance Procedures  General Compliance Procedures  December 1, 2016 
 Introduction Introduction Revision 2 (Introduction) (.pdf)             April 28, 2009
 Chapter 1 Enforcement Policy Revision 2 (Policy) (.pdf)  April 28, 2009
 Chapter 2 General Enforcement Procedures Revision 2, 3, and 4 Cover Memorandum.  Chapter 2  (Revision 2 to Chapter 2 Civil Enforcement Manual)  December 1, 2016
 Chapter 2A General Enforcement Procedures - Attachments to Chapter 2 Cover Memorandum  Chapter 2A Attachments  December 30, 2014
 Reference Dispute Resolution Process for Early Dispute Resolution of Notices of Alleged Violation and Notices of Deficiency (Agency Policy Statement No. 8-2005)  September 1, 2005
 Chapter 3 Priority, Timeliness and Certainty of Enforcement Actions Chapter 3 December 1, 2016 
 Chapter 4 Civil Charges and Civil Penalties Chapter 4 December 1, 2016
 Chapter 5 Incentives for Identifying and Resolving Violations Revision 2 Cover Memorandum (with signature). Revision 2 to Chapter 5 Text. This Chapter describes:  (1) incentives for Responsible Parties (RPs) to identify and disclose their own violations through voluntary environmental assessments; and (2) criteria and procedures for DEQ and RPs to include Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) in consent orders and consent decrees.  This guidance supersedes both Enforcement Guidance Memorandum No. 1-2006, Voluntary Environmental Assessments (June 13, 2006) and Enforcement Guidance Memorandum No. 3-2006, Supplemental Environmental Projects (September 19, 2006). May 2, 2012
 Chapter 6 Adversarial Administrative Actions 1999 Manual Chapter 6   
 Chapter 6 New section: Formal Hearings Enforcement Guidance Memorandum No. 2-2007, (Word).  This guidance sets forth procedures that govern formal hearings conducted for DEQ and its three regulatory boards: the State Water Control Board, the Virginia Waste Management Board, and the State Air Pollution Control Board. December 20, 2007
Chapter 6  General Enforcement Procedures Chapter 6 Cover Memorandum   
Chapter 6  Addendum  Chapter 6 Addendum  
 Chapter 7  Court Actions Under development.  The former Chapter 7 of the 1999 Manual was revoked effective June 12, 2009.  
 Chapter 8 Inspection Warrants, Information Requests and Bankruptcy Guidance Memorandum No. 1-2011.  (pdf).  Access to Private Property for Inspections and Investigations, Denial of Access, and Obtaining Administrative Inspection Warrants  March 3, 2011

Disclaimer: Guidance documents are developed as guidance and, as such, set forth presumptive operating procedures.  See § 2.2-4001.  Guidance documents do not establish or affect legal rights or obligations, do not establish a binding norm and are not determinative of the issues addressed.  Decisions in individual cases will be made by applying the laws, regulations and policies of the Commonwealth to case-specific facts.


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

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