State Agency Consistency with the Bay Preservation Act

Consistency Reviews for State Projects

Section 10.1-2114 of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (Act) requires all state agencies to exercise their authorities consistent with local comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and subdivision ordinances adopted to comply with the Bay Act Program. DEQ is responsible for ensuring that localities and state agencies abide by the requirements of the Act. In May of 2000, the Act was incorporated into Virginia's Coastal Zone Management Program (CZM Program). The Governor's Executive Order # 21 requires agencies of the Commonwealth to conduct activities in a manner consistent with and supportive of Virginia's CZM program. DEQ is the appropriate review entity for determining the consistency of state projects with the requirements of the Act and associated regulations.

The Bay Act requires adoption of a local program by every county, city (with the exception of Manassas and Manassas Park), and incorporated town in 'Tidewater Virginia.'  Localities outside Tidewater may voluntarily adopt a program under the authority of the Bay Act.

The Office of Environmental Impact Review at  DEQ coordinates the Commonwealth's environmental review process and response to requests for environmental reviews regarding proposed state projects. For further information regarding state consistency, please visit the EIR program.  An Environmental Impact Review Procedure Manual is available in a downloadable format as well. Agencies are encouraged to contact DEQ regarding compliance with the Act if they have questions prior to submission of an environmental review request.

In order to assure consistency with the local Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, as part of the environmental impact review, this division may request a final site plan to review prior to any land disturbance activity.

All state agencies planning to engage in land disturbing activities within Tidewater localities or Albemarle County should forward a copy of any applicable master plans and preliminary or final site plans for review. The Division requests 15 working days to complete a plan review. Agencies are encouraged to involve DCR - DCBLA early in the planning process. This provides an opportunity to identify issues or concerns early enough for the agency to address them before construction contracts are signed and funds are committed or spent. Early review allows for any necessary modifications and prevents unnecessary project delays.

Note: It is not necessary for state agencies to submit development plans to local governments for review of Bay Act requirements. Local governments have no authority to grant exceptions or waivers of Bay Act requirements applicable to state agency projects. DEQ will determine state agency consistency with a local program and respond directly to the submitting agency. If necessary, DEQ will consult with local governments concerning specific details of their local programs.

The Site Plan Submission Guidelines may be helpful in preparing final site plans for our review.

Download Site Plan Submission Guidelines

Copies of local ordinances for implementing the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations can be obtained from the local program coordinators in the local government offices.

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


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