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Permitted Activities

The following activities are regulated and cannot occur without a Virginia Water Protection permit unless otherwise excluded from permitting: 1. Excavate in a wetland; 2. On or after October 1, 2001, conduct the following in a wetland: a. New activities to cause draining that significantly alters or degrades existing wetland acreage or functions; b. Filling or dumping; c. Permanent flooding or impounding; or d. New activities that cause significant alteration or degradation of existing wetland acreage or functions; or 3. Alter the physical, chemical, or biological properties of state waters and make them detrimental to the public health, animal or aquatic life, or to the uses of such waters for domestic or industrial consumption, or for recreation, or for other uses unless authorized by a certificate issued by the Board.

Withdrawal of surface water may require a permit or water use reporting.  See, surface water withdrawals and impoundments for more information.

The State Program General Permit (SPGP) authorizes DEQ to issue a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers general permit to projects that qualify for the most recent SPGP. The projects must be below applicable wetland and stream impact thresholds and meet all other limitations and conditions of the SPGP.

The Norfolk District Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Office, in conjunction with DEQ provides the joint Subdivision Recommendations.

Application Process for Permits

Obtain the appropriate application form: either the Standard Joint Permit Application (JPA) for most projects, the Tidewater JPA for certain projects in tidal areas. Detailed instructions on how to apply are included with each form.  Permit fees may apply.  Submit the Joint Permit Application  per the instructions on the applicable JPA form.  The review process, for which this application was originally designed, takes into account various local state and federal statutes governing the disturbance or alteration of environmental resources.  The Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) plays a central role as an information clearinghouse for all three levels of review.

VMRC assigns a permit number and distributes the application to participating federal, state, and local agencies. Each agency will decide separately whether to issue a permit for the proposed project. VMRC's permit numbers are searchable on their website.  Each agency responds separately to the applicant.  DEQ may consult with other state and federal agencies on the proposed project.

Time Permits are Effective

Issued VWP Individual Permits are valid for a maximum of up to 15 years by law. The actual length of time your individual permit is valid may vary depending on the nature of the authorized project.

VWP General Permits WP1, WP2, WP3 and WP4 that were issued via regulation are valid from August 2, 2016 to August 1, 2026. Coverage provided under a VWP General Permit is valid from August 2, 2016 to August 1, 2026 regardless of when during this time period the coverage is issued.

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

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