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LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Resource Management Plans

Regulatory Overview:

On March 10, 2011, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (VSWCB) authorized and directed the development of the Resource Management Plan Regulations and the establishment of a regulatory advisory panel (RAP). The Board and DCR assembled a RAP to work on the new Resource Management Plan regulations (4VAC50-70). Between June 29, 2011, and February 14, 2012; the RAP held five meetings, and the RAP's three subcommittees met a total of six times. Additionally, two of the subcommittees held a joint meeting. DCR with input from the RAP, developed proposed regulations specifying the criteria included in a resource management plan. Three subcommittees of the RAP, assessment, plan development, and compliance, actively shaped important components of the regulations.

At its meeting on March 29, 2012, the Soil and Water Conservation Board proposed Resource Management Plan regulations.

Key elements of the proposed regulations included:

  • Establishment of minimum standards of a resource management plan;
  • Processes for the development and approval of a resource management plan;
  • Processes to ensure the implementation of a resource management plan and for issuance of a Certificate of Resource Management Plan Implementation;
  • Processes associated with conducting inspections and ensuring RMP compliance after Certificate issuance; and
  • Procedures for the review of duties performed by soil and water conservation districts.

Under the proposed regulations, an approved resource management plan would be good for nine years. While the plan is in place, the farm operation would be exempt from any new environmental regulations related to the Chesapeake Bay or local TMDLs or total maximum daily loads. TMDLs represent the maximum amount of pollutants, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment that can flow to streams that have been found to be impaired. The plans would not exempt operations from existing regulations, such as those for operators of poultry or larger confined feeding operations.

The public comment period for the proposed regulations began on July 16, 2012 and ended on Sept. 14, 2012. Final regulations were approved and authorized for filing as a final exempt regulation by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board on March 27, 2013 for consideration. The final regulations were published in the Virginia Register of Regulations (Volume: 29; Issue: 18) on May 6, 2013. The effective date of the regulations is expected to be set by the board at its April 2014 meeting. Additional information on this regulatory action may be found on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewstage.cfm?stageid=6555.

Regulatory Advisory Panel Meeting, June 29, 2011

The first meeting of the RAP was held on June 29, 2011 in Richmond, Virginia. Materials presented to the RAP include:

Regulatory Advisory Panel Plan Development Subcommittee Meeting, August 12, 2011

The first meeting of the plan development subcommittee was held on August 12, 2011. Materials presented to the subcommittee include:

Regulatory Advisory Panel Compliance Subcommittee Meeting, August 15, 2011

The first meeting of the compliance subcommittee was held on August 15, 2011. Materials presented to the subcommittee include:

Regulatory Advisory Panel Assessment Subcommittee Meeting, August 19, 2011

The first meeting of the assessment subcommittee was held on August 19, 2011. Materials presented to the subcommittee include:

Regulatory Advisory Panel Compliance Subcommittee Meeting, Sep. 28, 2011

The second meeting of the compliance subcommittee was held on Sept. 28, 2011. Materials presented to the subcommittee include:

Regulatory Advisory Panel Joint Assessment and Plan Development Subcommittees Meeting, Sept. 30, 2011

There was a joint meeting of the assessment and plan development subcommittees held on Sept. 30, 2011. Materials presented to the subcommittees include:

Regulatory Advisory Panel Meeting, Nov. 9, 2011

There was a meeting of the full regulatory advisory panel on Nov. 9, 2011. Materials presented to the panel include:

Regulatory Advisory Panel Meeting, Dec. 16, 2011

There was a meeting of the full regulatory advisory panel on Dec. 16, 2011. Materials presented to the panel include:

Regulatory Advisory Panel Meeting, Jan. 3, 2012

There was a meeting of the full regulatory advisory panel on Jan. 3, 2012. Materials presented to the panel include:

Regulatory Advisory Panel Meeting, Feb. 14, 2012

There was a meeting of the full regulatory advisory panel on Feb. 14, 2012. Materials presented to the panel include:

Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (VSWCB) meeting, Mar. 29, 2012

A meeting of the VSWCB was held on Mar. 29, 2012. Materials presented to the Board include:

Public Comment Period for and Hearings on Proposed Regulations

The public comment period for the proposed regulations began on July 16, 2012 and ended on Sept. 14, 2012. Three public hearings on the proposed regulations were held during the comment period; Wytheville on August 13, 2012, Verona on August 14, 2012, and Williamsburg on August 15, 2012. Information regarding the public comment period and public hearings includes:

Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (VSWCB) meeting, March 27, 2013

A meeting of the VSWCB was held on March 27, 2013 where the Board approved and authorized the filing of the final exempt regulation. Materials provided to the Board include:

Virginia Regulatory Town Hall Documents, May 6, 2013

Documents filed supporting this final action included the following:

Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (VSWCB) meeting, Nov. 21, 2013

The VSWCB on Nov. 21, 2013, authorized a temporary delay in the implementation of its Resource Management Plans Regulations. Materials relevant to this action include:

The effective date of the regulations is expected to be set by the board at its April 2014 meeting. More information regarding implementation of this program can be found here.

To learn more about laws and code governing DCR, follow this link to the Division of Legislative Service's site.


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