General Information | Construction Activity Permit Forms | Who Must Apply? | Fees | Current VSMP Registrations | Additional Information | SWPPP | DCR Staff Contacts | Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems
DCR is responsible for the issuance, denial, revocation, termination and enforcement of individual and general VSMP permits for the control of stormwater discharges from MS4s and construction activities. DCR administers these program through Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulations, authorized by the Virginia Stormwater Management Act.
Please Note: Legislation passed by the 2012 General Assembly integrated and consolidated components of the Erosion and Sediment Control Act, the Stormwater Management Act, and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act so that these regulatory programs could be implemented in a consolidated and more consistent and efficient manner. To achieve these efficiencies, the VSMP Permit Regulations had to be modified to accommodate changes in the legislation and changes at the federal level. The changes to the regulations were approved by the Board of Conservation and Recreation on Sept. 28, 2012, and became effective on Nov. 21, 2012. The regulations address the following:
Click here for more information regarding these regulatory actions.
VAR10 forms effective July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2014:
The VSMP General Permit Registration Statement for Discharges from Construction Activities must be completed and mailed to:
Department of Conservation and Recreation
203 Governor Street, Suite 206
Richmond, VA 23219
The Application Fee form must be completed and submitted with payment to:
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Division of Finance, Accounts Payable
ATTN: Stormwater Permits
203 Governor Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Note: Fees established in §10.1-603.4 of the Code of Virginia are addressed in regulations, and these fees were revised by the 2012 General Assembly. A revised fee scheduled became effective in regulation on Nov. 21, 2012.
Effective July 1, 2012, state law authorized DCR to assess a $125 reinspection fee for each project-site visit needed to check on the status of the project-site items noted to be in noncompliance and documented as such on a prior project inspection. This fee became effective in regulation on Nov. 21, 2012.
Fee information for Construction Activity Permit can be found in sections A through D of this fee form.
Single-family residences separately built, that disturb less than one acre of land, and that are not part of a larger common plan of development or sale, including additions or modifications to existing single-family detached residential structures, are exempt activities. Registration for coverage under the general permit to discharge stormwater from construction activities is not required for them.
This exemption covers single-family residences in all areas subject to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, provided the single-family residence is not part of a larger common plan of development or sale and disturbs less than one acre of land.
The construction general permit requires the construction site operator to develop and implement a site specific SWPPP. Those seeking the permit must thoroughly read and understand its requirements. The SWPPP must be prepared prior to submitting a registration statement for permit coverage to DCR. The SWPPP is to be retained at the construction site along with a copy of the permit and permit coverage letter. The operator has the lead in developing, implementing and maintaining the SWPPP and committing the resources necessary to prevent pollution. Random site inspections for compliance with the general permit, including SWPPP review, are conducted by DCR and EPA staffs.
The SWPPP outlines the steps and techniques the operator will take to comply with the terms and conditions of the permit, including water quality and quantity requirements that are consistent with the VSMP permit regulations, to reduce pollutants in the stormwater runoff from the construction site. The SWPPP also specifies all potential pollutant sources that could enter stormwater leaving the construction site and covers methods used to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff during and after construction. A complete list of SWPPP requirements is contained in the permit.
The following are major components of a SWPPP:
Click here for a list of active projects registered under the Virginia General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities. Registrations are currents as of the date indicated on the PDF.
Virginia Stormwater Management Programs Permit Regulations - effective until Nov. 21, 2012.
Virginia Stormwater Management Programs Permit Regulations - effective on Nov. 21, 2012.
Click here for instructions to retrieve hydrologic unit codes (HUC), a list of impaired waters (the impaired 2008 305(b)/303(d) Water Quality Assessment Integrated Report), a list of receiving waters, latitude and longitude, and listed MS4 localities.
DCR Staff Contacts: Please contact your nearest DCR regional office if you have questions regarding the general permit.
Abingdon area: 276-676-5529, Phyllis Hinch
Christiansburg area (west of US 29): 540-394-2581, Don Packard
Christiansburg area (east of US 29): 434-265-0577, Tim Ott
Fredericksburg area: 804-443-3026, Troy Smith
Richmond area: 804-356-1768, Matthew Grant
Staunton area: 540-332-9225, Mark Chambers
Suffolk area: 757-925-2467, Ian Edwards
Tappahannock area: 804-443-8230, Kevin Landry
Warrenton area: 540-347-6432, Marian Carroll
Please contact the DCR central office if you have questions regarding the registration statement (application) - phone (804) 225-2613, email email@example.com.
Revised Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit Maintenance Fees
On Feb. 3, 2010, revisions to the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit (VSMP) Regulations (4 VAC 50-60) regarding MS4 permit maintenance fees became effective. The revisions established annual permit maintenance fees for regulated small MS4s covered under individual and general VSMP permits. The revisions also modified the maintenance fee for large and medium MS4s covered under individual permits. The revised regulations can be found in Volume 26, Issue 9 of the Virginia Register of Regulations published Jan. 4, 2010.
Revised Annual MS4 Permit Maintenance Fees
Phase I MS4s (large and medium MS4s) with permit numbers beginning with VA0088XXX.
Phase II MS4s (small MS4s) registered under the General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from MS4 with registration numbers beginning with VAR04XXXXX.
The revised regulation state that no permit or registration can be reissued or automatically continued without payment of the appropriate maintenance fee.
Payment of the Phase I MS4 maintenance fees shall continue to be due each year by Oct. 1 until new MS4 permits are issued. After that, the due date will be the anniversary date of permit issuance.
Payment of the Phase II MS4 maintenance fees is due by the anniversary date of permit coverage. For most Phase II MS4s, this will be July 9 of each year. Phase II MS4s permitted after July 9, 2008, will have a different payment due date. DCR will mail invoices to all MS4s.
Fees shall be payable to the Treasurer of Virginia and submitted to:
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Division of Finance, Accounts Payable
203 Governor Street, Suite 423
Richmond, VA 23219
Checks shall be made payable to Treasurer of Virginia and include the permit number or invoice number in the check's reference field. A copy of the invoice must accompany the check.
State agencies and institutions may submit interagency transfers. Contact Faye Campbell at (804) 786-2065 or Faye.Campbell@dcr.virginia.gov for more information regarding the use of interagency transfers. Interagency transfers are unavailable to federal and local MS4 operators.
Stormwater runoff pollutants
Many diffuse sources contribute the pollutants found in stormwater runoff. These pollutants include: excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from residential areas; oil, grease and toxic chemicals from roadways and parking lots; sediment from improperly managed construction sites; bacteria and nutrients from pet waste, failing sanitary sewers and faulty septic systems; and carelessly discarded trash, such as cigarette butts, paper wrappers and plastic bottles. When they enter nearby waterways, these pollutants can impair them, discouraging recreational use of the resource, contaminating drinking water supplies, and interfering with habitat for fish, other aquatic organisms and wildlife.
Often polluted stormwater runoff is collected and discharged through municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). MS4s are conveyances, including road drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, manmade channels and storm drains designed to collect and convey stormwater, which are owned or operated by a federal, state or local government entity. MS4s are not systems that are part of a "publicly owned treatment works system" (sewage collection, transportation and treatment) or part of a combined sewer (a system designed to carry both sanitary wastes and stormwater to the sanitary sewer treatment plant). Privately owned and operated drainage systems also are not considered MS4s.
Discharges from MS4s are regulated under the Virginia Stormwater Management Act and the Clean Water Act as point source discharges. MS4 regulations were developed and implemented in two phases. Implementation of the first phase began in the early 1990s and required that operators of MS4s serving populations of greater than 100,000 people (per the 1990 census) apply for and obtain a permit to discharge stormwater from their outfalls.
Stormwater discharges from Phase I municipal separate storm sewer systems are authorized under individual VSMP permits. Under these permits, the MS4 owner/operator must implement a collective series of programs to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the given storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable in a manner that protects the water quality of nearby streams, rivers, wetlands and bays.
The programs must include elements to:
The second phase of MS4 regulations became effective March 23, 2003, and requires that operators of small MS4s in "urbanized areas" (as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau's latest decennial census) obtain permit coverage for stormwater discharges. Click here for maps detailing current urbanized areas in Virginia.
Small MS4s include storm sewer systems operated by cities, counties, towns, federal facilities such as military bases, Veteran’s Affairs hospitals and research facilities, Department of Defense facilities and parkways, and state facilities such as VDOT, community colleges and public universities. Discharges from small MS4s are regulated under the General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.
Under that permit, small MS4s must develop, implement and enforce a program that includes the following “six minimum control measures":
Similar to the phase 1 programs, small MS4 programs must be designed and implemented to control the discharge of pollutants from their storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable in a manner that protects the water quality in nearby streams, rivers, wetlands and bays.
Given the wide variability of the amount of pollutants in stormwater at any given time and the difficulty in determining their actual impacts on water quality, MS4 permits are based on an iterative Best Management Practice (BMP) strategy. This strategy, which is consistent with EPA’s Interim Permitting Approach for Water Quality-Based Effluent Limitations in Storm Water Permits, takes an iterative approach to reducing pollutants in stormwater. For MS4s, the operator selects and implements BMPs to reduce the pollutant load in the stormwater. These BMPs can be programmatic, such as ordinances, inspections, and educational activities, or project-oriented, such as detention ponds, retention ponds and constructed wetlands.
Once implemented, BMPs are evaluated by the MS4 for effectiveness and efficiency in reducing pollutants in stormwater as well as appropriateness for the specific MS4. When necessary, refinements or modifications are made to how the BMP is implemented. There are many parameters that an MS4 operator can use to evaluate a particular BMP. As the MS4 regulations are water quality based regulations, however, the effectiveness of the BMP to reduce pollutants in the stormwater discharge must be included.
Click here for a list of the permitted MS4s as of Oct. 5, 2009.
Information regarding the MS4 program, including information for MS4 operators to use, is at ftp.dcr.virginia.gov/MS4/.
To access this material use:
Password: c0nserv (that is a zero in c0nserv, and there’s no e at the end
Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) cannot be used to access data on DCR’s FTP server (IE7 has no built-in FTP client). New computers are likely to have IE7. The recommended solution is to instead use Windows Explorer. Thus, to access the information, please use Windows Explorer and look under the Urban Maps subdirectory.
Questions about the Virginia Stormwater Management Program
or Erosion and Sediment Control Program?
Just write SWMESquestions@dcr.virginia.gov.