Albemarle County regulation is compliant with the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP/NPDES) through municipal regulation Albemarle County Code Chapter 17. The county’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) requires Albemarle to administer and enforce compliance with stormwater discharge permits in an effort to decrease stormwater pollutants and increase overall water quality.
Sec. 17-302 Land disturbing activities subject to the VSMP. The following land disturbing activities are subject to the VSMP, and the owner shall comply with all applicable requirements of the VSMP in this chapter and under State law:
A. Land disturbance of 10,000 square feet or more. Any land disturbing activities that disturb ten thousand (10,000) square feet or more, including the harvesting of forest crops, unless the activity is exempt under section 17-303.
B. Land disturbance of less than 10,000 square feet; common plan of development or sale. Any land disturbing activities that disturb less than ten thousand (10,000) square feet if the disturbance is part of a common plan of development or sale whose total land disturbance will exceed ten thousand (10,000) square feet, unless the activity is exempt under section 17-303.
Sec. 17-303 Land disturbing activities exempt from the VSMP. The following land disturbing activities are exempt from the VSMP requirements of this chapter, unless otherwise required by federal law:
A. Mining, oil and gas operations and projects. Permitted surface or deep mining operations and projects, and oil and gas operations and projects conducted pursuant to Title 45.1 of the Virginia Code.
B. Agricultural, horticultural, and forestal activities. Clearing of lands specifically for agricultural purposes and the management, tilling, planting, or harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, or forest crops, livestock feedlot operations, or as additionally set forth by the State Water Control Board in regulations, including engineering operations as follows: construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds, ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation; however, this exception shall not apply to harvesting of forest crops unless the area on which harvesting occurs is reforested artificially or naturally in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 (Virginia Code 10.1-1100etseq.) of Title 10.1 of the Virginia Code or is converted to bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use as described in Virginia Code § 10.1-1163(B).
C. Single-family residences. Single-family residences separately built and disturbing less than one acre and not part of a larger common plan of development or sale, including additions or modifications to existing single-family detached residential structures.
D. Land disturbance of less than 10,000 square feet. Land disturbing activities that disturb less than ten thousand (10,000) square feet of land are a except for land disturbing activities that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that is ten thousand (10,000) square feet or greater of disturbance
E. Discharges. Discharges to a sanitary sewer or a combined sewer system.
F. Reclamation of abandoned property. Activities under a State or Federal reclamation program to return an abandoned property to an agricultural or open land use.
G. Project maintenance. Routine maintenance that is performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original construction of the project. The paving of an existing road with a compacted or impervious surface and reestablishment of existing associated ditches and shoulders shall be deemed routine maintenance if performed in accordance with this subsection.
H. Emergencies. Conducting land disturbing activities in response to a public emergency where the related work requires immediate authorization to avoid imminent endangerment to human health or the environment. In a public emergency, the owner shall advise the administrator of the disturbance within seven (7) days after commencing the land disturbing activity, and compliance with the administrative requirements of this chapter to obtain approval of a VSMP permit is required within thirty (30) days after commencing the land disturbing activity.
Sec. 17-801 Duty to maintain structures, systems, facilities, and techniques.
B. Stormwater management facilities and techniques. Any permanent stormwater management facility or technique specified in the approved stormwater management plan to manage the quality and quantity of runoff shall be maintained for so long as the stormwater management facility or technique exists, in a manner that meets or exceeds the maintenance standards in the agreement entered in to under section 17-415. The owner’s obligation to maintain any such permanent stormwater management facility or technique shall continue until all such obligations are the responsibility of the County or another public entity empowered to own and maintain stormwater management facilities and to implement the techniques described in the stormwater management plan.
Sec. 17-811 Inspections by the administrator under the VSMP.
B. Post-construction. The administrator shall inspect all stormwater management facilities at least once every five (5) years, including facilities for which there is no long-term maintenance agreement or those serving an individual residential lot, after the land disturbing activity has ended. If the owner and the County have entered into an agreement as provided in section 17-415, any inspection shall be conducted as provided in that agreement. If the owner and the County have not entered into an agreement under section 17-415, any inspection shall be completed as follows:
1. Notice of inspection. The administrator shall provide either prior written or verbal notice of the inspection to the owner; provided that notice shall not be required if the owner has consented to the inspection in writing or granted a written right of entry.
2. Who may conduct inspection. Any inspection shall be conducted by a person holding a certificate of competence as an inspector, other than the owner, provided that the administrator may, in his sole discretion, use the inspection report of the owner of the stormwater management facility as part of the facility’s inspection program if the inspection is conducted by a person who is:
(i) licensed as a professional engineer, architect, landscape architect, or land surveyor pursuant to Virginia Code § 54.1-400et seq.;
(ii) a person who works under the direction and oversight of the licensed professional engineer, architect, landscape architect, or land surveyor; or
(iii) a person who holds an appropriate certificate of competence.
3. Scope of inspection. The inspection shall be conducted for the purpose of determining the condition of the stormwater management facility.
4. When inspections conducted. Inspections shall be conducted for each stormwater management facility at least once every five (5) years or more frequently as provided in the County’s MS4 permit. For any other stormwater management facility, the timing of the inspection shall be in the discretion of the administrator.
Albemarle County Code Chapter 17 Water Protection
Albemarle Water Resources Website
Albemarle County Design Standards Manual
County of Albemarle VSMP Letter from County Engineer