April 17, 2003
Vol. 10 No. 4
Regulatory Turmoil Continues at the Local, State and Federal Levels
Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinances Updates

Tayloe Murphy, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, has formed an ad-hoc advisory committee to advise the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Board (CBLAB) in addressing issues that have arisen during implementation of the revised regulations.  The members of the committee include:   Darryl Cook, James City County; Bill Duncanson, Richmond County; Eric Martin, City of Chesapeake; Matt Myers, Fairfax County; Joan Salvati, Chesterfield County; Roy Hogland, Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Nikki Rovner, Nature Conservancy; Pat O'Hare, representing HBAV; and Michael Rolband (WSSI).   Russ Baxter, Assistant Secretary of Natural Resources for Chesapeake Bay Coordination, will chair the committee and several staff members from CBLAD, as well as Dr. Ellen Gilinsky of VADEQ, have been designated to assist the panel.  Donald Davis of CBLAB will serve as liaison to the committee.  The first meeting is scheduled for April 25, 2003.
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Local Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinances Updates
Following the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Board's (CBLAB) announcement of a deadline extension to December 31, 2003 for all Virginia localities to implement revisions to their Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinances, several Northern Virginia jurisdictions have decided to defer their adoption processes. Among these jurisdictions are: City of Alexandria, Fairfax City, City of Falls Church, Town of Herndon, and Stafford County. Click here to read more
RPA Mapping in Fairfax County

The biggest issues in Fairfax County's Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance relate to RPAs and their perennial stream component, namely:

  1. Vesting.  The currently proposed vesting guidelines do not provide for any vesting of approved RPA plans.  Thus, even if you have expended the funds to accurately locate an RPA under the current Ordinance and have proceeded diligently in reliance upon this approval, it is not vested (unlike Prince William County). Click here to read more
Clean Water Act Grassroots Efforts
April 16 is the deadline for comments on the Corps' and EPA's advance notice of proposed rulemaking on Clean Water Act jurisdiction. This rulemaking presents a critical opportunity to define the limits of federal regulatory power over "waters" including, for example, ephemeral drainages, manmade ditches, erosion ruts and the like. Click here to read more
DEQ Crackdown

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) appears to be starting a significant crackdown on Virginia Water Protection Permit Program permit holders (i.e., wetlands permits) and Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit holders (i.e., erosion and sediment controls, BMPs, and toxics). The "word" is that DEQ is looking for a large builder to make an example of for non-compliance to send everyone a message.
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About Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI):

WSSI is the leading provider of wetland science and water resource engineering consulting services in Northern Virginia. The firm has worked on over 1,200 sites, comprising more than 70,000 acres, and has created hundreds of acres of wetlands and restored miles of streams in the area. Our team of 40 engineers, scientists, technicians, GIS/survey specialists, and administrative staff yield a unique combination of disciplines focused on wetlands and water resources and provide creative solutions for integrating the constraints of economics and land plan requirements with local, state and federal environmental regulations. For more information about WSSI, visit our web site at www.wetlandstudies.com.