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    County of Albemarle

    Albemarle Stormwater Laws & Regulations

    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.

    Excerpt- Albemarle County Code Chapter 17 Water Protection


    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.

    ARTICLE VII. Illicit Discharges, Illicit Connections, and Prohibited Dumping

    Sec. 17-703 Dumping Prohibited

    No person, whether the owner, occupant, lessee, principal, agent, employee or otherwise, may dump or discharge, or allow any other person to dump or discharge, refuse, as that term is defined in Albemarle County Code § 13-100, or any other material or pollutant, natural or synthetic, into the County's MS4, State waters, or a natural stream, unless the dumping or discharge is expressly authorized by the Albemarle County Code.

    ARTICLE IX. Enforcement

    Sec. 17-900 Notice to Comply

    If, after an inspection, the administrator determines that the owner has failed to comply with any requirement of this chapter:

    A. Notice to owner or other person responsible. The administrator shall provide written notice to the owner and any other person responsible for carrying out the terms of the permit, plan or any other applicable requirement of this chapter.

    B. Contents of notice. The notice shall specify the measures needed to comply with the permit, plan or other applicable requirement of this chapter, and shall specify the time within which such measures shall be completed.

    C. How notice delivered. The notice shall be mailed by certified mail, with confirmation of delivery, to the address specified in the permit application, the plan certification, or, if the owner and the County have entered into an agreement as provided in section 17-415, to the address specified therein, or to another address provided by the owner to administrator in writing, or by personal delivery at the site of the land disturbing or development activities to the agent or employee.


    Albemarle County Municipal Code

    Albemarle County Water Website

    Albemarle County Design Standards Manual

    Native Plant Registry