Following precipitation, stormwater is runoff from various surfaces like streets, lawns, and construction sites. It can carry pollutants like oil, grease, metals, and sediments into bodies of water. Stormwater can lead to erosion, flooding, and water pollution if left unmanaged. But with proper management, it can replenish groundwater supplies and protect land and waterways.
Understanding what stormwater regulations apply to you can feel overwhelming. After all, every state has its own rules tailored to protect public waterways and manage the impact of urban development. Learn the crucial standout points of stormwater regulations in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, especially concerning construction sites.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality leads the charge in stormwater management. The DEQ is the primary agency responsible for developing and implementing statewide programs to safeguard water quality and quantity from stormwater runoff. They issue permits, certify land disturbances, and provide compliance assistance.
Virginia classifies stormwater as a “point source” of pollution, meaning its origin is identifiable. This classification includes:
Municipal separate storm sewer systems: MS4s, which are publicly owned, need permits and must develop stormwater management programs.
Construction activities: Permits are often necessary to discharge stormwater from construction activities under the Virginia Stormwater Management Program.
Industrial discharges: Industrial activities are regulated under industrial stormwater permits, requiring specific management practices and monitoring to ensure water quality is maintained.
Erosion and sediment control are other critical aspects, with separate permits needed for land disturbances. Stormwater runoff that is not confined to a single origin is considered a “nonpoint source” of pollution, mainly controlled through erosion and sediment control.
Maryland’s stormwater management program, established under the 2007 Stormwater Management Act, differs from Virginia’s in several ways. Maryland’s program is more localized, with exemptions for agricultural practices and smaller land disturbances. It requires consultation with local Soil Conservation Districts and Planning and Zoning Departments, especially for projects impacting agricultural lands.
This approach contrasts with Virginia’s recent move to consolidate regulations for efficiency, focusing on statewide standards and permits. But while specific regulations and requirements differ, both states share the same underlying goal: to balance development needs with environmental protection.
DC has yet another perspective on stormwater management. Due to its dense urban environment and significant development activities, the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy & Environment has specific requirements for managing stormwater post-construction.
Large development projects in DC must manage stormwater runoff through on-site and off-site practices. These include green roofs, rain gardens, cisterns, and permeable pavements. The district’s Stormwater Management Guidebook provides comprehensive details on compliance, design requirements, and technical guidance.
On January 31, 2020, the DOEE finalized amendments to these regulations. This update reflects the evolving nature of stormwater management in DC, ensuring that practices stay current with the latest environmental standards and urban development trends.
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If you own a construction company or another type of business in Virginia, Maryland, or DC, you are responsible for understanding and complying with applicable stormwater regulations. This calls for expertise, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of regional differences and similarities in environmental protection standards.
That’s where iSTORMWATER steps in. With over 20 years of industry experience, we can keep your business compliant. Our approach includes upfront inspections, clear communication, detailed cost estimates, convenient scheduling, and post-job follow-up. Our certified engineers and project staff are committed to the highest level of quality for long-lasting results and your complete satisfaction.
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Incredible stormwater management service. The owner John consulted on a property I manage and ended up saving us thousands of dollars in environmental fees from the government. Now, our property is compliant with the EPA and we have a great partner to keep us maintained on storm water regulations over time.