Local Stormwater Management Programs: Message to Local Governments from DCR, “START NOW”

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is conducting a series of outreach sessions across the Commonwealth to facilitate rollout of the new stormwater regulations and to provide additional information and guidance on development of Local Stormwater Management Programs now required under the current law and regulation.
While much has been accomplished and DCR’s tools and guidance are evolving and becoming more readily available, there is still much to be undertaken by many localities to implement the new stormwater regulations. One thing remains clear: The clock is ticking and the message from DCR is – “Start Now!!”

One important clarification from these sessions … July 1, 2014 has been widely publicized as the implementation date for Local Government Stormwater management programs. This date however assumes a 12 month extension from the original deadline of June 2013 as allowed under the regulations. Several administrative steps must be followed in order for localities to be granted this extension. DCR has recently published draft guidance which addresses the requirements for extension. The guidance document can be found at:

In short, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board may grant an extension of up to 12 months provided the local program demonstrates “substantial progress” in development. The DCR guidance goes on to define “substantial progress” and provides a general timeline for granting the extension.

Meeting the substantial progress requirement is necessary for consideration by the Soil and Water Conservation Board (Board) in granting a 12-month extension for localities to adopt local storm water management program. Submission of these three items to DCR should be completed by April 1

  1. Identification of the authority to accept complete registration statements;
  2. Preliminary draft of the local storm water management ordinance; and,
  3. Draft staffing and funding plan.

It is anticipated that DCR’s request for an extension based on substantial progress will be considered by the Board in June of 2013. In order to provide for adequate time for DCR staff review prior to presenting to the Board, these items should be submitted to DCR no later than April 1, 2013.

These requirements are the same as those referenced in DCR’s recent grant funding RFP for Virginia Locality Stormwater Program Development. Additional information on the grant funds is available at

If you’d like to discuss Virginia’s new stormwater regulations, compliance strategies, or how localities have been and will be developing local stormwater programs, please contact me at