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Virginia DEQ Unveils Comprehensive New Stormwater Management Handbook

The Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, Version 1.0 has been released, replacing previous editions, including the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook (1992) and Virginia’s Stormwater Management Handbook (1999). 

We are proud that Legacy contributed to this comprehensive handbook by conducting extensive research and co-authoring multiple chapters.

This updated handbook integrates design documents, technical memorandums, accumulated knowledge, and insights gathered from 30 years of experience in erosion and sediment control and stormwater management in Virginia. The primary objective is to improve the design, construction, and maintenance of construction and post-construction BMPs across the Commonwealth. 

The new handbook includes several notable changes 

  • Consolidated regulations reduce complexity and improve ease of use. The Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program (VESMP) authorities will replace the individual Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program (VESCP) authorities and Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) authorities. The new handbook also incorporates relevant information from and replaces the following guidance documents, which will be rescinded on July 1, 2025: 

  1. Guidance Document on VSMP Site Inspection Strategies

  2. Guidance Document on Utilization of Nonpoint Nutrient Offsets

  3. Guidance Memo No. 14-2002 Implementation Guidance for the 2009 General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities, 9VAC25-880

  4. Guidance Memo No. 14-2014 Implementation Guidance for Section 47 (time limits on the applicability of approved design criteria) and Section 48 (grandfathering)

  5. Guidance Memo No. 15-2003 Post development SW Mgmt Implementation Guidance for Linear Utility Projects

  6. Guidance Memo No. 22-2011 Streamlined Plan Review for Construction Stormwater Plans and Erosion and Sediment Control Plans submitted by a Licensed Design Professional and reviewed by a Dual Combined Administrator for Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management

  7. Guidance Memo No. 22-2012 Stormwater Management and Erosion & Sediment Control Design Guide

- Changes that affect construction contractors: The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has coordinated the timing of its consolidated stormwater and erosion and sediment control (ESC) regulations with the issuance of the VPDES Construction General Permit (CGP). This means all changes will take effect on July 1, 2024. Construction contractors should be aware that any projects continuing past June 30, 2024, or starting after that date, will require coverage under the new VPDES Construction General Permit.

- Changes that affect local government: The Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program (VESMP) has replaced the previous Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program (VESCP) and Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) authorities. Localities must update their ordinances to comply with these changes by July 1, 2024. DEQ’s December 27, 2023 memo

- Not everything happens at once, there is a one-year transition period. Plans submitted for review between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025, may follow either the new VSMH or the previous guidance. Beginning July 1, 2025, all plans must conform to the guidelines in the VSMH version 1.0. This is a living document that will be continually updated as regulations, science, and engineering practices evolve.


Questions? We can help!


  • 2024 VPDES CONSTRUCTION GENERAL PERMIT: Legacy Engineering can assist you with a new registration statement. 


We look forward to working with you!


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