2023 Virginia Stormwater Handbook and Policy Update

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has relied on outdated and uncoordinated materials to communicate good engineering practices for stormwater management at land-disturbing sites. The Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook, Stormwater Management Handbook, and Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Manual, for example, are each over or approaching thirty years’ of continued use. Further, DEQ last updated its Best Management Practices Design Specifications in 2011. Over the years, the field of stormwater management has progressed greatly, and manufacturers have developed new, and improved old, products to reduce erosion, control sediment, and reduce pollutant runoff that impairs water quality. New BMPs are also increasingly designed to adapt landscapes for the impacts of a changing climate. Likewise, the Code of Virginia and Virginia Administrative Code have changed significantly.

This presentation will provide an overview of Virginia’s efforts to consolidate Stormwater-related policies and regulations and update the above-mentioned materials to produce a new 2023 Virginia Stormwater Handbook – which will be a living document that is continually and periodically updated as regulations, science and engineering practices evolve. This presentation will also describe the process used to engage a Stakeholder Advisory Group comprised of external constituents and staff internal to the Government of Virginia, as well as outreach efforts to seek input from other stakeholders. As a national leader in its surface water protection efforts, DEQ aspires to produce the “best-in-class” Stormwater Handbook among U.S. states.