VESMA Ditch Vladdon Shutterstock 1557692069
The biodegradable coir logs are a natural fiber product that slows velocity of runoff, reduces erosion, provides soil stabilization along river banks, slopes, streams and hillsides
Shutterstock: Vladdon

Update on Virginia’s Unification of Stormwater and Erosion and Sediment Control Programs


Virginia plans to unify its stormwater requirements with its erosion and sediment control (ESC) requirements.  I have blogged and hosted a webinar on the topic.  The Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Act or VESMA, enacted in 2016, provided the push to consolidate these two programs (see House Bill 1250 and its identically-worded counterpart, Senate Bill 673; the VESMA amends many provisions of the Virginia Code but its principal effect is found at Va. Code §62.1-44.15:27, effective July 1, 2024.  There is a lot of overlap between the stormwater rules and the ESC rules, as those rules exist in their current form.  The stated purpose of the VESMA is to streamline these two programs by eliminating redundancies.

Filter sock (or gutter guard) provides inlet protection that prevents debris and other pollutants from entering stormwater systems. Shutterstock photo:Kara Grubis photo.

It Took More Than Seven Years to Make the New Regulation

The legislature, when it adopted the VESMA in 2016, placed language in the Act that delayed its effective date until after the State Water Control Board adopts regulations that consolidate the two programs.  The DEQ in December 2018 issued a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action for that rulemaking.  This past June the State Water Control Board adopted the new regulation that consolidates the stormwater and ESC programs.  The new regulation is called “Consolidation of Virginia Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Programs”.  It will be codified at 9 VAC 25-875-10 to 1400.  Click here to see the text of the new regulation.  The new regulation will be published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on December 4, 2023 and it will take effect on July 1, 2024, at which point the VESMA will supersede and replace the Virginia Stormwater Management Act and the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law.  In addition, the new regulations, when they take effect on July 1, 2024, will repeal the Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations (9 VAC 25-840-10 to 100), the Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management Certification Regulations (9 VAC 25-850-10 to 90) and the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Regulation (9 VAC 25-870-10 to 830). 

Stay tuned to this space for updates on how the new law affects the regulated community in Virginia. 

The silt fence at this construction site prevents sediment from migrating into adjacent lakes and rivers. Shutterstock photo: Sealandsky.


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About The Author

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Jim uses waterfront (riparian) property rights law, maritime & admiralty law, and environmental law to protect Virginians who live, work and play on the water. Contact Jim at (757) 502-7326 or