"Criteria for the Placement of Sandy Dredged Material along Beaches in the Commonwealth"

4 VAC 20-400-10. Objective and goals.

A. The objective is to assure that all suitable dredged material is utilized on eroding beach shorelines to the maximum extent practicable.

B. In considering dredging permit applications, the commission will endeavor to:

1. Support §10.1-704 of the Code of Virginia which provides that the beaches of the Commonwealth be given priority consideration as sites for the disposal of that portion of dredged material determined to be suitable for beach nourishment;

2. Coordinate and cooperate with the appropriate state and federal agencies to the extent that VMRC regulatory actions can support those agencies in administering House Joint Resolution No. 223, 1987 session, regarding the use of dredged material for beach nourishment; and

3. Resolve or minimize legal, environmental and engineering problems which can result from inadequate planning of dredged material placement.

4 VAC 20-400-20. Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to develop manageable criteria and threshold levels for use by commission staff in determining which projects justify a requirement for the expenditure of funds by an applicant for sediment tests as well as investigation of legal, environmental and engineering implications inherent in every dredged material placement proposal.

4 VAC 20-400-30. Policy.

The commission will strive to achieve maximum beneficial uses of suitable dredged material for those projects which qualify under criteria established here while protecting the interests of the Commonwealth in the land and the resources lying channelward of the mean low water shoreline which land and resources are owned by the Commonwealth and are to be held as a common for use by all its citizens.

4 VAC 20-400-40. General criteria.

Increasing interest in the beneficial uses of dredged material dictates a more structured approach to the processing of dredging permit applications. Parameters to be considered in attempting to utilize suitable material for beach nourishment are frequently economic, legal, political, or technical, as well as environmental, and most often a combination of all these factors.

Because of the complexity of interests involved, certain threshold levels are needed to more readily define projects which justify the time and expense of determining whether beach nourishment is a reasonable alternative.

The following general criteria should be used to determine candidate projects suitable for detailed evaluation:

1. More than 7,500 cubic yards of material is to be removed and, based on previous experience, there is a reasonable expectation that usable quantities of suitable beach nourishment material free from toxic compounds is present in the material to be dredged.

2. Beaches with a demonstrated need for and capability of accepting all or a part of the available material are within proximity of the dredging site.

3. The political subdivision within which the potential placement site is located has expressed an interest in obtaining beach nourishment material.

4. The applicant understands that he will be required to undertake the research necessary to locate private property owners willing to accept the material if no publicly owned shoreline is in reasonable proximity.

5. When beach nourishment is incorporated into a dredging project, a more comprehensive subsurface investigation plan is required than if dredging is the only consideration.

4 VAC 20-400-50. Specific criteria.

A. Sufficient borings must be made and analyzed to develop a clear picture of the vertical and horizontal limit of sand deposits in the dredging area. Such borings are the responsibility of the dredging applicant.

B. Shoreline investigations at the nourishment site shall determine the characteristics of the native material, the location of utilities, structures, outfall pipes, property lines along shore transport, and other basic engineering considerations.

C. Engineering information must be analyzed to determine acceptable grain size range of fill material, design berm height, width and length, probable fate of the material, expected loss rates and the resulting maintenance requirements.

D. Legal easements and public rights-of-way must be obtained from property owners which preserve public use and state ownership of all state-owned submerged land existing channelward of mean low water shoreline prior to the placement of any material. These legal documents are the responsibility of the dredging applicant or property owners, or both.

E. The project should be engineered in a manner which results in the least environmental impact while providing an efficient and cost effective construction plan. Consideration will be given, but not limited to, the project's potential impacts on existing natural resources and habitats. These include, inter alia, existing finfish, shellfish, turtle and avian species and their critical time periods for spawning, nesting and nursery functions in areas of submerged aquatic vegetation, wetlands and submerged or intertidal and beach habitat.

Statutory Authority:  §28.2-103 and Chapter 14 (§28.2-1400 et seq.) of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia.
Historical Notes: 
Derived from VR450-01-0052 §5; eff. August 2, 1989.

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