On June 23, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) signed a Memorandum of Agreement to no longer require duplicative permits for activities in nontidal waters. This change in the permitting process is a result of Chapters 258 and 259 of the 2023 Virginia Acts of Assembly (HB 2181 and SB 1074).
Going forward, DEQ will be the lead agency responsible for permitting impacts to nontidal waters, and VMRC will retain responsibility for permitting activities such as subaqueous land permits where DEQ does not have the statutory or regulatory authority to do so. In accordance with the memorandum, when DEQ determines that Virginia Water Protection (VWP) individual permit or general permit coverage is required, no permit will be required by VMRC.
Activities conducted in nontidal waters that have no proposed impacts to state waters regulated by DEQ (i.e., aerial encroachments or subterranean encroachments) nor associated surface water impacts such as those often needed for access, or activities excluded by VWP permit regulations, may still need a permit by VMRC.