Governing Law and Regulations
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Division of Water
See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.
See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. Virginia has developed thermal discharge regulations that conform to the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Temperature requirements have been established by DEQ to protect the state's native aquatic life. The requirements apply to the state's lakes, rivers, streams, and nontidal waters.
The state issues a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for noncontact cooling water discharges of 50,000 gallons per day (gpd) or less.
• Administration and enforcement. DEQ's Division of Water is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the state's thermal discharge regulations.
9 VAC 25-260-60
Virginia prohibits any rise above natural water temperature in excess of 3°C except in the case of Class VI waters, which are natural trout waters. In these Class VI waters, the increase in water temperature may not exceed 1°C above the natural water temperature. However, on a case-by-case basis, the state may impose more stringent limits on the rise above natural ...