Flood Protection and Dam Safety (Virginia)
Last modified on February 12, 2015.
|Applies to States or Provinces||Virginia|
|Name||Flood Protection and Dam Safety (Virginia)|
|Policy Category||Other Policy|
|Policy Type||Environmental Regulations, Safety and Operational Guidelines, Siting and Permitting|
|Affected Technologies||Hydroelectric, Hydroelectric (Small)|
|Program Administrator||Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation|
All dams in Virginia are subject to the Dam Safety Act and Dam Safety Regulations unless specifically excluded. A dam is excluded if it: (a) is less than six feet high; (b) has a maximum capacity less than 50 acre-feet and is less than 25 feet in height; (c) has a maximum capacity of less than 15 acre-feet and is more than 25 feet in height; (d) is used primarily for agricultural purposes and has a maximum capacity of less than 100 acre-feet or is less than 25 feet in height (if the use or ownership changes, the dam may be subject to regulation); (e) is owned or licensed by the federal government; (f) is operated for mining purposes under 45.1-222 or 45.1-225.1 of the Code of Virginia; or (g) is an obstruction in a canal used to raise or lower water levels. Dams are classified with a hazard potential depending upon the downstream losses anticipated in event of failure. The owner of each regulated high, significant, or low hazard dam is required to apply to the board for an Operation and Maintenance Certificate. After a dam is certified by the board, annual inspections are required either by a professional engineer or the dam owner, and the Annual Inspection Report is submitted to the regional dam safety engineer.
Floodplain Management Program staff works with localities to establish and enforce floodplain management zoning. Floodplain zoning regulates how development is allowed within floodplains. The program's main goal is to protect people and their property from unwise floodplain development. Localities use the program's state model ordinances, in which minimum standards for local regulations are set, to write their own. Local governments can set more restrictive standards to ensure higher levels of protection for residents in flood hazard areas. Also, the state has used the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code to set construction standards for structures built in Federal Emergency Management Agency designated flood hazard areas.
|Contact Name||Ken Turner, P.E.|
|Department||Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|Division||Dam Safety and Floodplain Management|
|Address||203 Governor Street, Suite 210|
|Phone 2||(804) 371-6095|
|Department||Virginia State Corporation Commission|
|Division||Division of Energy Regulation|
|Address 2||1300 E. Main St.|
Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)
|Authority 1:||Va. Code 10.1-600 et seq.|