DEQ has developed the Wind Permit by Rule (PBR) Regulation and the Wind PBR Guidance. Information about the development of both documents appears below.
Wind PBR Regulation
DEQ began implementation of the 2009 “Small Renewable Energy Projects” statute by convening a Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) to advise the department concerning potential regulatory provisions. Wind RAP Membership included a broad array of stakeholders from state government, wind energy developers, environmental advocacy groups, academia, and local government. The Wind RAP met 15 times between July 2009 and January 2010, reaching consensus on all but three issues. Minutes of the RAP’s meetings and other pertinant documents may be found at Virginia Regulatory Town Hall [enter Keyword "wind" to access all associated documents].
DEQ’s director approved a proposed Wind PBR in early 2010. This proposed regulation then proceeded through Executive Review, followed by a formal public comment period. To view the documents associated with the draft regulation proposed go to the Virginia Town Hall website. During the formal public comment period, a public hearing was conducted on August 3, 2010. At the public hearing, DEQ staff made a presentation to assist the public in understanding the proposal and its development. The public was afforded the opportunity to speak at this public hearing, but no members of the public chose to do so.
In June 2010, DEQ convened a second Wind RAP – which focused on issues related to wind projects in Virginia’s coastal regions and state waters. Once again, the Offshore/Coastal Wind RAP Membership included a broad array of stakeholders. The Offshore/Coastal Wind RAP reached consensus on all issues, and its recommendations became part of the originally-proposed Wind PBR, along with changes staff made to the draft regulation in response to public comments. Minutes of the Offshore/Coastal Wind RAP’s meetings and other pertinant documents may be found at Virginia Regulatory Town Hall [enter Keyword "offshore" to access all associated documents].
In order to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the Offshore/Coastal Wind RAP’s recommendations and other changes to the originally-proposed Wind PBR, DEQ released an informal public comment period notice. This second informal comment period began on September 4 and ended on October 5, 2010. In addition to the two public comment periods, DEQ's director conducted a public meeting on October 18, 2010, 1:00 p.m., at DEQ’s central office, 629 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia. Though not required by the APA, the public meeting provided the commenting public with an opportunity to address the director in person. Comments made during both public comment periods and the public meeting were carefully considered by the director during his decision-making process.
The regulatory provisions approved by the director on October 22, 2010, proceeded successfully through final Executive Review. These documents included the final Wind PBR Regulation and the Final Regulation Agency Background Document, Town Hall 03. The Wind PBR was published in the Virginia Register on November 22, 2010, becoming effective on December 22, 2010. The Wind PBR Regulation appears in the Law & Regulations section of this Renewable Energy website.
Wind PBR Guidance
DEQ has developed Guidance for the benefit of Wind PBR permit applicants, members of the public, and agency staff. The Wind PBR Guidance provides DEQ's suggestions as to how the requirements of 9 VAC 15-40, the "Small Renewable Energy Project (Wind) Permit by Rule" regulation, might be met. Like the statute and implementing regulations, the Wind PBR Guidance addresses pre-construction natural resource analyses, mitigation plans, post-construction monitoring, and other PBR requirements and issues. Where appropriate, the Guidance discusses methods of performing the required regulatory tasks. To view all Guidance Documents developed for Small Renewable Energy Projects, including the Wind PBR Guidance, click on the "Guidance Documents" section of this Renewable Energy website.
Please contact Carol Wampler at (804) 698-4579 or Carol.Wampler@deq.virginia.gov with any questions.