Land Development Erosion Control

Stormwater is excess runoff that is discharged across the land surface or through a man-made channel or pipe to a natural waterway. Land development changes the vegetated cover, compacts soil and increase impervious (i.e. hard) surfaces. These changes typically increases the quantity (i.e. volume, velocity, frequency and duration) and quality of stormwater runoff. Stormwater management is a requirement for land disturbing activities and new developments and attempts to reduce runoff volume, control peak flow rate and improve water quality using best management practices, commonly referred to as BMPs.

Stormwater is regulated from residential, commercial and industrial land development under the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program (VESCP) and Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP).

The VESCP is managed individually by each County for land-disturbing activities over 10,000 square feet. The VESCP requires developments to control the quantity of water conveyed onsite and concentrated runoff being discharged offsite. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) administers the VSMP for the Counties of Culpeper, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock. Developments over one (1) acre of disturbance or within a common plan of development must register for the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination Program General Permit for Construction which requires an approved stormwater management plan that meets state’s requirements for water quantity and water quality (9VAC25-870 et. al.).

For more information, contact Richard Jacobs, P.E. at or 540-825-8591.

Additional Resources

Planning Departments for our Member Counties

** Click here to go to the Stormwater Management Section