A. The Department, with the assistance of the Watershed Planning and Permitting Coordination Task Force, shall undertake such efforts it deems necessary and appropriate to coordinate the watershed-level activities conducted by state and local agencies and authorities and to foster the development of watershed planning by localities. To aid in the coordination and promotion of these activities, the Department shall to the extent practicable in its discretion:
1. Promote and coordinate state and local agencies’ and authorities’ efforts to undertake watershed planning and watershed permitting;
2. Acquire, maintain and make available informational resources on watershed planning;
3. Promote the continuation of research and dialogue on what is entailed in watershed planning and watershed permitting;
4. Identify sources and methods for providing local officials with technical assistance in watershed planning;
5. Encourage and foster training of local officials in watershed planning;
6. Develop recommendations for needed regulatory and legislative changes to assist local governments in developing and implementing watershed planning;
7. Identify barriers to watershed planning and watershed permitting, including state policies, regulations and procedures, and recommend alternatives to overcome such obstacles; and
8. Develop, foster and coordinate approaches to watershed permitting.
B. The Department shall report annually its watershed planning and permitting activities, findings and recommendations and those of the Task Force to the Governor and the General Assembly. This annual report may be incorporated as part of the report required by § 62.1-44.118.
C. Nothing in this article shall be construed as requiring additional permitting or planning requirements on agricultural or forestal activities.
1995, c. 793; 2007, c. 637.