Construction, land development, and earthmoving projects continued to be a major focus of the Conservation District’s Erosion and Sediment (E&S) Control program in Lackawanna County. PA Code Title 25 Chapter 102 requires earthmoving projects in the Commonwealth to develop an erosion and sediment pollution control plan and implement best management practices for the control of sediment pollution during construction. In addition, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requires a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for earthmoving activities which disturb one acre or more during the life of a project.
Effective November 18, 2010, the PA DEP reduced the permitted threshold to (1.0) one acre and required the post construction stormwater management component under the Phase II NPDES Program. The permit provides for additional assurance of water quality protection at construction sites.
The Lackawanna County Conservation District’s delegation agreement with the DEP requires reviews of E&S plans, inspections of earth-moving sites, investigation of complaints, and administration of the NPDES permitting program. On average, District staff complete 150 plan reviews, conduct 200 site inspections, provide technical assistance to 850 individuals, and conduct 150 meetings. In addition, 30 new NPDES permits for construction activities are processed in an average year. Earth disturbance, as outlined by plan submissions, totals approximately 450 acres per year.
Many municipalities in the County find the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Program beneficial because it helps to ensure that proper site development practices are employed for land development. Clean water enhances a community’s quality of life and maintains a desirable place to live and work. To provide further assistance, the District co-sponsors the “Annual Contractors Workshop” at Keystone College. Approximately 150-200 municipal officials, contractors, and engineers attend the workshop each year.