NEW Permit Decision Guarantee Policy
Notice:Tentatively scheduled for November 14, 2012 DEP will begin implementing new permit review procedures under the Permit Decision Guarantee Policy. This policy will affect both the Individual and General NPDES permit application reviews. The following link has additional information on the PDG Policy. As additional information becomes available we will try to make you aware of it.
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 earthmoving sites, investigation of complaints and administering the NPDES permitting program. During the 2010 calendar year, 179 plan reviews were conducted, 106 site inspections were completed, technical assistance was provided to 1,338 individuals, and 157 meetings were conducted. In addition, 30 new NPDES permits for construction activities were processed. Total acres disturbed in 2010 as outlined by plan submittals totaled 942 acres.
Many boroughs and townships 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. The “Annual Contractors Workshop” was also held at Keystone College. Approximately 190 municipal officials, contractors and engineers attend this workshop.
*Proposed amount of acres disturbed based on plans reviewed during the year
Do You Need a Permit?
Those projects which disturb an 1.0 acre or more require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities. As part of this permit, an approved erosion control plan is required. Therefore, a plan must be submitted to our office for review.
Earth disturbance activities associated with agricultural plowing or tilling, timber harvesting, and road maintenance do not require coverage under an NPDES permit. Persons conducting timber harvesting or road maintenance activities that involve 25 acres or more of earth disturbance must apply for and obtain coverage for an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit.
Persons conducting agricultural plowing and tilling activities
are required to develop a conservation plan and implement
agricultural BMPs, but continue to be exempt from permitting
requirements. A farmer who does not have a conservation plan as yet,
or needs an updated plan, is encouraged to contact the District.