Dam Safety and Waterway Management
[31 Pa.B. 3476]
Proposed Water Quality Certification under Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act and Coastal Zone Management Consistency under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, for the Army Corps of Engineers Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit (PASPGP-2) and Notice of Revised Chapter 105/PASPGP-2 General Permit Registration and Bog Turtle Screening Processes
On November 21, 2000, the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Districts of the Army Corps of Engineers, under the authority of section 404(e) of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. § 1344(e)), proposed by its Special Public Notice 01-006, to reissue with modifications the State Programmatic General Permit to the Commonwealth (PASPGP-2). Section 401(a) of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. § 1341(a)) requires the State to certify that any activity requiring a Federal license or permit, which may result in a discharge into the waters of the United States, will comply with the applicable provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act as well as applicable State law related to water quality protection. In addition, section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C.A § 1456), requires that any Federal activity that affects a coastal zone should be carried out in a manner consistent with the policy of an approved state Coastal Management Program. On June 11, 2001, the Army Corps of Engineers published Special Public Notice # 01-041, reissuing the Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit (PASPGP-1) as PASPGP-2 for a 5-year period with an effective date of July 1, 2001.
This action by the Corps of Engineers continues the present Federal permitting process undertaken jointly with the State process for activities affecting waterways, water bodies and wetlands authorized under the State's Dam Safety and Encroachment Act. PASPGP-2 places the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) Regional Offices and delegated county conservation districts in the lead for the majority of permit actions.Through the incorporation of Federal and State permitting standards in one process, the PASPGP-2 continues a streamlined process for permit applicants without compromising comprehensive environmental protection.
The Department, by this notice, proposes to certify that the construction, operation and maintenance of an encroachment or water obstruction as proposed in PASPGP-2 complies with the applicable provisions of sections 301--303, 306 and 307 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. §§ 1311--1313, 1316 and 1317). The Department further proposes to certify that the construction, operation and maintenance of such projects complies with applicable State laws related to water quality protection and that the construction, operation and maintenance of the projects does not violate applicable State water quality standards provided that the construction, operation and maintenance of such projects complies with the criteria and conditions of the permit.
Furthermore, this Federal action, PASPGP-2, is subject to review for consistency with the enforceable policies of the Pennsylvania Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program. As required under 15 CFR Part 930 Subpart C (Consistency for Federal Agency Activities), the CZM Program is providing the public this opportunity to develop and provide comments on whether or not the PASPGP-2 is consistent with the CZM Program's policies. The CZM Program's policies can be found on the Department's website at http://www.dep.state.pa.us. Select Subjects; Select O--Office for River Basin Cooperation; Select Coastal Zone Management Program; Select Technical Guidance Document--Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Coastal Zone Management Program and Final Environmental Impact Statement.
Prior to final action on the proposed 401 Water Quality Certification and CZM Consistency for the PASPGP-2, consideration will be given to any comments, suggestions or objections which are submitted in writing by August 7, 2001. Comments concerning the proposed 401 Water Quality Certification and CZM consistency for PASPGP-2 should be directed to Kenneth R. Reisinger, Chief, Division of Waterways, Wetlands & Erosion Control, Bureau of Watershed Management, P. O. Box 8775, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8775, (717) 787-6827 or through Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD). Comments must be submitted in writing and contain the name, address and telephone number of the person commenting and a concise statement of comments, objections or suggestions on this proposal. No comments submitted by facsimile will be accepted. The Department will consider all relevant and timely comments received. Comments must be submitted by August 7, 2001.
Copies of the PASPGP-2 and the Corps Public Notice may be obtained by contacting Patricia Strong, Pennsylvania Section, Baltimore District, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, P. O. Box 1715, Baltimore, MD 21203-1715, (410) 962-1847. PASPGP-2 is also on the Army Corps of Engineers website at http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/regulatory/permit/types.htm. The PASPGP-2 is also posted on the Department website at www.dep.state.pa.us (directLINK ''wetlands'').
Revised Chapter 105/PASPGP-2 General Permit Registration Process
With the new PASPGP-2, effective July 1, 2001, the Department will be utilizing a more comprehensive Chapter 105/PASPGP-2 general permit registration process. This registration process incorporates Federal and State permit application requirements and continues ''one stop permitting'' by allowing the concurrent issuance of State and Federal permits through one application. This streamlined process eliminates the need for permit applicants to apply for separate permits from State and Federal agencies for a single project. General permit registrations will now require a project sketch plan, project location information, consultant information and results of threatened and endangered species reviews. The registration package also includes a single and complete project screening process developed to assist applicants, county conservation districts and the Department in determining that all environmental impacts related to the project have been evaluated and minimized. This registration process, effective on July 1, 2001, will allow permit applicants as well as the Department and delegated county conservation districts to ensure potential projects meet the requirements of the Chapter 105 General Permits as well as the Federal Section 404 PASPGP-2. The revised General Permit Registration package will be available from local county conservation districts and the Department Regional Offices on July 1, 2001. The revised registration package is posted on the Department website at www.dep.state.pa.us (directLINK ''wetlands'').
PASPGP-2 Bog Turtle Screening Process
The bog turtle screening process is a preapplication coordination procedure that provides early notice to landowners of the potential presence of bog turtles which are listed as endangered species under both Federal and State law. Bog turtles are found throughout the 14 county area of Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Delaware, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton and York. This screening process will assist permit applicants in determining whether the associated wetland is potential bog turtle habitat well before the initiation of project plans. The new bog turtle screening process and associated forms will be available from the aforementioned county conservation districts and the Department Regional Offices on July 1, 2001. This screening form is posted on the Department website at www.dep.state.pa.us (directLINK ''wetlands'').
DAVID E. HESS,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 01-1174. Filed for public inspection June 29, 2001, 9:00 a.m.]
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