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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 12-92


Modification to General Permit BWQP-GP-15: Private Residential Construction in Wetlands and 401 Water Quality Certification for Consistency with the Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit 4 (PASPGP-4)

[42 Pa.B. 439]
[Saturday, January 21, 2012]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department), under the authority of section 7 of the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (32 P. S. § 693.7) and 25 Pa. Code Chapter 105, Subchapter L (relating to general permits), modified General Permit BWQP-GP-15 which allows the placement and maintenance of fill in, or the excavation of, wetlands for the construction of a private residence, driveway, storage shed and utilities, on residential lots within established subdivisions where these activities do not impact greater than 0.50 acre of wetland. The General Permit BDWW-GP-15 was initially published in final-form at 26 Pa.B. 526 (February 3, 1996) and the Department issued a modified BDWW-GP-15, renamed BWQP-GP-15, at 27 Pa.B. 1195 (March 8, 1997).

 The modifications are minor and are meant to provide consistency with the Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit 4 (PASPGP-4). On June 3, 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published Special Public Notice-11-44, issuing the PASPGP-4 for a 5-year period with an effective date of July 1, 2011. The Department published Water Quality Certification under section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. § 1341) and a determination of Coastal Zone Management Consistency under section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C.A. § 1456) for PASPGP-4 at 41 Pa.B. 3938 (July 16, 2011).

 Prior to the development and issuance of PASPGP-4, applicants seeking to perform activities authorized under BWQP-GP-15 would register use of BWQP-GP-15 with the Department regional office and then seek Corps authorization separately. BWQP-GP-15 is eligible for PASPGP-4 and therefore continues a streamlined process for permit applicants without compromising comprehensive environmental protection. The modifications are limited to the registration process which removes reference to separate Corps authorization and a separate registration form and incorporates BWQP-GP-15 into the same registration process as the other Chapter 105 General Permits.

 The Department published the draft BWQP-GP-15 for public comment at 41 Pa.B. 4257 (August 6, 2011). No comments were submitted to the Department during the 60-day public comment period, which concluded on October 7, 2011, therefore, the Department made no additional changes and provides public notice that a modified BWQP-GP-15, renamed BWM-GP-15, is effective upon February 21, 2012.

401 Water Quality Certification

 The projects covered by the modified BWM-GP-15 may also require a Federal license or permit. Section 401(a) of the Federal Clean Water Act requires that any applicant for a Federal license or permit to conduct any activity which may result in any discharge into the waters of the United States provide the Federal licensing or result in any discharge into the waters of the United States provide the Federal licensing or permitting agency a certificate from the state in which the discharge will originate that the discharge will comply with applicable provisions of The Clean Water Act as well as applicable state law related to water quality protection.

 The Department, by this notice, certifies that the construction, operation, maintenance and removal of any encroachment or water obstruction as proposed in the modified BWM-GP-15 complies with the applicable provisions of sections 301—303, 306 and 307 of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. §§ 1311—1313, 1316 and 1317). The Department further certifies that the construction, operation, maintenance and removal of the projects comply with applicable state laws related to water quality protection and standards provided that the construction, operation and maintenance complies with the criteria and conditions of the permit.

 This certification is further subject to the following conditions:

 1. Prior to beginning any activity covered by the General Permit, the applicant must obtain all other necessary permits or approvals from the Department, including, but not limited to, those required by The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. §§ 691.1—691.1001), the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (32 P. S. §§ 6018.101—6018.1003) and the regulation promulgated thereunder including 25 Pa. Code Chapters 91, 92a, 93, 96, 102 and 105.

 2. Fill material cannot contain wastes as defined in the Solid Waste Management Act (35 P. S. §§ 6018.101—6018.1003).

 A copy of the modified BWM-GP-15 may be obtained by contacting the Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands, Division of Wetlands, Encroachments and Training, P. O. Box 8460, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8460. Persons with a disability may obtain these documents by contacting the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users). A copy of the modified BWM-GP-15 is also available on the Department's web site:, Select: Licensing, Permits and Certification; then Select: Program-Specific Permit/Authorization Packages; then Select: Water Management; then Select: Water Obstruction and Encroachment and Wetlands; and then Select: General Permits, then navigate to the folder for the GP-15 General Permit.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-92. Filed for public inspection January 20, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]

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