Proposed Conditional State Water Quality Certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for the United States Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permits
[50 Pa.B. 6062]
[Saturday, October 31, 2020]
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has published its proposal to reissue and modify Nationwide permits (NWP), including the issuance of five new NWPs under section 404 of the Clean Water Act (act) (33 U.S.C.A. § 1344) and section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C.A. § 403) at 85 FR 57298 (September 15, 2020). The NWPs are listed as follows and would be effective for 5 years upon final issuance in the Federal Register. On October 15, 2020, the Corps Baltimore District requested State Water Quality Certification (SWQC) on behalf of the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Districts under section 401 of the act (33 U.S.C.A § 1341) from the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) for discharges of dredged and fill material into waters of this Commonwealth authorized by the final NWPs.
Consistent with section 401 of the act, the Department proposes to certify that activities authorized by the Corps under the final NWPs will comply with the applicable provisions of sections 301—303, 306 and 307 of the act (33 U.S.C.A. §§ 1311—1313, 1316 and 1317), provided the project applicant complies with the following SWQC conditions and constructs, operates and maintains the project in compliance with the terms and conditions of State law permits obtained to meet these SWQC conditions:
1. Prior to beginning any activity authorized by the Corps under a NWP, the applicant shall obtain from the Department all necessary environmental permits or approvals, and submit to the Department environmental assessments and other information necessary to obtain the permits and approvals, as required under State law, including The Clean Streams Law (35 P.S. §§ 691.1—691.1001), the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (32 P.S. §§ 693.1—693.27), the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P.S. §§ 1396.1—1396.19b), the Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P.S. §§ 3301—3326), The Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (52 P.S. §§ 1406.1—1406.21), the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (52 P.S. §§ 30.51—30.66), the Solid Waste Management Act (35 P.S. §§ 6018.101—6018.1003), the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (35 P.S. §§ 6020.101—6020.1305), the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (35 P.S. §§ 6026.101—6026.908), 58 Pa.C.S. §§ 3201—3274 (relating to development), the Air Pollution Control Act (35 P.S. §§ 4001—4015) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, including 25 Pa. Code Chapters 77, 78, 78a, 86—91, 92a, 93, 95, 96, 102, 105, 127 and 260a—299.
2. Fill material may not contain any waste as defined in the Solid Waste Management Act.
3. Applicants and projects eligible for these NWPs must obtain all State permits or approvals, or both, necessary to ensure that the project meets the state's applicable water quality standards, including a project specific SWQC.
The Department has determined that these proposed SWQC conditions are necessary to achieve the Commonwealth's water quality standards, which have been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as compliant with the act. The proposed SWQC conditions achieve these standards through compliance with existing environmental programs administered by the Department under State laws and regulations.
This proposed SWQC would be subject to the Department's determination that the final NWPs are consistent with the Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C.A. §§ 1451—1466).
This proposed SWQC would only be available for projects that do not require any Federal authorization other than authorization from the Corps under section 404 of the act or section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Applicants seeking authorization for activities not eligible for coverage under the NWPs, or for activities that require another Federal authorization (such as an interstate natural gas pipeline, a gas storage field or a nuclear or hydroelectric project requiring authorization by another Federal agency), must submit a request to the Department for a project-specific SWQC.
The Department will consider all comments received on or before November 30, 2020, before taking the final action on this proposed conditional SWQC. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail, must include the commentator's name and address. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment tool at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment or firstname.lastname@example.org. Written comments can be mailed to the Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, 400 Market Street, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17101-2063. Use ''Proposed SWQC'' as the subject line in written communication.
Comments on regional issues relating to the proposed NWPs and proposed regional conditions should be sent to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, State College Field Office, 1631 South Atherton Street, Suite 101, State College, PA 16801, Attn: Amy Elliott or email@example.com. Comments relating to regional conditions are due to the Corps State College Field Office by 45 days from September 30, 2020.
A full text copy of the NWPs is available on the Corps web site at www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Nationwide-Permits, on the Federal Register web site at www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/15/2020-17116/proposal-to-reissue-and-modify-nationwide-permits, or online at www.regulations.gov—search by Docket COE-2020-0002.
The list of all NWPs proposed for modification or reissuance are as follows:
1. Aids to Navigation
2. Structures in Artificial Canals
4. Fish and Wildlife Harvesting, Enhancement, and Attraction Devices and Activities
5. Scientific Measurement Devices
6. Survey Activities
7. Outfall Structures and Associated Intake Structures
8. Oil and Gas Structures on the Outer Continental Shelf
9. Structures in Fleeting and Anchorage Areas
10. Mooring Buoys
11. Temporary Recreational Structures
12. Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities
13. Bank Stabilization
14. Linear Transportation Projects
15. United States Coast Guard Approved Bridges
16. Return Water from Upland Contained Disposal Areas
17. Hydropower Projects
18. Minor Discharges
19. Minor Dredging
20. Response Operations for Oil or Hazardous Substances
21. Surface Coal Mining Activities
22. Removal of Vessels
23. Approved Categorical Exclusions
24. Indian Tribe or State Administered Section 404 Programs
25. Structural Discharges
27. Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment and Enhancement Activities
28. Modifications of Existing Marinas
29. Residential Developments
30. Moist Soil Management for Wildlife
31. Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Facilities
32. Completed Enforcement Actions
33. Temporary Construction, Access and Dewatering
34. Cranberry Production Activities
35. Maintenance Dredging of Existing Basins
36. Boat Ramps
37. Emergency Watershed Protection and Rehabilitation
38. Cleanup of Hazardous and Toxic Waste
39. Commercial and Institutional Developments
40. Agricultural Activities
41. Reshaping Existing Drainage Ditches
42. Recreational Facilities
43. Stormwater Management Facilities
44. Mining Activities
45. Repair of Uplands Damaged by Discrete Events
46. Discharges in Ditches
48. Commercial Shellfish Mariculture Activities
49. Coal Remining Activities
50. Underground Coal Mining Activities
51. Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities
52. Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects
53. Removal of Low-Head Dams
54. Living Shorelines
A. Seaweed Mariculture Activities
B. Finfish Mariculture Activities
C. Electric Utility Line and Telecommunications Activities
D. Utility Line Activities for Water and Other Substances
E. Water Reclamation and Reuse Facilities
The proposed NWP suspensions (Enclosure 1) and regional conditions (Enclosure 3) applicable to the Com-monwealth were released by Special Public Notice (SPN-20-60) and are available on the Corps web site by searching for ''SPN-20-60'' or at www.nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices/Public-Notice-View/Article/2364484/spn-20-62-nationwide-permit-reissueance-request-for-comments.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 20-1496. Filed for public inspection October 30, 2020, 9:00 a.m.]
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