Proposed Conditional State Water Quality Certification for the Army Corps of Engineers Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit (PASPGP-5)
[46 Pa.B. 2737]
[Saturday, May 28, 2016]
On September 29, 2015, the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Districts of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), under the authority of section 404(e) of the Clean Water Act (act) (33 U.S.C.A. § 1344(e)), proposed by its Special Public Notice 15-60 to issue Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit-5 (PASPGP-5) for a 5-year period. Section 401(a) of the act (33 U.S.C.A. § 1341(a)) requires an applicant seeking coverage under PASPGP-5 to provide the Corps with certification from the Commonwealth that its discharge will comply with the applicable provisions of the act (33 U.S.C.A. §§ 1251—1388). The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) has established water quality standards for this Commonwealth and programs to achieve those standards consistent with the applicable provisions of the act, which have been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. On April 19, 2016, the Corps furnished the Department with a final copy of PASPGP-5 with a planned effective date of July 1, 2016. The Department is providing notice of its proposed conditional State Water Quality Certification for use by applicants seeking coverage under PASPGP-5 for projects that do not require any Federal permit or license other than a section 404 permit under the act.
PASPGP-5 continues the Corps' recognition of the Commonwealth's permitting process for activities affecting waterways, water bodies and wetlands authorized under the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (32 P.S. §§ 693.1—693.27). PASPGP-5 allows applicants to obtain both Corps section 404 permits and State water obstruction and encroachment permits through a joint application submitted to the Department and delegated conservation districts for the majority of projects requiring these permits in this Commonwealth. Through the incorporation of Federal and State permitting standards in one process, PASPGP-5 continues a streamlined process for permit applicants without compromising comprehensive environmental protection. This proposed State Water Quality Certification applies to activities that qualify for PASPGP-5 within the jurisdiction of section 404 of the act and structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States under section 10 of the River and Harbor Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C.A. § 403).
The Department, by this notice, proposes to certify that the discharge of dredged or fill material under PASPGP-5 for a project to construct, operate and maintain an encroachment or water obstruction regulated under the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act and its implementing regulations in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 105 (relating to dam safety and waterway management) complies with the applicable provisions of sections 301—303, 306 and 307 of the act (33 U.S.C.A. §§ 1311—1313, 1316 and 1317). The Department further proposes to certify that the construction, operation and maintenance of the projects in accordance with PASPGP-5 will comply with the Commonwealth's water quality standards provided that the construction, operation and maintenance of the projects comply with the criteria and conditions of the applicable State law permits.
The Department further intends that this State Water Quality Certification be subject to the following conditions. Prior to beginning any activity covered by PASPGP-5, the applicant must obtain all 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, 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) and the regulations promulgated thereunder including 25 Pa. Code Chapters 91, 92a, 93, 95, 102, 105 and 260a—299. Additionally, all environmental assessments required under these regulations, in addition to other regulatory requirements, must be complied with as a condition of the State Water Quality Certification for PASPGP-5 consistent with section 401 of the act. Individual activities conducted within the jurisdiction of section 404 of the act or section 10 of the River and Harbor Act of 1899 that are not covered under PASPGP-5 must obtain separate State Water Quality Certification consistent with section 401 of the act. Activities that require any Federal authorization other than or in addition to an authorization under section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 or section 404 of the act (such as, but not limited to, an interstate natural gas pipeline, a gas storage field, or a nuclear or hydroelectric project requiring authorization by a Federal license, certification or permit) shall submit a request to the Department for State Water Quality Certification for the entire project requiring Federal authorizations as required by section 401 of the act.
The Department will consider all comments received on or before June 27, 2016, before taking final action on a conditional State Water Quality Certification. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail, must include the originator's name and address. Commentators are urged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment system at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment. Written comments should be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands, 400 Market Street, P.O. Box 8460, Harrisburg, PA 17101-8465.
The proposed PASPGP-5 and Corps public notices can be viewed on the Corps web page at http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices/PublicNoticeView/tabid/16587/Article/747111/spn16-22-pennsylvania-state-programmatic-general-permit-5-paspgp-5.aspx. Copies of PASPGP-5 and Corps public notices may be obtained by contacting Mary Lou Martin, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, State College Field Office, 1631 South Atherton Street, State College, PA 16801 or (814) 235-0570.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-917. Filed for public inspection May 27, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]
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