Public Notice of Draft NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Small Construction Activities (PAG-01)
[49 Pa.B. 5642]
[Saturday, September 28, 2019]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is announcing the availability of a draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Small Construction Activities (PAG-01). To access the draft PAG-01 and related documents, visit the Department's eLibrary at www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/elibrary/ (select ''Permit and Authorization Packages,'' then ''Clean Water,'' then ''PAG-01 NPDES General Permit (Draft)'').
The PAG-01 General Permit, which is a proposed general permit, is intended to provide NPDES permit coverage to persons discharging stormwater associated with small construction activities to surface waters of this Commonwealth in satisfaction of State NPDES permit requirements in 25 Pa. Code §§ 92a.1(b) and 102.5 (relating to purpose and scope; and permit requirements) and Federal NPDES permit requirements in 40 CFR 122.26(b)(15) (relating to storm water discharges (applicable to State NPDES programs, see § 123.25)). The PAG-01 General Permit would apply to eligible projects that propose less than 5 acres of earth disturbance and will have impervious surface areas no greater than 30,000 square feet within the area of disturbance and impervious surface areas no greater than 12% of the project site area.
If a project is ineligible for PAG-01 and requires NPDES permit coverage, an applicant may, submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for coverage under the PAG-02 General Permit, if eligible, or may submit an application for an individual NPDES permit. A project may be eligible for PAG-01 coverage if stormwater and non-stormwater discharges will conform to the requirements of the General Permit, if technical criteria are met, and if the prohibitions identified in the General Permit do not apply.
The NOI to use the PAG-01 General Permit for NPDES permit coverage would be submitted by applicants to county conservation districts (CCD) that are delegated by the Department to complete reviews of NPDES permit applications under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102 (relating to erosion and sediment control), or in the absence of a delegated CCD, a regional office of the Department. A 30-calendar-day or 60-calendar-day review period would then apply depending on specific factors as explained in the NOI instructions. An eligible PAG-01 applicant may not begin a new discharge under the General Permit until the following conditions have been met:
1. A pre-application meeting or call has been held, unless waived in writing by the Department/CCD.
2. The applicant has submitted a complete NOI package—Department document 3800-PM-BCW0404b and its required attachments—in accordance with the requirements of the General Permit and the NOI instructions;
3. The applicant has received written approval of coverage under PAG-01 signed by the appropriate Department/CCD manager or supervisor;
4. All other permits and approvals relating to the earth disturbance activities reported in the NOI—including but not limited to sewage planning approval required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (35 P.S. §§ 750.1—750.20a), if applicable, have been obtained.
5. A pre-construction meeting has been held unless waived in writing by the Department/CCD.
The PAG-01 General Permit includes: technology-based and water quality-based effluent limitations in the form of erosion and sediment controls and post-construction stormwater management (PCSM) best management practices (BMP); and requirements established in Federal regulations at 40 CFR Part 450 (relating to construction and development point source category). Site inspections must occur on a routine weekly basis, following measurable storm events and in response to an identified deficiency in order to document corrective action. Except for sites enrolled in the Department's Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards (Act 2) program, all fill material excavated and used onsite, imported to the site and exported from the site, must meet the definition of clean fill. The Department/CCD may require cessation of earth disturbance activities where required plans are not in place, where plans are significantly deficient and could result in environmental harm, or where potential or actual harm is identified during onsite inspections. Other permit conditions include but are not limited to long-term operation and maintenance of PCSM BMPs, minimization of soil compaction, requirements related to offsite construction support activities and construction dewatering requirements.
To be eligible for PAG-01, applicants must: control post-construction stormwater by utilizing specific PCSM BMPs that have been evaluated by the Department to protect and maintain water quality and that satisfy 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102 regulatory requirements; or restore the area of disturbance to approximate original condition. PAG-01 may not be used for project sites located within watersheds of High Quality Waters or Exceptional Value Waters (for example, special protection waters) under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 (relating to water quality standards).
Applicants must submit a $500 administrative filing fee to the delegated CCD with the NOI package, as well as any additional fees the CCD requires. Applicants must also submit a fee in the amount of $100 for each disturbed acre to the Department. If a project is located in a county without a delegated CCD, both the disturbed acre fee and the administrative filing fee will be submitted to the Department. In addition, an annual fee of $250 is due each year to a delegated CCD, where applicable, by January 31 until a Notice of Termination is submitted by the permittee and is approved by the CCD.
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding the draft PAG-01 General Permit and associated documents through Monday, October 28, 2019. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. All 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 by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written comments can be mailed to the Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063.
Written comments submitted during the 30-day public comment period will be retained by the Department and considered before finalization of the General Permit. The Department will provide an opportunity for any interested person or group of persons, any affected State, any affected interstate agency, the United States Environmental Protection Agency or any other interested agency, to request or petition for a public hearing with respect to the draft General Permit. The request or petition for public hearing, which must be filed within the 30-day period allowed for filing of written comments, must indicate the interest of the party filing the request and the reasons why a hearing is warranted. A hearing will be scheduled if there is significant public interest.
Questions regarding the draft PAG-01 can be directed to Sean Furjanic at email@example.com or (717) 787-2137.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-1446. Filed for public inspection September 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]
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