Availability of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Construction Activities (PAG-02)
[49 Pa.B. 7249]
[Saturday, December 7, 2019]
Under The Clean Streams Law (35 P.S. §§ 691.1—691.1001) and sections 1905-A, 1917-A and 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. §§ 510-5, 510-17 and 510-20), the Department of Environmental Protection (Department), by this notice, informs the public of the availability of the final National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Construction Activities (PAG-02) for a new 5-year term. The PAG-02 General Permit will become effective on December 8, 2019, and will expire on December 7, 2024.
The PAG-02 General Permit is intended to provide NPDES permit coverage to persons proposing an earth disturbance activity (other than agricultural plowing or tilling activities, animal heavy use areas, timber harvesting activities, oil and gas activities and road maintenance activities) involving earth disturbance greater than or equal to 1 acre, or an earth disturbance on any portion, part or during any stage of a larger common plan of development or sale that involves greater than or equal to 1 acre of disturbance, in accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 102.5(a) (relating to permit requirements). The PAG-02 General Permit may not be used for discharges to waters designated for special protection under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 (relating to water quality standards) or other discharges that do not meet eligibility requirements of the General Permit.
Notice of the availability of a draft PAG-02 General Permit was published at 49 Pa.B. 4603 (August 17, 2019). A 30-day comment period was provided and interested parties were directed to submit comments to the Department's eComment system. The Department received comments from 12 individuals and organizations during the comment period, and a comment response document has been developed.
All permittees with existing coverage under the PAG-02 General Permit will be covered under the reissued General Permit on December 8, 2019, under the terms of their existing coverage, and will be subject to the terms and conditions of the reissued General Permit as of that date. The Department, or the delegated county conservation district (CCD) that approved PAG-02 coverage, will transmit notification to all existing PAG-02 permittees explaining the changes to the terms and conditions of General Permit coverage and what steps must be taken for continued coverage.
The fees for the PAG-02 General Permit include: (1) a $500 administrative filing fee that is payable to the appropriate delegated CCD Clean Water Fund or, if earth disturbance will occur in Beaver, Forest or Philadelphia Counties, payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Clean Water Fund; (2) a disturbed acreage fee calculated by multiplying the number of disturbed acres (rounded to the nearest whole acre) by $100, payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Clean Water Fund; and (3) any additional fees that the CCD has established for review of the Notice of Intent (NOI) for PAG-02 coverage, if applicable. The administrative filing fee and disturbed acreage fee do not apply to entities satisfying the criteria for an exemption under 25 Pa. Code § 102.6(b)(4) (relating to permit applications and fees). Where the CCD will review the NOI, a copy of the NOI must be transmitted to the Department separately, as explained on the PAG-02 NOI checklist (3800-PM-BCW0405c).
The following substantive changes were made to the final PAG-02 General Permit in comparison to the draft PAG-02 General Permit that was published at 49 Pa.B. 4603 on August 17, 2019:
• General Permit Implementation—The provision in the draft PAG-02 concerning ''required training'' was modified for the final PAG-02 to clarify the permittee's responsibility to ensure that personnel understand any requirements of this General Permit that are relevant to the work they are contracted to perform.
• Definitions—Certain definitions have been added or updated in the final PAG-02 for clarity and consistency with existing Department regulations and publications.
• Prohibition on Certain Discharges—The draft PAG-02 proposed eligibility criteria concerning discharges to surface waters impaired for siltation, suspended solids or nutrients, with or without a Total Maximum Daily Load, requiring such discharges to use a nondischarge alternative or antidegradation best available combination of technologies (ABACT) best management practices (BMP). The final PAG-02 eligibility criteria identify other, related causes of impairment—turbidity, water/flow variability and flow modifications/alterations—triggering the need for the nondischarge alternative or ABACT BMPs. The final PAG-02 also provides clarification as to the source of impairment information.
• Proof of Instrument Recording—The draft PAG-02 proposed that proof that a legal instrument was recorded for post-construction stormwater management BMPs be provided at the time a Notice of Termination is submitted. The final PAG-02 also requires that proof be provided upon submission of a Transfer Application, if a transfer of coverage is requested.
• Transfer and Co-Permittee Responsibilities—The final PAG-02 requires permittees who wish to transfer General Permit coverage to complete the Department's NPDES/WQM Permit Transfer Application (3800-PM-BCW0041b), and permittees who wish to add new operators to complete the Department's Co-Permittee Acknowledgement Form for Chapter 102 Permits (3800-FM-BCW0271a).
The General Permit package can be accessed through the Department's eLibrary web site at www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/elibrary/ (select ''Permit and Authorization Packages,'' then ''Clean Water,'' then ''PAG-02 NPDES General Permit'').
In accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 92a.84(c)(3) (relating to public notice of general permits), the Department will publish notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for every approval of coverage under the PAG-02 General Permit.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-1811. Filed for public inspection December 6, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]
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