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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 24-550



Availability of Technical Guidance

[54 Pa.B. 2167]
[Saturday, April 20, 2024]

Interim Final Technical Guidance Document—Minor Revision

DEP ID: 381-5511-111. Title: Guidelines for the Uniform Environmental Review Process in Pennsylvania. Description: The Uniform Environmental Review (UER) Process was developed by the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) for Federally funded wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects implemented through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority. This ''NEPA-like'' review is part of the State Environment Review Process (SERP) that has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it meets the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. Implementation of an EPA approved SERP is a condition of the Federal State Revolving Loan Grant. In addition, the UER process allows recipients of multiple Federal funding sources the opportunity of completing one environmental review acceptable to all parties.

 This guidance document update is due to the issuance of Executive Order 14030 which reinstates Executive Order 13690 and the Federal flood risk management standard (FFRMS). The EPA is requiring the SERP update to incorporate Federal Emergency Management Agency's FFRMS for State Revolving Fund programs. The FFRMS requires agencies to select one of three approaches for establishing the flood elevation (how high) and corresponding flood hazard area (how wide) used for project siting, design and construction. These approaches are: (1) Climate Informed Science Approach: The elevation and flood hazard area that result from using the best-available, actionable hydrologic and hydraulic data and methods that integrate current and future changes in flooding based on climate science; (2) Freeboard Value Approach: The elevation and flood hazard area that result from adding an additional 2 feet to the base flood elevation for noncritical actions and by adding an additional 3 feet to the base flood elevation for critical actions; or (3) 500-year floodplain: The area subject to flooding by the 0.2%-annual-chance flood. Section 3.2 Floodplains has been changed accordingly.

 Additional changes to the document include: (1) the table of contents has been revised; (2) the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has updated regulations. As such, the Rural Utility Service Water and Waste Disposal Grant and Loan Program will no longer be participating in the UER process. References to the USDA have been eliminated; (3) Section 3.4 Historic Resources has been updated to follow current Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission guidance; (4) Section 3.5 Sensitive Biological Resources has been updated to align with current Department guidance; (5) Section 3.8 Socio-Economic Issues has been updated to include current Environmental Justice guidance; and (6) Current contact information has been added to Appendix B.

Written Comments: Interested persons may submit written comments by May 20, 2024. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail, must include the originator's name and address and subject ''UER Minor Revisions.'' Electronic comments should be submitted using the Department's eComment site at Written comments should be submitted by e-mail to or by mail 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 comment period will be retained by the Department and considered in finalizing the document.

Contact: Questions regarding this action should be directed to Richard Wright at (717) 772-4059 or

Effective Date: Upon publication as interim final in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Interim Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 24-550. Filed for public inspection April 19, 2024, 9:00 a.m.]

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