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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 488 (January 27, 2024).

12 Pa. Code § 113.7. Development which may endanger human life.

§ 113.7. Development which may endanger human life.

 (a)  Section 207 of the act (32 P. S. §  679.207) requires the Department to prohibit the construction or substantial improvement of structures which may endanger human life within any area which has been determined to be a flood hazard area by the Environmental Quality Board.

 (b)  The floodplain management regulations adopted by municipalities shall include provisions regulating the construction or substantial improvement of a structure located within a flood hazard area, which structure will be used for the production or storage of a material or substance listed in subsection (c); which will be used for an activity requiring the maintenance of a supply—more than 550 gallons on other comparable volume—of materials or substances on the premises; or which structure will involve the production, storage or use of an amount of radioactive substances. The regulations adopted by municipalities shall require at a minimum the following:

   (1)  That, within a flood hazard area as determined by the Environmental Quality Board except for a delineated floodway area, the construction or substantial improvement shall be prohibited unless it is elevated or floodproofed to remain dry up to at least 1 1/2 feet above the 100-year flood elevation.

   (2)  That, within any delineated floodway area the construction or substantial improvement is prohibited.

 (c)  The following list of materials and substances shall be considered dangerous to human life:

   (1)  Acetone.

   (2)  Ammonia.

   (3)  Benzene.

   (4)  Calcium carbide.

   (5)  Carbon disulfide.

   (6)  Celluloid.

   (7)  Chlorine.

   (8)  Hydrochloric acid.

   (9)  Hydrocyanic acid.

   (10)  Magnesium.

   (11)  Nitric acid and oxides of nitrogen.

   (12)  Petroleum products—gasoline, fuel oil and the like.

   (13)  Phosphorous.

   (14)  Potassium.

   (15)  Sodium.

   (16)  Sulphur and sulphur products.

   (17)  Pesticides including insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides.

   (18)  Radioactive substances insofar as the substances are not otherwise subject to regulation.

 (d)  A municipality which is in compliance with the act and this chapter may, upon request from an applicant, consider the possibility of modifying the freeboard requirement for the kind of development regulated by this section provided that the applicant can demonstrate and the municipality can determine:

   (1)  That there are unique physical circumstances, including exceptional topographical or other existing natural or man-made conditions peculiar to the property.

   (2)  That because of the physical circumstances and conditions, the proposed substantial improvement cannot be reasonably designed and constructed in compliance with the applicable requirements, and that a reduction is therefore necessary.

   (3)  That failure to grant the request will result in exceptional hardship to the applicant.

   (4)  That approval of the request will not result in increased flood heights within any designated floodway.

   (5)  That approval of the request will not result in an additional threat to public health and safety, result in an extraordinary public expense or create a nuisance.

   (6)  That approval of the request will not result in a conflict with other applicable laws or regulations.

 (e)  In approving a request for a reduction in the required freeboard, a municipality shall do the following:

   (1)  Authorize the least reduction necessary to provide relief.

   (2)  Notify the applicant in writing that approval of the request will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance and increase risks to the structure, its contents or occupants. The notification shall be included with the municipal records, as required in paragraph (3).

   (3)  Maintain a complete record of requests which have been approved, authorizing reductions in freeboard.

   (4)  Report the requests which have been approved in its annual report to the Department.

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