On Nov. 16, 1990, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed permitting regulations for stormwater discharges as required by the federal Clean Water Act. Effective Oct. 1, 1992, all construction activities proposing to disturb five or more acres of land must be authorized by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit.

In Pennsylvania, the NPDES permit program is delegated to and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP has delegated the management of the NPDES program to the Warren County Conservation District. DEP and districts jointly regulate construction activities utilizing existing state regulations concerning erosion control and NPDES permits to implement the federal requirements.

Pennsylvania’s Chapter 92, NPDES regulations, provide for the development and use of individual and general NPDES permits. On Oct. 4, 1997, DEP made available General Permit PAG-02 (1997 Amendment) for the discharge of stormwater associated with construction activities. This general permit can be used for most construction activities disturbing one or more acres. Some exceptions for use of the general permit are:

  1. Activities in special protection watersheds;
  2. Activities that discharge hazardous pollutants or toxics;
  3. Activities that would violate water quality standards;
  4. Activities prohibited from coverage under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 92.

The following is a list of requirements for General NPDES Permit Applications:

  • Notice of Intent Form (1 original and 2 copies)
  • Complete Erosion and Sediment Control Plans (3 copies)
  • Permit filing fee of $500 payable to Warren County Clean Water Fund
  • Location Map (Copy of USGS Map preferred) (3 copies)
  • Act 14 Notifications (to County Commissioners & municipal officials) (3 copies)
  • Proof of receipt of County & Municipal notification (3 copies)
  • Completed PNDI Search Form (3 copies)
  • Post-construction Stormwater Management Plan (3 copies)
  • Erosion and Sediment Control plan review fee payable to Warren County Conservation District

Operators of earthmoving activities which meet any one of the exceptions for general permits must obtain an individual NPDES permit. An individual permit application must be submitted, reviewed and approved before earthmoving activities begin. Applications must include an E&S Plan which will be reviewed by the District. The District will make a recommendation on permit issuance or denial to DEP’s regional office. The final permit decision will be made by the DEP Regional Office. Applicants should allow at least 90-120 days for the processing of an individual permit application.

The following is a list of requirements for Individual NPDES Permit Applications:

  • Notice of Intent Form (1 original and 2 copies)
  • General Information Form, GIF (3 Copies)
  • Complete Erosion and Sediment Control Plans (3 copies)
  • Permit filing fee of $1500 payable to Warren County Clean Water Fund
  • Location Map (Copy of USGS Map preferred) (3 copies)
  • Act 14 Notifications (to County Commissioners & municipal officials) (3 copies)
  • Proof of receipt of County & Municipal notification (3 copies)
  • Completed PNDI Search Form (3 copies)
  • PHMC Cultural Resource Notice (3 copies)
  • Post-construction Stormwater Management Plan (3 copies)
  • Erosion control plan review fee payable to Warren County Conservation District

The new NPDES regulations also require that a post-construction stormwater plan be submitted with the NPDES Permit application.  Infiltration will be the key to developing a good post-construction stormwater plan.  The new permit requires that the net difference between the pre and post runoff be infiltrated back into the ground for ground water recharge.  The post-construction stormwater plan should include the following information:

  • Written narrative
  • Location of post-construction BMPs
  • Plan drawings of permanent stabilization
  • Operation and maintenance procedures
  • Supporting calculations or measurements
  • 2-year / 24-hour frequency storm rainfall amount
  • Percent of impervious surface
  • Weighted runoff coefficients
  • Runoff from a 2-year / 24-hour frequency storm
  • Volume of water infiltrated through BMPs
  • Peak discharge rate

WHO IS THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY?
The operator of the construction activity is responsible for obtaining the permit. The operator of the construction activity is the party or parties that either individually or collectively meet the following criteria:

1. Responsibility for site specifications, including the development or modification of the erosion and sediment control plan;

and/or

2. Day to day control over construction site activities, including the implementation and maintenance of the BMPs, and compliance with the permit conditions.

Operators can be the owner, the developer, general contractor or individual contractor.

Operational control can be shared or transferred between the landowner, developer and contractor. DEP has developed Transferee/Co-Permittee forms to allow for the flexibility of the sharing of the permit or the transfer of permit responsibilities. DEP has also developed a Notice of Termination (NOT) form to be used by permittees or co-permittees when:

1. The operator is no longer responsible at the construction site;

and/or

2.Stormwater discharges from the construction activity at the site have been terminated, and the site has been stabilized.

Notice of Termination Form

Transferee/Co-Permittee Form

Definitions:

Point Source – Any discernable, confined and discrete conveyance, including, but not limited to, any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, CAFO, landfill leachate collection system, or vessel or floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged.

Surface Waters of the Commonwealth– Any and all rivers, streams, creeks, rivulets, impoundments, ditches, water courses, storm sewers, lakes, dammed water, ponds, springs, wetlands and other bodies or channels of conveyance of surface water, or parts thereof, whether natural or artificial, within or on the boundaries of this Commonwealth (Pennsylvania).