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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 06-2314


Availability of Technical Guidance

[36 Pa.B. 7178]
[Saturday, November 25, 2006]

   Technical guidance documents are available on the Department of Environmental Protection's (Department) website at (DEP Keywords: ''Technical Guidance''). The ''Final Documents'' heading is the link to a menu of the various Department bureaus where each bureau's final technical guidance documents are posted. The ''Draft Technical Guidance'' heading is the link to the Department's draft technical guidance documents.

   The Department will continue to revise its nonregulatory documents, as necessary, throughout 2006.

Ordering Paper Copies of Department Technical Guidance

   The Department encourages the use of the Internet to view and download technical guidance documents. When this option is not available, persons can order a paper copy of any of the Department's draft or final technical guidance documents by contacting the Department at (717) 783-8727.

   In addition, bound copies of some of the Department's documents are available as Department publications. Check with the appropriate bureau for more information about the availability of a particular document as a publication.

Changes to Technical Guidance Documents

   Following is the current list of recent changes. Persons who have questions or comments about a particular document should call the contact person whose name and phone number is listed with each document.

Final Technical Guidance:

   DEP ID: 563-2504-001 Title: Conventional Bonding for Land Reclamation--Coal. Description: This guidance, issued under the authority of the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. §§ 1396.1--1396.19a) and the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (52 P. S. §§ 30.51--30.66), describes the regulatory and statutory requirements for determining bond amounts. It also establishes bond rates and the process for determining the bond for land reclamation. Substantive revisions to the guidance relating to the Annual Review requirement were advertised for public comment at 36 Pa.B. 3166 (June 24, 2006). During the 30-day public comment period, comments were received from one commentator, which were addressed by the Department in a separate Comment and Response document that is available on the Department's website (see web address). Since the advertisement of the draft substantive revisions to the guidance on June 24, 2006, the Department modified the guidance further. These changes, which are reflected in the final document, concern instructions for ''Backfilling'' which appear in Appendix C, under ''Grading.'' Concerning the measurement of pit length and width, the Department clarified that these parameters may be measured at the coals to be mined. This revision was made because there are circumstances where measuring at the coal is not appropriate. Contact: William S. Allen, Jr., Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, P. O. Box 8461, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 5th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8461, (717) 787-5103, Effective Date: November 25, 2006.

Draft Technical Guidance

   DEP ID: 392-0900-001 Title: Trading of Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Credits--Policy and Guidelines. Description: This guidance provides revisions to the Interim Final Trading of Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Credits--Policy and Guidelines (Interim Final Policy), published at 35 Pa.B. 5451 (October 2005). Public participation resulted in the following key revisions to the Interim Final Policy:

   *  Definitions have been made analogous to those in existing regulations and applicable program areas.

   *  The baseline for agriculture compliance and the standards thereof have been better defined.

   *  The application of trading ratios has been revised.

   *  A section on managing and tracking credits has been added.

   *  The use of credits for NPDES permits to meet effluent limits and sewage facilities planning requirements has been clarified.

   *  A section on water quality and Total Maximum Daily Loads has been added.

   *  Language on the conversion of farmlands for credits has been clarified.

   *  The approval procedure for credit-generating projects and trade proposals has been further refined.

   The Department has engaged in extensive public participation and stakeholder workgroups generating significant input on implementation of the Chesapeake Bay tributary strategies and trading policy. Public participation included comments on the Interim Final Policy and input received at venues such as the Listening Sessions held in State College, Dauphin County and Lancaster County. Additionally, the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy Steering Committee was expanded and re-convened in January 2006, to address the Tributary Strategy and potential revisions to the Department's nutrient and sediment trading program. Several workgroups were formed to address specific issues related to agriculture, stormwater, legacy sediment, trading, development and point sources. Proceedings from the workgroups can be found at (DEP Keywords ''Chesapeake Bay'').

   Appendix A provides nutrient trading criteria specific to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The attachments to Appendix A are implementation concepts derived from the proceedings from the point source and agriculture workgroups, which include the Point Source Allocation Strategy, Overview of Wastewater Planning Program Procedures, and the Overview of the Agriculture Sectors Participation in Nutrient Trading.

   The Department seeks comment from the broader public on the draft revisions to the policy and on the implementation approaches contained in the attachments.

   The Department notes that it is disinclined to adopt subsection b of the document entitled Overview of Point Source Allocation Strategy. This provision would allow a point source which has reduced nutrient levels to 8 mg/l Total Nitrogen (TN) and 1 mg/l Total Phosphorous (TP) to make an annual cash payment to the Department in lieu of directly purchasing nutrient reduction credits for the remaining reductions needed to meet the lower 6 mg/l TN and .8mg/l TP limits recommended by the Point Source Work Group. The Department questions the need for it to act as an intermediary for the purchase of credits, now that the web-based nutrient trading marketplace is functional. The approach runs counter to the strong recommendations from the Steering Committee and other experts, in favor of allowing the free market to achieve the most cost effective reductions.

   It is the Department's responsibility to assure compliance with Federal and State water quality standards and may implement measures different from, or beyond those set forth in this policy, as may be necessary or appropriate. Written Comments: Interested persons may submit written comments on this draft document by December 15, 2006. Please note that the Interim Final Policy was previously open for public comment. Comments and proceedings from the previous comment period have been reviewed and posted on the Department's website at (DEP Keywords: Chesapeake Bay.) As all previous comments remain under consideration by the Department please limit submissions to new comments not previously submitted. Notice of availability of this draft document for public comment was posted on the Department's website at (DEP Keywords: ''Update'') on November 15, 2006. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. The Department will accept comments submitted by e-mail. A return name and address must be included in each e-mail transmission. Written comments should be submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection, Water Planning Office, P. O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063, or e-mail Ann Smith, Effective Date: Upon publication of notice as final in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Contact: Questions regarding the draft guidance document should be directed to Ann Smith at (717) 772-4785 or at the e-mail address provided previously.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-2314. Filed for public inspection November 22, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]

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