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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 11-1188


Dam Safety and Waterway Management; Water Quality Certification under Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act and Federal Consistency Review under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 for the Army Corps of Engineers Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit (PASPGP-4)

[41 Pa.B. 3938]
[Saturday, July 16, 2011]

 On November 1, 2010, the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Districts of the Army Corps of Engineers, under the authority of section 404(e) of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. § 1344(e)), proposed by its Special Public Notice 10-65, to issue Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit—4 (PASPGP-4) for a 5-year period. Section 401(a) of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. § 1341(a)) requires the Commonwealth to certify that any activity requiring a Federal license or permit, which may result in a discharge into the waters of the United States, will comply with the applicable provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act as well as Commonwealth water quality standards. In addition, section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C.A § 1456) requires that any Federal action which affects the coastal use or resource of a coastal state will be undertaken in a manner consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of that state's approved Coastal Management Program. On June 3, 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers published Special Public Notice—11-44, issuing the PASPGP-4 for a 5-year period with an effective date of July 1, 2011. The PASPGP-4 is available for use as of July 16, 2011.

 This action by the Army Corps of Engineers continues the present Federal permitting process undertaken jointly with the State permitting process for activities affecting waterways, water bodies and wetlands authorized under the Dam Safety and Encroachment Act (32 P. S. §§ 693.1—693.27). PASPGP-4 places the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) regional offices and delegated county conservation districts in the lead for the majority of permit actions. Through the incorporation of Federal and State permitting standards in one process, the PASPGP-4 continues a streamlined process for permit applicants without compromising comprehensive environmental protection.

 At 41 Pa.B. 2762 (May 28, 2011), the Department requested public comment on the proposed 401 Water Quality Certification and Coastal Zone Management Consistency for PASPGP-4. No comments were submitted to the Department during the 30-day public comment period, which concluded on June 27, 2011; therefore, the Department provides public notice that 401 Water Quality Certification has been issued for the construction, operation and maintenance of an encroachment or water obstruction as proposed in PASPGP-4 and that those projects were determined to comply with the applicable provisions of sections 301—303, 306 and 307 of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. §§ 1311—1313, 1316 and 1317). The Department has further certified that the construction, operation and maintenance of the projects complies with applicable State laws related to water quality protection and that the construction, operation and maintenance of the projects does not violate applicable State water quality standards provided that the construction, operation and maintenance of the projects complies with the criteria and conditions of PASPGP-4.

 The Department further requires that this certification be subject to the following condition. Prior to beginning any activity covered by PASPGP-4, the applicant must obtain all necessary permits or approvals from the Department, including, but not limited to, those required by The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. §§ 691.1—691.1001), the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, the Solid Waste Management Act (35 P. S. §§ 6018.101—6018.1003), the Oil and Gas Act (58 P. S. §§ 601.101—601.605), the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (35 P. S. §§ 6020.101—6020.1305), the Land Recycling and Remediation Standards Act (35 P. S. §§ 6026.101—6026.908) and the regulations promulgated thereunder including 25 Pa. Code Chapters 75, 78, 91—93, 95, 102, 105 and 260—299. Additionally, all environmental assessments required under these regulations, in addition to other regulatory requirements, must be complied with as a condition of Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the PASPGP-4.

 Furthermore, the Department has concurred with the Army Corps of Engineers' determination that the use of the PASPGP-4 is consistent with the Coastal Resources Management Program of this Commonwealth. Copies of the PASPGP-4, the 401 Water Quality Certification and the Coastal Resources Management Program's consistency concurrence may be obtained by contacting Kenneth Murin, Chief, Division of Waterways, Wetlands, and Stormwater Management, Bureau of Watershed Management, P. O. Box 8775, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8775, (717) 787-6827 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD).

 Activities authorized by PASPGP-3, where the authorization did not expire prior to June 30, 2011, are reauthorized by the PASPGP-4 without further notice to the applicable Corps District provided the proposed regulated activities comply with all terms, conditions, limits and best management practices identified and required by the PASPGP-4 and the applicable Department authorizations. In addition, all special conditions attached to the original PASPGP-3 authorization are special conditions of the PASPGP-4 authorization. Requests for modification of the authorized work and/or special conditions must be submitted in writing to the applicable Corps District. The duration of these reauthorizations will be for the term of the PASPGP-4 (June 30, 2016) or the applicable Department Chapter 105 authorization, for Category I or II activities, or 5 years from the date of the PASPGP-3 Category III verification, whichever is less.

 The proposed PASPGP-4 and Army Corps of Engineers public notices can be viewed on the Army Corps of Engineers web page at Copies of the PASPGP-4 and the Army Corps of Engineers public notices may be obtained by contacting Mary Lou Martin, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, State College Field Office, 1631 South Atherton Street, State College, PA 16801 or (814) 235-0570.

 Finally, since the PASPGP-4 is duplicative of some Nationwide Permits (NWP) and offers a more simplified and streamlined regulatory process, the Army Corps of Engineers has suspended those NWPs, which are applicable to activities qualifying for PASPGP-4. Special Public Notice 07-37 dated September 11, 2007, further detailing the suspension of the NWPs, remains in effect. This public notice is available on the Baltimore District web site at


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 11-1188. Filed for public inspection July 15, 2011, 9:00 a.m.]

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