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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 21-1895



Availability of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Small Construction Activities (PAG-01)

[51 Pa.B. 7128]
[Saturday, November 13, 2021]

 Under The Clean Streams Law (35 P.S. §§ 691.1—691.1001) and sections 1905-A, 1917-A and 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. §§ 510-5, 510-17 and 510-20), the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) by this notice informs the public of the availability of the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) PAG-01 General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Small Construction Activities (PAG-01). The PAG-01 General Permit will become effective on March 1, 2022, and will expire on February 28, 2027.

 The PAG-01 General Permit is intended to provide NPDES permit coverage to persons proposing an earth disturbance activity (other than agricultural plowing or tilling activities, animal heavy use areas, timber harvesting activities, oil and gas activities and road maintenance activities) involving earth disturbance greater than or equal to 1 acre and less than 5 acres, or an earth disturbance on any portion, part or during any stage of a larger common plan of development or sale that involves greater than or equal to 1 acre and less than 5 acres of disturbance, in accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 102.5(a) (relating to permit requirements). The PAG-01 General Permit may also be used for NPDES permit coverage where the Department or the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires an NPDES permit based on the potential for contribution to a violation of a water quality standard or for significant contribution of pollutants to waters of the United States, in accordance with 40 CFR 122.26(b)(15)(ii) (relating to storm water discharges (applicable to State NPDES programs, see § 123.25)), which may involve less than 1 acre of earth disturbance. The PAG-01 General Permit may not be used for discharges to waters designated for special protection under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 (relating to water quality standards) and other discharges that do not meet eligibility requirements of the PAG-01 General Permit.

 Notice of the availability of a draft PAG-01 General Permit was published at 49 Pa.B. 5642 (September 28, 2019). A 30-day comment period was provided and interested parties were directed to submit comments to the Department's eComment system. The Department received comments from 12 individuals and organizations during the comment period, and a comment and response document has been developed.

 Persons eligible for PAG-01 General Permit coverage must submit a complete Notice of Intent (NOI) package 30 or 60 days prior to the planned date for commencing construction activities involving earth disturbance, depending on factors identified in the PAG-01 NOI Instructions (3800-PM-BCW0405a). In addition to the NOI, a complete NOI package includes: County and Municipal Notification forms; a Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory receipt; a Natural Resources Conservation Ser-vice soil map; Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Module 1; E&S Plan Drawings; Post-Construction Stormwater Management (PCSM) Plan Drawings; and applicable fees. Applicants are not required to prepare a stormwater analysis under 25 Pa. Code § 102.8(g) (relating to PCSM requirements) for PAG-01 coverage as specific PCSM best management practices (BMP) must be selected and implemented that will manage the net change in stormwater runoff volume, rate and water quality comparing pre-construction to post-construction conditions.

 The fees for the PAG-01 General Permit include: (1) a $500 administrative filing fee that is payable to the appropriate delegated county conservation district (CCD) Clean Water Fund or, if earth disturbance will occur in Forest County or Philadelphia County, payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Clean Water Fund; (2) a disturbed acreage fee calculated by multiplying the number of disturbed acres (rounded to the nearest whole acre) by $100, payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Clean Water Fund; and (3) any additional fees that the CCD has established for review of the NOI for PAG-01 coverage. The administrative filing fee and disturbed acreage fee do not apply to entities satisfying the criteria for an exemption under 25 Pa. Code § 102.6(b)(4) (relating to permit applications and fees). Where the CCD will review the NOI, a copy of the NOI must be transmitted to the Department separately, as explained on the PAG-01 NOI checklist (3800-PM-BCW0404c).

 The following substantive changes were made to the final PAG-01 General Permit in comparison to the draft PAG-01 General Permit that was published at 49 Pa.B. 5642:

 • An expiration date of coverage has been established on page 1 (Authorization to Discharge) of February 28, 2027, which is the expiration date of the Statewide PAG-01 General Permit.

 • The proposed $250 annual installment of the NOI fee has been removed from the final PAG-01 General Permit.

 • Infiltration testing is required to verify the capacity of native soils with Hydrologic Soil Group types of A or B to provide infiltration below rain gardens and dry wells when used as PCSM BMPs.

 • The recording of an instrument pertaining to PCSM BMPs must be completed within 45 days of approval of coverage under PAG-01, unless a later date is approved by the Department or CCD. In addition, proof of the recording must be submitted as part of an application to transfer General Permit coverage, when applicable.

 The General Permit package can be accessed through the Department's eLibrary web site at (select ''Permit and Authorization Packages,'' then ''Clean Water,'' then ''PAG-01 NPDES General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Small Construction Activities'').

 In accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 92a.84(c)(3) (relating to public notice of general permits), the Department will publish notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for every approval of coverage under the PAG-01 General Permit.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-1895. Filed for public inspection November 12, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]

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