Thursday, November 2, 2017

DEP Outlines New Procedures For Handling PAG-02 Stormwater General Permits, Revisions Proposed

In order to ensure the continued coverage of existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permitted activities, the Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it is taking a number of steps related to its PAG-02 General Permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities.
The  PAG-02 General Permit is required when a construction site larger than one acre will discharge stormwater to surface water bodies, and is the departments most commonly applied-for general permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities.
On October 21, DEP extended the use of the NPDES General Permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities (PAG-02) for one year, until December 31, 2018. The existing PAG-02 General Permit expires on December 7, 2017.
This extension applies to PAG-02 General Permit authorizations obtained prior to December 7, 2017. All authorizations obtained prior to December 7, 2017 can be used through December 31, 2018.
On November 4, DEP will publish notice of its intent to reissue the current PAG-02 for a five-year term in order to allow the agency time to propose sound revisions to the current General Permit.
DEP’s November 4 notice says, “The Department is not proposing any changes to PAG-02 at this time.”  (formal notice)
The PAG-02 reissuance process requires: a) publication of proposed reissuance, which will occur on November 4; b) a 30-day public comment period which begins on November 4; c) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval; d) consideration of public comments, if any; and e) publication of final PAG-02.
DEP has requested expedited approval from the EPA to reissue the PAG-02 to minimize any gap between the December 7, 2017 expiration date and reissuance of the PAG-02. DEP would like to complete this process before December 31, 2017.
After December 7, 2017, and before any PAG-02 final reissuance, applicants who wish to conduct earthmoving requiring an NPDES permit may apply for an individual permit.
Please contact the relevant DEP Regional Office prior to preparation of an individual permit application.
Individual permittees who were previously eligible for PAG-02 will be charged the current PAG-02 review fee until the PAG-02 is reissued.
DEP expects to propose revisions to the PAG-02 some time during the 5-year permit term; which revisions will include notice and a public participation process.
“DEP is taking steps to ensure the continued coverage of existing NPDES permitted activities while we work to revise the PAG-02 permit,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Beginning this Saturday, interested parties may comment on the proposed PAG-02 reissuance. We encourage the public’s input on the reissuance of our existing General Permit.”
The proposed PAG-02 is available on DEP’s website.
DEP invites public comments on the proposed draft. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments through December 3, 2017. Commentators are encouraged to use DEP’s online eComment system.
Written comments may be mailed to:, or mailed to the Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, 400 Market Street, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA, 17105-2063. All comments submitted during the 30-day comment period will be retained and considered in finalizing the PAG-02.
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