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PA conservation regulations clarified


July 6, 2011

HONESDALE, PA — Len Grover of the Wayne County Conservation District told the county commissioners that it was necessary to send two letters to clarify storm water management regulations.

The first letter was sent to contractors, engineers and landscape architects, reminding them of the PA Department of Environment of Protection’s (DEP) rules on earth-moving and earth-disturbance activities.

“Because the current PA Chapter 102 on erosion and sedimentation control guidelines mandate that any earth disturbance activity of one-acre or more requires an National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, we at the district are coaching property owners, developers, whomever, to keep the proposed earth disturbance activity under one acre,” Grover said.

The NPDES permit is very expensive and time consuming, something that most property owners wish to avoid. The administrative fee for the permit is $1,500, plus $100 per disturbed acre. Other than fees, other requirements make the application something that homeowners might want to avoid.

“If the contractor is not prudent and upfront about permitting, and does a job in excess of one acre and is caught, the property owner will have to stop the project, apply for a permit and spend a lot of money, wait for potentially two years for the permit and the resume the job,” he said.

The second letter was sent to municipal officials reminding them of required storm-water management regulations that are in effect.

“Storm water management involves more than just managing storm water as it includes restoration, reclamation, protection and maintenance, and includes means for keeping the amount of surface runoff in a proper balance,” he said.

Where runoff is collected, directed and discharged requires control and oversight. Not every municipality has developed and followed an approved plan, he said.

“The Wayne County Conservation District and the PA DEP are available to assist municipalities in understanding their responsibilities in storm water management,” he said.

Assistance can be offered by calling the district at 570/253-0930 or the DEP at 570/826-2611.