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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PaDEP Proposed Permit Changes

R.J. Fisher & Associates, Inc.
Civil Engineering, Site Planning, Land Surveying & Landscape Architecture
Creative Ideas & Practical Solutions for Builders & Developers
October 2009 Newsletter

DEP to change the Rules on NPDES Permits !!!
DEP has proposed changes to Chapter 102 regulations on erosion and sedimentation control and post construction storm water permits (NPDES). This change can impact plans you already have approved and permitted !!!

DEP has published proposed changes to Chapter 102 Regulations that will have major impacts on Land Development projects. The NPDES permits you have for your current projects are renewed every 5 years and DEP has instructed the Conservation Districts to use the new regulations for permit renewals. This means that your approved Subdivision or Land Development plans may need to be redesigned to allow for additional storm water infiltration areas, Best Management Practices (BMPs) or Buffer Areas. DEP has held public meetings to receive comments on these regulations where I presented numerous comments along with the Pa. Builders Association.

In our evaluation of several projects designed and approved just four years ago they will need numerous new BMP’s and may ultimately need to eliminate lots or units to comply with the new regulations. Many of the variables in what will be required is dependent on the Conservation District or DEP permit reviewer and how the new regulations are enforced on existing projects. As a builder or developer, you will need to check on expiration dates for your NPDES permits to make sure that they do not expire!

The permit fees are proposed to increase from $500 to $5,000 but the more troubling requirements is for riparian forested buffers along all rivers, perennial or intermittent streams (both sides), Lakes, Ponds or Reservoirs. The buffer is 100’ for all waters and 150’ for Impaired or Special Protection waters. These buffers must be managed and maintained to remove and control noxious weeds and invasive species.

Picture a 200’ wide forested buffer on every swale through your property!! What is your density loss?

We will try to get this changed through the review and comments process!

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