PADEP Reissues PAG-02 NPDES General Permit: The 7 Things You Should Know

On Saturday, December 7, 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) published a final 2019 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Construction Activities (PAG-02) in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The 2019 PAG-02 became effective on December 8, 2019, and will expire on December 7, 2024. If you currently have a valid PAG-02 permit, you will receive a notice letter from the PADEP this week notifying you that the 2017 PAG-02 expired on December 7, 2019. In this post, we highlight the notable changes between the reissued 2019 PAG-02 and the old 2017 PAG-02 permit. We also cover your action item identified by the PADEP: completing the Acknowledgement Form.

Construction activities

1. Permit Coverage

If you currently have a 2017 PAG-02 permit and expect to have stormwater discharges associated with construction activities past the expiration date of your PAG-02 coverage, you will need to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to renew your coverage at least 180 days prior to your current PAG-02 expiration. The PADEP or delegated County Conservation District (CCD) will authorize your renewed coverage until December 7, 2024, which is the date the 2019 PAG-02 will expire. In the past, permit coverage under PAG-02 was provided for five years and could often extend beyond the term of the PAG-02 itself.

2. Discharges to Impaired Waters

Will any additional earth disturbance  be proposed throughout the life of the project? For stormwater discharges to impaired waters (siltation, suspended solids, turbidity, etc.), you will need to select and implement a non-discharge alternative or the Antidegradation Best Available Combination of Technologies (ABACT) best management practices (BMPs). For stormwater discharges to surface waters covered by an approved Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the pollutants identified in the 2019 PAG-02, you will need to select and implement a non-discharge alternative or ABACT BMPs and comply with any specific wasteload allocation.

3. Site Inspections

The 2019 PAG-02 now clarifies the measurable rainfall that triggers a site BMP inspection (0.25-inch rainfall). The 2017 PAG-02 simply termed it a “runoff event”, which was not measurable. The 2019 PAG-02 also provides a Visual Inspection Report (3800-FM-BCW0271d) that the PADEP recommends permittees use to document BMP inspections.

4. Permit Implementation Requirements

The permittee and co-permittees must ensure that appropriate personnel on-site are trained so that they understand permit deadlines associated with installation, maintenance, and removal of stormwater controls, and with site stabilization. This includes the location of all stormwater controls on the project site; how they are to be maintained; and the proper procedures to follow to conduct inspections, record applicable findings, and take corrective actions. Permittees will have to maintain a training log on-site for review by the PADEP or CCD. 

Construction activities

5. Erosion & Sedimentation (E&S) and Post-Construction Stormwater Management (PCSM) Modules

The PADEP expects you to use its new E&S Module and PCSM Module if you plan to submit a NOI to amend or renew your PAG-02.

6. Permit Transfer and Co-Permittee Acknowledgement Form

The “Transferee/Co-Permittee Application” (3150-PMBWEW0228) will no longer be used for transferring General Permit coverage to a new permittee or for adding new operators that must be co-permittees. You must now use the PADEP’s Application for NPDES/WQM Permit Transfer (3800-PM-BCW0041b) to transfer a permit and you must now use the PADEP’s Co-Permittee Acknowledgement Form for Chapter 102 Permits (3800FM-BCW0271a) to add a co-permittee.

7. What You Need To Do: The Acknowledgement Form

Along with the letter you are receiving this week, the PADEP will provide you a form for you to respond to indicate whether:

  1. You remain eligible and will comply with the 2019 General Permit;
  2. You are no longer eligible, cannot comply, or do not wish to comply with the 2019 General Permit; or
  3. You no longer need PAG-02 coverage because earth disturbance activities have ceased and permanent stabilization has been achieved.

You will need to respond no later than March 9, 2020. Complete, sign, and submit the Acknowledgement Form using one of the following methods.

  1. Via the PADEP website here;
  2. Via email: RA-102PermitForms@pa.gov; or
  3. Via mail: DEP Bureau of Clean Water, NPDES Permitting Division, PO Box 8774, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8774.

For questions related to the 2019 PAG-02, please contact Rick Celender, R.L.A., C.E.T., CPESC, CPSWQ, at rcelender@cecinc.com or at 412-249-2309.

 

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About the Author


Richard Celender, C.E.T., CPESC, CPSWQ

Rick Celender, R.L.A., CPESC, CPSWQ, is a Vice President in CEC's Civil Engineering Practice and serves as our corporate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) group lead. He works at our Pittsburgh headquarters office and is certified as a FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot, Civil Engineering Technologist, and openwater diver. He is also certified in permit and non-permit confined space entry. His expertise areas are in stormwater best management practice maintenance and inspection, land development, environmental analysis, NPDES permitting, and civil engineering consulting.

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