PA’s NPDES permit application format for 2020 drives a greater awareness of site contamination
In December 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued new application formats for its NPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater associated with Construction Activities. New packages for the General Permit PAG-02 and the Individual NPDES Permit were released, separating what was once a single application into two separate documents. The new formats are generally seen as a welcome change, with simplified data fields and improved clarity. The NPDES is a federal program which is administered in Pennsylvania by the DEP, and requires site developers and operators to apply for permit coverage for various projects activities that involve discharges that could potentially contain pollutants. Included among these are construction activities that involve earth disturbances greater than one acre. The specific goal of the NPDES Permit for Construction Activities is to implement controls on stormwater discharges while soils are exposed, and vulnerable to washout or erosion events that threaten downstream water resources. Permit coverage is offered through a standard Individual Permit, which requires supplemental plans including an Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control (E&SPC) Plan, and a Post-Construction Stormwater Management (PCSM) Plan.