PA Governor’s Office Publishes Its Regulatory Agenda

February 2012Articles In the Zone

On February 11, 2012, the Pennsylvania Governor’s office published its regulatory agenda in the Pennsylvania Bulletin , as required by Executive Order 1996-1. The agenda represents the Administration’s present intentions regarding future regulations.

Included within the advance notice of regulatory activity was the Department of Environmental Protection’s intent to propose in Winter 2012 revisions to Title 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 , Water Quality Standards. The proposed rulemaking will include revisions to the Commonwealth’s water criteria and standards to reflect the latest scientific information and federal guidelines for criteria development, as required by the triennial review requirements in the Federal Clean Water Act.

Authorized by the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, Chapter 93 governs anti-degradation requirements, water quality criteria and designated water uses in the Commonwealth.

Not only does Chapter 93 establish the qualifications for special protection waters (High Quality and Exceptional Value), it also outlines other protected uses such as for aquatic life, water supply, recreation and others. Additionally, the regulation sets forth the petition process for those challenging a water’s designated use before the Environmental Quality Board.

Amendments to the Water Criteria section of Chapter 93 could impact the designation of a surface water’s use if the acceptable parameter levels are significantly adjusted or if the methodology of evaluation is radically altered. Depending upon the nature of adjustment, it could increase the water quality protection measures required for land development projects.

For more information, please contact Carrie B. Nase.