Revisions Offered to Proposed Chapter 102 RegulationsApril 2010 – Newsletters In The Zone
As part of the rulemaking process for Pennsylvania's proposed Chapter 102 regulations, which govern erosion and sediment control and stormwater management, the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) received more than 1,300 comment letters from stakeholders and the general public. In response to those comments, the EQB made a presentation to the Pennsylvania Water Resources Advisory Committee on February 19, 2010, highlighting some planned modifications to the proposed regulations.
Key changes include:
- Riparian Buffers -- Expansion of riparian buffers to include High Quality (HQ) and Exceptional Value (EV) waterways, which include rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, ponds or reservoirs. The new proposal would require that a 150-foot riparian forest buffer be established along HQ and EV waters where the watershed is listed as impaired. In those watersheds where the designated use is met, a 150-foot riparian buffer must be maintained and protected.
- Permit-By-Rule -- Elimination of the voluntary permitting scheme that would have allowed a project that meets specific, rigid criteria and incorporates certain best management practices to essentially receive a permit without a technical review.
- Fee Schedule -- Instead of a flat $2500/$5000 fee, the EQB opted to restructure the proposed fees to create a tiered fee schedule based upon the size of the earth disturbance.
- Effluent Limitation Guidelines -- In response to the EPA's new requirement that certain project sites monitor and limit construction runoff to a specific turbidity limit (280 NTUs), the modified proposed Chapter 102 regulations will incorporate the federal mandate.
The EQB hopes to have its revisions in place and ready for presentation to the Water Resources Advisory Committee on March 17 and be positioned to finalize the regulations this summer.