EPA completes review of general construction permits that will protect Pennsylvania waterways
PHILADELPHIA (December 11, 2019) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it has completed its review of two general permits for construction projects in Pennsylvania that outline management of stormwater at construction sites.
“These new permits represent the next step in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Clean Water Act program implementation, and are critical to the success of their program,” said EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “These permits provide guidance and expectations on what construction contractors need to do to manage stormwater runoff and protect waterways.”
“Pennsylvania’s builders applaud this positive development and appreciate EPA’s contributions to reaching this conclusion,” said Daniel Durden, Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Builders Association.
As stormwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up pollutants like sediment, debris, and chemicals from loose soil and transport them to nearby storm sewer systems or directly into rivers, lakes, or coastal waters. The general permits require that construction site operators have the proper stormwater controls in place so that construction can proceed while the surrounding environment is protected.
While federal regulations provide EPA 90 days for review and comment on permits proposed to be issued by the state, EPA expedited its review of Pennsylvania’s proposed general construction permits to ensure that the state had adequate time to meet the deadline for the expiring permit.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) renewed one of the general construction permits – known as PAG-02 – on Dec. 7. This permit applies to all construction activities in Pennsylvania of at least one acre. EPA has also completed its review of the second permit – known as PAG-01 -- created by PADEP for a subset group of construction projects.
For more information on stormwater discharges from construction activities, visit: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-discharges-construction-activities .