In November 2010, changes to Chapter 102 of the Pennsylvania Code, which requires earthmovers to follow erosion-control and stormwater regulations, went into effect.
Some of the major new revisions include:
- elimination of the proposed “permit by rule.”
Conservation districts and most others (including the US Environmental Protection Agency) view this as a major victory because it insures that land developers will continue to have their plans reviewed by conservation district staff before work at the site can begin.
- making all disturbed sites of one acre and greater required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
Previously, these permits were required only for sites that had five acres or more of disturbed ground (or for sites that disturbed one acre or more and had a point-source discharge). This change means that conservation districts will be involved in more development sites and doing more monitoring of both erosion and stormwater controls.
- codifying post-construction stormwater management requirements, including the long-term operation and maintenance requirements of best management practices, by requiring that all permits contain them.
- establishing riparian buffer and riparian forest buffer provisions on special protection waters.
- updating agricultural requirements to mandate that situations on farms where sediment or nutrient pollution is occurring directly next to a stream be addressed with conservation practices.
- requiring pre-construction meetings for any earth-disturbance activity that is authorized by a permit.
These latest revisions marked the first time in 10 years that this chapter of law was updated.