Effective July 1, 2021 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) issued the Programmatic General Permit-6 (PASPGP-6), which replaces the PASPGP-5. This new permit updates the eligibility guidelines for permitting with PA DEP as well as the conditions for reporting to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). PA DEP can issue Section 404 approval on behalf of the USACE for projects within updated thresholds. However, if these thresholds are exceeded, Section 404 approval is still required by USACE, in addition to Chapter 105 approval from PA DEP.
Highlights of the changes from the PASPGP-5 to the PASPGP-6 permit are outlined in the table below.
While changes have been made to reduce reporting thresholds, projects requiring reporting status to USACE have reverted back to an “Overall Project” review, rather than “Single and Complete.” It is important to note, under PASPGP-6, impacts from previously authorized projects are not cumulative and will not be included in the reporting threshold determination like they were under PASPGP-4.
In addition to the eligibility and reporting changes, PASPGP-6 now includes language stating in the absence of an approved jurisdictional determination, all streams and wetlands are assumed to be waters of the United States and fall under jurisdiction of the USACE. In addition, monitoring of temporary wetland impacts greater than 0.10 acre is no longer required.
Other important items to note:
- Projects previously authorized under the PASPGP-5, with work commenced or contracted to commence by June 30, 2021, will have one year to complete under that existing permit.
- Reporting projects issued under the PASPGP-5 will carry over to the PASPGP-6. Non-reporting projects issued under the PASPGP-5 that fall under the new thresholds will carry over to the PASPGP-6.
- A project issued as non-reporting under the PASPGP-5, which is not eligible under PASPGP-6 thresholds and has not commenced or contracted to commence by June 30, mut become a reporting project and be submitted to USACE for review and authorization.
RETTEW has the experience and technical knowledge to guide your projects across the finish line. Our in-depth knowledge and experience in environmental consulting, permitting, planning, and design enables us to anticipate and address concerns before they become issues, thereby avoiding impacts and minimizing permitting delays while preserving the environment. Our dedicated Natural Sciences team will work with you to determine the best approach, solutions, and cost-effective strategies through the permitting process. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the new regulations further, please reach out to Nick Konchar or Dennis Strouse.