The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) has announced that it will reissue the current general permit for stormwater discharges related to construction activities, the PAG-02, for two additional years. This general permit was scheduled to expire on December 7, 2017. The practical impact of this extension is that there will be no lapse in the availability of PAG-02 permit coverage for new projects. The PAG-02 general permit is one of the most used permits for construction projects and is applicable to construction sites larger than one acre that discharge stormwater to surface water bodies. General permits are standardized permits that are much easier and faster to obtain from DEP than traditional individual permits.
The DEP originally proposed extending the PAG-02 general for only one year and making it applicable only to parties that already have been approved by DEP for coverage under the existing PAG-02 general permit. Those who did not have approved coverage from DEP by December 7, 2017 would have needed to apply to DEP for an individual permit. This would have significantly increased the amount of paperwork required to be submitted and the length of time for DEP to review and act on a permit application. It now appears that the PAG-02 general permit will be available to new applicants. DEP also announced it expects to propose revisions to the PAG-02 sometime during the two-year permit term.