Site Inspections and Compliance Per 25 Pa. Code § 102 During COVID-19
For Life Sustaining Businesses:
Permittees and operators who are considered “life sustaining businesses” as set forth in
Governor Tom Wolf’s March 19, 2020, Order may continue to conduct permitted earth disturbance activities to the extent that those earth disturbance activities are in support of the operation of the life sustaining business. If earth disturbance activities are conducted, the permittee must remain in compliance with all terms and conditions of any applicable permit.
For Non-Life Sustaining Businesses:
Permittees and operators who are not considered “life sustaining businesses” as set forth in the Governor’s Order must, pursuant to the Governor’s Order, cease earth disturbance activities. Per 25 Pa. Code § 102.22 and the terms and conditions of their permit, including any approved plans, permittees ceasing earth disturbance activities must immediately implement temporary or permanent stabilization practices in accordance with approved permit plans and conditions and the stabilization standards outlined in the Erosion and Sediment Control Program Manual.
In recognition of the Governor’s directive to implement social distancing, permittees may, upon temporary or permanent stabilization, cease performing weekly Routine Inspections as otherwise required by their permit. Permittees must continue to conduct other inspections required by their permit, including Post-Storm Event Inspections and Corrective Action Inspections as set forth in their permit.
Required site inspections of permitted activities by permittees are considered critical operational functions and will not be considered to be out of compliance with the Governor’s Order. Permittees and operators are reminded to limit on-site personnel, and in all cases follow social distancing and COVID-19 mitigation guidance provided by the PA Department of Health and CDC.
The cessation of Routine Inspections as set forth herein is not a limitation of, or defense to, liability for injury to private property or invasion of personal rights. Permittees must continue to comply with all other permit terms and conditions, including, but not limited to, the requirement to take immediate action to restore, repair, or replace the BMP or to provide an alternative method of treatment upon reduction, loss, or failure of any BMP.
Effective January 10, 2019, inquiries and correspondence regarding new permit applications, reporting, and compliance matters related to sites in Armstrong and Indiana Counties should be directed to DEP's
Northwest Regional Office. Questions on permit applications under review as of January 9, 2019, and pending enforcement matters for Armstrong and Indiana Counties should be directed to DEP's
Southwest Regional Office. Inquiries can also be directed to
Mining and Radiation Protection permits and programs are not affected by this regional office change.
The Bureau of Clean Water administers the statewide Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) program under
25 Pa. Code Chapter 102. Chapter 102 requires a permit from DEP for the following activities:
- Construction activities with earth disturbances greater than or equal to one acre, not including agricultural plowing or tilling, animal heavy use areas, timber harvesting activities or road maintenance activities, which require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage. If eligible, persons disturbing one or more acres may apply for coverage under the
PAG-02 NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities. If ineligible for PAG-02 coverage, persons may apply for an
individual NPDES permit using the Individual NPDES Permit Application for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Construction Activities.
- Timber harvesting and road maintenance activities involving 25 or more acres of earth disturbance. An
E&S permit (PDF) is required under Pennsylvania's Clean Streams Law for these activities, rather than a NPDES permit. The permit application is located
- Oil and gas activities (e.g., exploration, production, processing, treatment operations or transmission facilities) involving 5 or more acres of earth disturbance. An E&S permit is required under Pennsylvania's Clean Streams Law for these activities. If eligible, persons conducting these activities may submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for coverage under the
E&S General Permit (ESCGP-3).
- Other activities involving 5 or more acres of earth disturbance not identified above require an E&S permit.
Please use the links below or the navigation buttons on the right for additional information on the E&S program or contact DEP’s Bureau of Clean Water at