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e-permitting for Chapter 105 General Permits

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is promoting the use of e-permitting for Chapter 105 Wetland and Waterway Obstruction and Encroachment General Permits (GPs) to make application submittal and review more efficient and enable faster responses to applicants.

DEP began accepting Chapter 105 registrations/applications for General Permits for various types of water obstruction and encroachments through the e-permitting system in October 2018. The DEP is beginning to transition away from paper to online electronic permit applications through e-permitting.

DEP’s e-permitting system allows for more efficient review and processing of GPs. An analysis of DEP General Permit decisions for calendar years 2020 and 2021 revealed that General Permits which needed corrections due to deficiencies had decisions in e-permitting made an average of 24 business days (27%) faster than other submission methods (See table below). The analysis showed that the improvement is not just a result of an average of two years of data, but rather DEP’s data shows that e-permitting was faster across GPs which needed corrections for each general permit type (GPs 1-9, & 11) in both 2020 and 2021.

2020 and 2021 CH 105 General Permits With Deficiencies
e-permit Improvement in Decision Times vs. Other Submission Methods
GP Auth Type e-permit Business Days Improvement e-permit Percentage Improvement
GP-12934%
GP-23237%
GP-31519%
GP-42830%
GP-52327%
GP-6Insufficient Data
GP-72224%
GP-82429%
GP-9Insufficient Data
GP-111719%
Average Improvement 24 27%

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How e-permitting Works

The e-permitting system is different than the traditional process where an application or registration is submitted to DEP on a paper form or PDF form via mail or electronic means. The system is account based which provides many benefits. Like many other online accounts, communications, drafts, past history, etc. will be available and occur through the system. This provides many benefits such as easy access, data entry and tracking, responsive communication and information receipt, to name a few.

With an account-based system, an account manager(s) will need to manage the applicant/owner account for all submissions, not just one submission. In e-permitting this is known as the Electronic Filing Administrator(s) (EFA).

See the Tabs to the right for more information. DEP recommends viewing the supplemental instruction videos on the Instructions, Videos, User Guides page.

Only registrations for Chapter 105 General Permits are currently accepted through e-permitting. This includes those General Permit Registrations reviewed by DEP and Chapter 105 Delegated County Conservation Districts.

Prospective applicants with projects not eligible for a general permit require a standard permit or small project application, or an Environmental Assessments (EA)and will continue using the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Army Corps of Engineers (Baltimore, Philadelphia, And Pittsburgh Districts) Joint Application for Pennsylvania Chapter 105 Water Obstruction and Encroachment Permit and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit, Document #3150-PM-BWEW0036A.

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