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DEP Launches Pilot Program to Speed Review of Stormwater Construction Permits

Published on

April 30, 2024

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) is initiating a pilot program to speed the process for reviewing applications for a commonly sought stormwater permit that is often required for construction projects. DEP expects the pilot program will reduce the average processing time for Chapter 102 Individual National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit applications by 73 business days. The pilot program will be available beginning May 1, 2024 for Chapter 102 individual NPDES permit applications in Allegheny, Beaver, Bucks, Chester, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery and York counties. During the pilot program, Conservation Districts in the listed counties will accept a maximum of three individual Chapter 102 permit applications per quarter for consideration under the program.

One of the requirements under the pilot program will be for prospective applicants to meet with Conservation District and/or DEP staff in two separate pre-application meetings where the District and DEP will assess the project’s eligibility for the pilot program and assist the applicant with ensuring the application is complete. Applicants must also have a licensed professional prepare the stormwater plan and be retained throughout the project. DEP has often maintained that incomplete or technically deficient permit applications were a primary cause for delays in the permit review process.

Chapter 102 stormwater permits are generally required when construction programs involve one acre or more of land disturbance. Certain factors can require a developer to obtain an individual NPDES stormwater permit rather than a general permit. The review time for individual permits is typically significantly longer than for general permits, often lasting months or years. It is not uncommon that obtaining these permits can result in significant delays in development projects.

Full details of the program can be found at here: Construction Stormwater (

If you have any questions regarding the DEP’s new pilot program for Chapter 102 individual NPDES permits, please contact Martin R. Siegel or any attorney in the Barley Snyder Environment & Energy Industry Group.

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