Program projects must comply with all federal state and local permit requirements. The Program has no specialized permits and projects are not exempt from any permit requirements. For specific questions regarding permitting, contact your local DEP regional staff or district.
Permits are not required in order for an application to be submitted to the district. Any required permits must be obtained by the grant recipient before funding can be advanced or work can begin. Under no circumstance can any project work begin until all required permits are in hand. The applicant is responsible for obtaining all necessary permits. The district is responsible for verifying all necessary permits have been obtained and retaining documentation with project files. Permit costs, and any engineering required cost for permits, is an allowable project expense at the discretion of the district as long as such costs are less than 10 percent of the total contract. The list below represents the most common permits required in road maintenance work, but is not all-inclusive.
8.1.1 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a program established under the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) to control discharges from point sources. The program was originally established to focus on discharges from pipes but since 1990 has included requirements for storm water runoff. The specific statute is found in Section 402 of the CWA.
If a project is going outside the cross-section of the road and more than 1 acre of construction occurs, an NPDES permit is required.
Contact the local district for more information.
8.1.2 State Permits
A wide variety of permits may be required from multiple state agencies for various aspects of the Program. District staff are knowledgeable about which permits are necessary and are willing to help project applicants obtain those permits.
220.127.116.11 Erosion and Sediment Control - 25 Pa Code Chapter 102
An Erosion and Sediment Control plan (E&S plan) is a document that outlines erosion control measures to be employed during project implementation. An E&S plan is required for projects where more than 5,000 square feet of earth is disturbed, or in all cases in special protection watersheds..
An E&S control permit is required if a project will disturb more than 25 acres (inside and outside the road footprint combined).
For more details on Erosion and Sediment control, see: the Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Manual (DEP Document 363-2134-008).
18.104.22.168 Water Obstruction and Encroachments - 25 Pa Code Chapter 105
Chapter 105 deals with watercourses and wetlands. A watercourse is a channel for the conveyance of surface water with a defined bed and banks.
Chapter 105 permits are waived for water obstructions (culverts, fills, etc.) if the drainage area to watercourse is less than 100 acres. However the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may be required to review and approve the project.
22.214.171.124 General Permits
General Permit-7 may be used for culverts and bridge replacement if the drainage area is less than 1 sq. mi.
For bridges and culverts that were constructed prior to 1979 and have a drainage area of less than 5 sq. mi the permit requirements are waived, as the bridge exists. If work has to be done to the structure a waiver of permit can be obtained from the regional DEP office.
All other projects will require a submittal of a joint permit to the regional DEP office. Township officials are encouraged to work with district staff so that all regulatory requirements are met.
126.96.36.199.2 General Permit 11
A (GP-11) is issued by the DEP and is for maintenance, testing, repair or replacement of water obstructions and encroachments. The GP-11 is not a replacement for an emergency permit and should be used for culverts bridges and other water obstructions but not dams. The grant recipient should contact the regional DEP office for the latest information and instructions. Other restrictions including Bog Turtles and PNDI may have to be considered.
188.8.131.52 Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI)
The Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) identifies and describes the Commonwealth's rarest and most significant ecological resources. Data is collected and maintained using the format of the Nature Conservancy's Natural Heritage Program (NHP). The NHP is an international network for biological information. PNDI is Pennsylvania's NHP and the consistency of data and record keeping provides an opportunity to assess the status of an organism or ecosystem over a broad geographic area. The PNDI’s geographic areas are not constrained by political boundaries or subdivisions. PNDI represents the most comprehensive and consistent baseline information available to analyze cause and effect for this indicator.
For more information on PNDI, go to: the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
8.1.3 Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc.
The One Call System is a single nonprofit communication clearinghouse established within the Commonwealth to provide a single toll free telephone number for contractors or designers or any other person planning to perform excavation work. The One Call System notifies the facility owner of the contractors' intent to perform excavation. After PA One Call is made, utility companies will visit the project site to mark any underground utilities such as power or gas lines to prevent damage. PA One Call will provide serial numbers to callers as proof they have met the requirement of the law. Districts should remind applicants, engineers, and contractors involved with Program projects of their notification requirements under the PA One Call law. PA One Call serial numbers must be retained with project files. For more information, see: PA One Call: Call Before You Dig! 800-242-1776.
8.1.4 Local Ordinances
Counties and local municipalities are responsible for most planning and zoning ordinances. Municipal roadmasters should be aware of any ordinances or local limiting factors that may inhibit Program projects. The municipality should ensure that any projects are not in conflict with local ordinances.