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Availability of Final Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit-2 for Earth Disturbance Associated with Oil and Gas Exploration, Production, Processing or Treatment Operations or Transmission Facilities (ESCGP-2)

[42 Pa.B. 7863]
[Saturday, December 29, 2012]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) by this notice is publishing as final the Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit-2 (ESCGP-2) for Earth Disturbance Associated with Oil and Gas Exploration, Production, Processing or Treatment Operations or Transmission Facilities. This General Permit is issued under the authority of 25 Pa. Code § 102.5(m) (relating to permit requirements) as well as The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. §§ 691.1—691.1001), 58 Pa.C.S. §§ 3201—3274 (relating to development) (2012 Oil and Gas Act) and sections 1905-A, 1917-A and 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §§ 510-5, 510-17 and 510-20). This general permit will be effective December 29, 2012, and will expire on December 29, 2017. Notice will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin of every approval of coverage only.

 Oil and gas activities conducted in compliance with 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102 (relating to erosion and sediment control), including activities conducted under ESCGP-2, comply with water quality standards.

 This General Permit, as finalized, has been modified in the following significant ways:

 • Updated fees.

 • Added conditions to address new requirements in the 2012 Oil and Gas Act regarding site restoration, permit coordination and Department inspections.

 • Updated stabilization requirements to mirror the revised regulations in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102 effective November 19, 2010.

 • Added condition for projects that drain to sediment-impaired waters.

 • Updated long-term post construction stormwater management conditions to mirror the revised regulations in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102.

 • Added a condition regarding when the Department must be notified for noncompliance monitoring.

 • Added conditions regarding when site restoration plans can be used in lieu of post construction stormwater management plans.

 • Added condition to address use of voluntary riparian forest buffers to achieve the antidegradation presumption and for trading, offsetting purposes.

 • Added conditions related to public notice and stormwater offsetting.

 • Deeding restrictions/covenants must be recorded before the sale of property to owners.

 • Added conditions requiring preconstruction conferences unless the applicant is informed by the Department or delegated conservation district that it is not necessary.

 The Department solicited public comment on the proposed revisions to ESCGP-2 from January 21, 2012, through March 21, 2012. Approximately 200 comments were received from 70 commentators.

 The final ESCGP-2 permit is available by contacting the Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Oil and Gas Management, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P. O. Box 8460, 15th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8460, (717) 772-2199. The final ESCGP-2 permit is also available on the Department's web site. To access the General Permit and related documents, visit www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us and select ''Permit and Authorization Packages,'' ''Oil and Gas,'' ''Environmental Controls'' and ''Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP-2).''

 The Department will continue to accept applications for ESCGP-1 until January 28, 2013. Due to the expiration of ESCGP-1, the Department must act on all NOIs submitted for coverage under ESCGP-1 by April 12, 2013. Additionally, any project that was authorized for coverage under ESCGP-1 prior to this date will have coverage administratively extended under the terms and conditions of ESCGP-1 for the remainder of the time period of the original coverage.

 Questions about the final ESCGP-2 should be directed to Joseph Adams, Chief, Division of Well Development and Surface Activities, (717) 772-2199 or josepadams@ pa.gov.

MICHAEL L. KRANCER, 
Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-2529. Filed for public inspection December 28, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]



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