NPDES / Conservation District Permitting

The DEP primarily administers the NPDES Construction Permit Program through delegation agreements with the county conservation districts (Districts). Districts process and authorize the permit coverage, conduct site inspections, respond to complaints, and in certain circumstances, conduct enforcement actions. If a district is not delegated, the appropriate DEP Regional Office administers the program.


This NPDES general permit can be used for most construction activities that require authorization under either Phase I or Phase II. Some activities that are not eligible for coverage under the general permit include:
1. Activities in special protection watersheds;
2. Activities prohibited from coverage under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 92; and
3. Activities otherwise listed in the PAG-2 General Permit as ineligible.


Operators of earth disturbance activities that do not qualify for a general permit may apply for an Individual NPDES Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities. An individual permit application and accompanying documents must be submitted to the appropriate district or DEP Regional Office, reviewed and approved before earth disturbance activities begin. The DEP Regional Office will make the final determination to issue or deny the permit. To ensure adequate processing time and compliance with the required public notice process and program coordination, applicants should allow at least 90-120 days for the processing of an individual permit application.

The department recommends that a pre-application meeting be held between the applicant, consultant, district and DEP staff for complex projects to ensure quality plan submittals. All projects must demonstrate that the BMPs utilized will protect and maintain water quality designated and existing uses in accordance with the antidegradation requirements of Chapter 93. The E&S Plan must include measures that will promote the maintenance and protection of existing water quality and its uses.

The General NPDES permit is generally valid for a period of two years, while an Individual NPDES permit is valid for a period of five years. Applications for renewal of NPDES permits must be submitted at least 180 days prior to the expiration of the current facility permit. Applications for NPDES permits can be obtained from DEP regional offices or obtained electronically at