In November, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will release new Chapter 102 Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) program guidance. Significant changes have been made in the way E&S is managed. New thresholds, best management practices (BMP), and permit requirements are included in this guidance. The roles and responsibilities remain basically the same, but limits of earth disturbance are more guarded. This information is strongly suggested to be used and understood by municipal officials, real estate sellers, contractors, engineers, planners, landscapers, stone harvesters, loggers, farmers, and the citizens of Pennsylvania.
The guidance developed by DEP, EPA, and others comes in response to federal and state laws. The federal law is the Clean Water Act (see www.epa.gov) and the state law is the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, Act 394 of 1937 (see www.state.pa.us). Sedimentation, whether man-created or natural, is the number one pollutant to our waters. Billions of dollars annually are spent on environmental problems caused by sediment pollution. The guidelines are provided to help control pollution caused by human activity.
Anyone proposing earth disturbance in Pennsylvania is required by the DEP to develop and have on site an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP). The ESCP is a diagram and description of work to be done over the life of the project.