Amendments to Clean Streams Law
Pennsylvania recently enacted Act 162 of 2014 to amend the Clean Streams Law effective December 21, 2014. The amendments allow a landowner or developer who will conduct earth disturbance activities requiring an NPDES permit for stormwater discharges to substitute Best Management Practices (BMPs) “substantially equivalent” to a riparian buffer or riparian forest buffer in effectiveness to minimize erosion and sedimentation from the proposed earth disturbance activities. The landowner or developer may still install a riparian buffer or riparian forest buffer, but is no longer required to do so as a preferred BMP.
The amendments also provide that for a project in a special protection watershed involving earth disturbance within the 100 foot buffer to surface water, a landowner or developer may offset encroachment into the buffer zone by installing a replacement buffer elsewhere along the special protection waters in the same drainage as close as feasible to the area of disturbance at a ratio of 1-to-1 for the square footage of encroachment.
If you have any questions regarding this update, or any other municipal law matters, please contact Andrew Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Christian Miller, email@example.com, by email or phone at (717) 845-1524.