Sullivan County Conservation District

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Note: All forms, applications, and manuals are in Adobe® PDF format. Most web browsers will have the reader plug-in pre-installed. For those who need the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®, click here or on the acrobat reader icon below to get your free copy.


If you have an environmental complaint you can e-mail your concern to the Northcentral Regional Office of the Deparment of Environmental Resources.  You will receive an e-mail acknowledgement that your complaint has been received and referred for action.  DEP staff will provide you with information on the status of the investigation by telephone or in writing.  All information is held in confidentiality.  Click here to file a complaint with the DEP.

Click on the links for more information:

Chapter 102 - Erosion and Sediment Control Program
NPDES Permits
Chapter 105 - Waterways and Wetland Management
Pond and Dam Permits

The Conservation District has suspended its involvement with the Chapter 105 Program.  All inquiries for this program should be directed to the North Central Regional Office of the PA Department of Environmental Protection at 570-327-3636.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Chapter 102 - Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program

Did you know that sediment is the #1 pollutant to waters of the Commonwealth? In an attempt to control sediment pollution, DEP adopted strict rules and regulations concerning Erosion and Sedimentation Control in 1972. The rules and regulations, known as PA CODE TITLE 25 CHAPTER 102 EROSION CONTROLS states "... any landowner... engaged in earthmoving activities shall develop, implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control measures which effectively minimize accelerated erosion and sedimentation. These erosion and sedimentation measures must be set forth in a plan... and must be available at the site at all times during construction."

To this end, one of the District's primary focuses is the Erosion and Sedimentation Control (E&SC) Program. The emphasis of the overall program is the conservation of soil and water resources. The District administers the E&S program through a delegation agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Bureau of Watershed Management. As the county continues to experience growth, it becomes increasingly important to make sure that resources are protected according to the regulations. Due to development pressure and greater awareness for environmental protection, the E&SC program continues to be one of the District's most demanding programs. Through the program, the District reviews and approves E&S control plans for earthmoving sites. Inspections of the sites are conducted to assure the plans are properly implemented, controls are installed, and sequences are followed. By doing this, the District strives to meet its goal of minimizing accelerated erosion and sediment pollution to the waters of the Commonwealth as a result of earthmoving activities.

Erosion is an ongoing process. It occurs naturally and continues to be a dominant force in shaping of earth’s landscape. It has the potential to become problematic when man exposes bare soil as a result of agricultural practices, timbering or excavation. With a lack of vegetation to protect the soil beneath, wind and water can readily erode and transport soil into nearby waterways, clogging them with fine sediments known as silt, clay or colloids. Runoff from bare soil may also contain chemicals, heavy metals and other pollutants that may be washed into the waters of the Commonwealth. The goal of this program is to control erosion and the resulting pollution to the waters of the Commonwealth. Soil erosion occurs naturally on all land, with at least 40 percent of the total soil erosion resulting from activities such as construction, logging, and natural events.

When is an Erosion and Sediment Control (E&SC) Plan needed? This is a question that we are asked regularly by municipalities, consulting firms and private individuals. As per the amended Chapter 102 Erosion and Sedimentation Control regulations (January 2000), development of an erosion and sedimentation control plan is required for all earth disturbances of 5,000 square feet or greater, earth disturbances in High Quality or Exceptional Value watersheds or if other DEP permits require it. This would include timber harvesting and silviculture activities that must also include a timber harvest plan.
Projects having less than 5,000 square feet of earth disturbance are still required to develop, implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control best management practices (BMPs). They are only exempt from having the District review the plan. Additionally, persons proposing timber harvesting activities or road maintenance that disturb twenty-five (25) or more acres must apply for an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit.

The Erosion and Sediment Control Plan should include all of the following 11 items:
1) The existing topographic features of the project area and surrounding area.
2) The types, depths, slope, locations, and limitations of the soils. (This may be obtained from the Sullivan County Soil Survey). 
3) The characteristics of the earth disturbance activity, including the past, present, and proposed land uses, and the proposed alteration to the project site.
4) The amount of runoff from the project area and its upstream watershed area.
5) The location of Waters of The Commonwealth, which may receive runoff within or from the project site and their classification pursuant to Chapter 93.
6) A written depiction of the location and type of perimeter; on site Best Management Practices (BMPs) used before, during, and after the earth disturbance activity.
7) A sequence of BMP installation and removal in relation to the scheduling of earth disturbance activities, prior to, during, and after earth disturbance activities.
8) Supporting Calculations.
9) Plan drawings.
10) A maintenance program, which provides for inspection of BMPs on a weekly basis and after each measurable precipitation event, including the repair of the BMPs to ensure effective and efficient operation.
11) Procedures which ensure that the proper measures for recycling or disposal of materials associated with or from the project site will be undertaken in accordance with this title.

Those projects which disturb between 1.0 and 5.0 acres, and have a point-source discharge to waters of the Commonwealth, require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities. As part of this permit, an approved erosion control plan is required. Therefore, a plan must be submitted to our office for review. (Click on NPDES to get additional information on NPDES and point source discharges.)

All projects, with or without a point source discharge, which disturb more than 5.0 acres, require an NPDES permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities. As part of this Permit, an approved erosion control plan is required. Therefore, you need to submit the plan to our office for review.

Earth disturbance activities associated with agricultural plowing or tilling, timber harvesting, and road maintenance do not require coverage under an NPDES permit. Persons conducting timber harvesting or road maintenance activities that involve 25 acres or more of earth disturbance must apply for and obtain coverage for an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit.

Persons conducting agricultural plowing and tilling activities are required to develop a conservation plan and implement agricultural BMPs, but continue to be exempt from permitting requirements. A farmer who does not have a conservation plan as yet, or needs an updated plan, is encouraged to contact the District.

Sullivan County Conservation District Publications

SCCD Erosion and Sediment Plan Review Application Form 

SCCD Plan Review Fee Schedule

Sullivan County Drainage Basin Designations

Development Environmental Check Sheet 


PA Erosion Control Manual and other Publications

Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program Manual

Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for a Timber Harvesting Operation

Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit

Erosion and Sediment Control Requirements for Oil and Gas Activities

NPDES Permits

On Nov. 16, 1990, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed permitting regulations for stormwater discharges as required by the federal Clean Water Act. Effective Oct. 1, 1992, all construction activities proposing to disturb five or more acres of land must be authorized by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit.

As of December 8, 2002 a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permit is required for earth disturbance activities that will involve between 1 and 5 acres of disturbance, over the life of the project, and will have a point source discharge to surface waters of the Commonwealth. The new regulations are commonly referred to as NPDES Phase II. "). The permit must be in-hand before earthwork begins. The requirements for an NPDES permit are set by Federal and State regulations.

Point Source - Any discernable, confined and discrete conveyance, including, but not limited to, any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, CAFO, landfill leachate collection system, or vessel or floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged.

Examples of Point Sources Include but are not limited to:

  • Channels
  • Swales
  • Berm Outlets
  • Basin Outlets
  • Trap Outlets
  • Rock Filters
  • Storm Water Inlets

Surface Waters of the Commonwealth - Any and all rivers, streams, creeks, rivulets, impoundments, ditches, water courses, storm sewers, lakes, dammed water, ponds, springs, wetlands and other bodies or channels of conveyance of surface water, or parts thereof, whether natural or artificial, within or on the boundaries of this Commonwealth (Pennsylvania).

In Pennsylvania, the NPDES permit program is delegated to and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP has delegated the management of the NPDES program to the Sullivan County Conservation District. DEP and districts jointly regulate construction activities utilizing existing state regulations concerning erosion control and NPDES permits to implement the federal requirements.

Pennsylvania’s Chapter 92, NPDES regulations, provide for the development and use of individual and general NPDES permits. On Oct. 4, 1997, DEP made available General Permit PAG-2 (1997 Amendment) for the discharge of stormwater associated with construction activities. This general permit can be used for most construction activities disturbing five or more acres.

Some exceptions for use of the general permit are:

  1. Activities in special protection watersheds
  2. Activities that discharge hazardous pollutants or toxics
  3. Activities that would violate water quality standards
  4. Activities prohibited from coverage under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 92.

The following is a list of requirements for General NPDES Permit Applications:

  • Notice of Intent Form (1 original and 2 copies)
  • Complete Erosion and Sediment Control Plans (3 copies)
  • Permit filing fee of $250 payable to Sullivan County Clean Water Fund
  • Location Map (Copy of USGS Map preferred) (3 copies)
  • Act 14 Notifications (to County Commissioners & municipal officials) (3 copies)
  • Proof of receipt of County & Municipal notification (3 copies)
  • Completed PNDI search form (3 copies)
  • Post-construction Stormwater Management Plan (3 copies)
  • Completed Sullivan County Conservation District application for erosion and sediment control review
  • Erosion and Sediment Control plan review fee payable to Sullivan County Conservation District

Operators of earthmoving activities who meet any one of the exceptions for general permits must obtain an individual NPDES permit. An individual permit application must be submitted, reviewed and approved before earthmoving activities begin. Applications must include an E&S plan which will be reviewed by the district. The District will make a recommendation on permit issuance or denial to DEP’s regional office. The final permit decision will be made by the DEP Regional Office. Applicants should allow at least 90-120 days for the processing of an individual permit application.

The following is a list of requirements for Individual NPDES Permit Applications:

  • Notice of Intent Form (1 original and 2 copies)
  • General Information Form, GIF (3 Copies)
  • Complete Erosion and Sediment Control Plans (3 copies)
  • Permit filing fee of $500 payable to Sullivan County Clean Water Fund
  • Location Map (Copy of USGS Map preferred) (3 copies)
  • Act 14 Notifications (to County Commissioners & municipal officials) (3 copies)
  • Proof of receipt of County & Municipal notification (3 copies)
  • PHMC Cultural Resource Notice (3 copies)
  • Completed PNDI search form (3 copies)
  • Post-construction Stormwater Management Plan (3 copies)
  • Completed Sullivan County Conservation District application for erosion and sediment control review
  • Erosion control plan review fee payable to Sullivan County Conservation District

The new NPDES regulations also require that a post-construction stormwater plan be submitted with the NPDES Permit application. Infiltration will be the key to developing a good post-construction stormwater plan. The new permit requires that the net difference between the pre and post runoff be infiltrated back into the ground for ground water recharge.

The post-construction stormwater plan should include the following information:

  • Written narrative
  • Location of post-construction BMPs
  • Plan drawings of permanent stabilization
  • Operation and maintenance procedures
  • Supporting calculations or measurements
  • 2-year / 24-hour frequency storm rainfall amount
  • Percent of impervious surface
  • Weighted runoff coefficients
  • Runoff from a 2-year / 24-hour frequency storm
  • Volume of water infiltrated through BMPs
  • Peak discharge rate

     Pennsylvania Stormwater Management Resources


The operator of the construction activity is responsible for obtaining the permit.

The operator of the construction activity is the party or parties that either individually or collectively meet the following criteria:

1. Responsibility for site specifications, including the development or modification of the erosion and sediment control plan;
2. Day to day control over construction site activities, including the implementation and maintenance of the BMPs, and compliance with the permit conditions.

Operators can be the owner, the developer, general contractor or individual contractor.

Operational control can be shared or transferred between the landowner, developer and contractor. DEP has developed Transferee/Co-Permittee forms to allow for the flexibility of the sharing of the permit or the transfer of permit responsibilities.

DEP has also developed a Notice of Termination (NOT) form to be used by permittees or co-permittees when:

1. The operator is no longer responsible at the construction site;
2. Stormwater discharges from the construction activity at the site have been terminated, and the site has been stabilized.

PNDI Search Form
Notice of Termination Form
Transferee/Co-Permittee Form

Chapter 102 and NPDES Phase II Requirements for Construction Activities

Disturbed Area

Written E & S Plan

E & S Plan Approved

NPDES SW Construction Permit

PCSMP*** Submitted

PCSMP*** Approval

0-5000 Sq. Ft

Not required unless in HQ, EV or other DEP permit requirement (i.e. Ch. 105)

Not required but may be a municipal requirement**


Not required but may be a municipal requirement

Not required but may be a municipal requirement

5000 Sq. Ft to <1 acre


Not required but may be a municipal requirement**


Not required but may be a municipal requirement

Not required but may be a municipal requirement

1 to <5 acres w/o point source to surface waters


Not required but may be a municipal requirement**


Not required but may be a municipal requirement

Not required but may be a municipal requirement

1 to <5 acres with point source to surface waters





Individual YES
General NO*

5 or more acres





Individual YES
General NO*

*Even where the approval of the PCSM plan is not required, the permittee must develop and implement the PCSM plan and certify that the BMPs were implemented in accordance with the PCSM plan when the Notice of Termination is submitted.
**Although E & S plan approval is not required under Chapter 102 for these activities, E & S approval may be required by municipal ordinance or if other DEP permits are required, i.e. Chapter 105 Joint Permit or GPs.
***Post Construction Stormwater Management Plans

Sullivan County administers both programs, including permit application and plan reviews, site inspections, complaint investigations and technical assistance. It is strongly recommended that a pre-application meeting be completed early on during a project's concept plan stage - before detailed plans are developed - in order to determine whether an NPDES permit is required and to expedite the permit and plan review process.

NPDES Publications:

Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program Manual

Chapter 93 Water Quality Standards
NPDES/Stormwater Forms

Chapter 105 - Waterway and Wetlands Management

Due to financial and logistic reasons, the Sullivan County Conservation District has suspended its work with the Chapter 105 program.  Please refer all questions and/or needs to the North Central Region Office of the PA Department of Environmental Protection at 570-327-3636.

Stream Permits 

Pennsylvania has more miles of streams and rivers than any other state in the lower 48. There are regulations, known as the Chapter 105, Waterway Management rules and regulations, that were created to protect the health, safety, welfare and property of the people; and to protect natural resources, water quality and the carrying capacity of watercourses. These regulations are primarily administered by the PA Department of Environmental Protection, however, the Conservation District helps administer parts of this program by providing information and acknowledging some types of permits.

Activities and structures in or near a stream or its adjacent floodway are regulated by this program. In most cases, a permit is required before starting any activity which changes, expands or diminishes the course, current or cross-section of a stream, floodway or body of water. Typical activities that are commonly permitted include driveway culverts, highway bridges, utility line stream crossings, stream bank stabilization projects, etc.

A regulated stream is any channel with defined bed and banks that can convey water. It can be natural or man made, perennial or intermittent. Some municipalities have flood insurance studies and maps prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which indicate the floodway boundary for some streams. In the absence of such a study, the floodway shall be considered to extend 50 feet landward from the top of each streambank.

Projects that are large in scale or impact require the submission of detailed drawings and engineering studies to show the impact of the project to the stream. These types of projects, for example, a highway bridge over a large stream, would need to be designed by a professional. General Permits were created for activities or structures that do not pose a significant threat to flooding or the environment. A General Permit is a pre-approved set of conditions, construction limits, dimensions and other criteria which apply to many common types of projects. If the work that an applicant is proposing meets all of the conditions of the General Permit, then the applicant needs only to register his/her intent to use the General Permit, and receive acknowledgement. The conditions of each permit are included in Part One and Part Two of the permit. Follow the LINK below to find these conditions. Also, the Conservation District will do a review of your application after it is submitted to ensure that you meet the conditions of the General Permit.

In order to use these General Permits, one must complete and submit the following:

  • General Permit Registration Form
  • Single & Complete Project Questionnaire (attached to the front of the Registration)
  • Municipal Notification
  • Sketch plan or similar site drawing
  • Cross Section drawing
  • Project Location Map (copy of USGS Topo map)
  • PA Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) Search form
  • Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, with $50.00 review fee

The following is listing and a brief description of the general 105 permits available through the Conservation District. Follow the link to the registration form for that General Permit.

GP-1 Fish Habitat Enhancement Structures: This permit is used for the installation of fish habitat structures that have been approved by the PA Fish & Boat Commission.
GP-2 Small Docks & Boat Launching Ramps: This permit authorizes the installation of pile-supported and floating docks on Lakes.
GP-3 Bank Rehabilitation, Bank Stabilization, & Gravel Bar Removal: This permit authorizes projects that involve bank stabilization or gravel bar removal on/in streams.
GP-4 Intake & Outfall Structures: This permit is used for projects such as the installation of a dry fire hydrant or a "clean water" drainpipe outfall.
GP-5 Utility Line Stream Crossings: This permit is to be used when crossings or ramps are installed for agricultural purposes.
GP-6 Agricultural Crossings & Ramps: The GP-6 applies to any utility line (gas, oil, sewer or water) that crosses under or over a stream or wetlands.
GP-7 Minor Road Crossings: This permit can be utilized when establishing a permanent road (not a parking lot) crossing through a wetland or stream using a bridge or culvert or clean fill material.
GP-8 Temporary Road Crossings: This permit is used to establish a temporary culvert or bridge crossing.
GP-9 Agricultural Activities: This permit authorizes agricultural activities (grassed waterways, terraces, diversions, waste storage facilities, spring development or minor drainage) that encroach into streams or their flood ways.
GP-10 Abandoned Mine Reclamation: This Permit applies to any encroachment that is part of mine reclamation.
GP-11 Maintenance, Testing, Repair, Rehabilitation, or Replacement of Water Obstructions and Encroachments: the maintenance, testing, repair, rehabilitation or replacement of existing currently serviceable, water obstructions or encroachments, including bridges and culverts owned by railroad companies.
GP-15 Private Residential Construction in Wetlands: This permit authorizes the filling of limited non-tidal wetland areas for the construction of a single family home on a lot purchased by the permittee prior to November 22, 1991.

Most activities that need a DEP General Permit are also regulated by the Federal Government, through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In most cases, the Conservation District will include the Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit PASPGP-2 with the General Permit Acknowledgement, which will give your project Federal Authorization. The Conservation District will review your project to determine if it exceeds the conditions of PASPGP-2. If it does, we will forward a copy of your application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for an individual review. If this happens, you will receive separate permit authorization from the Corps. In either case, you need only submit your permit application to the Conservation District, and we will notify you of the status of your Federal Authorization. If you have any questions about permits or permit coverage, call the Conservation District office or email a member of the Erosion control staff. In addition, we can mail you permit forms if necessary.

PNDI Search Form

Pond and Dam Permits

I would like to build a pond. Do I need a permit?
That is a question that we are often asked at the Conservation District office. The answer is.......MAYBE!

Actually, that question can be complicated to answer, because the construction of a pond can and often does cross into several different program areas within the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

To further complicate things, the Federal Government, through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, also may regulate such activities.

You probably won't be able to figure out for certain if your pond project needs a permit just from the information given here, simply because there are many site specific variables. We are presenting this information to give you insight into the regulations governing pond construction in Pennsylvania.

Keep in mind, this information pertains to permitting only.

To start, the DEP has regulations that govern DAMS. A dam is defined as "any artificial barrier, such as an earthen embankment or concrete structure, built for the purpose of impounding or storing water." DEP regulates, and thus requires a permit for, dams or ponds that meet any one of the following requirements:
Contributory drainage area exceeds 100 acres.
Maximum depth of water greater than 15 feet.
Impounding capacity greater than 50 acre-feet.

It is recommended that you contact DEP to get a JURISDICTIONAL DETERMINATION on your dam. To do this, send a location map (USGS), soil survey map, plan view sketch, cross section sketch, and photographs of the site to DEP, Bureau of Waterways Engineering, Division of Dam Safety PO Box 8554, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8554. The Conservation District can help you prepare the location map and soils map. The DEP should respond to you in writing informing you if a dam permit is needed.

The DEP also has regulations governing encroachments to waterways and wetlands. Most pond proposals that we look at are in poorly drained areas. Because of this poor drainage, there are often regulated wetlands in the area. It is usually necessary to have the area checked for the presence of wetlands by a consultant or a qualified agency person. If the proposed pond will impact wetlands, a WATER OBSTRUCTION AND ENCROACHMENT PERMIT may be needed from the DEP. In addition, this permit may also be needed if the pond encroaches into the floodway of a stream.

It is important to consider whether the dam will be ON STREAM or OFF STREAM. Many on stream dams have a sizable watershed and need to obtain a dam permit. In addition, on stream dams or ponds tend to act as a sediment trap, trapping eroded soils and slowly reducing the capacity of the pond, which requires regular maintenance to keep the pond functioning properly. Off stream ponds often do not have this problem, because the inflow to the pond can be controlled, and even shut off if necessary.

If you are installing an intake from a stream to a pond, a GENERAL PERMIT (GP-4), INTAKE AND OUTFALL STRUCTURES is needed to authorize the encroachment. If you are constructing an on stream pond or dam, even if it does not meet any of the requirements for a permit (above), an ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (EA) may be needed. The DEP is the agency that determines if an EA is needed. For information, you should contact DEP-Bureau of Watershed Management.

Pond Maintenance

Draining your pond
Occasionally, it becomes necessary to drain a pond. When draining a pond, be aware that a draw-down permit is required by the PA Fish & Boat Commission. It is also necessary to minimize erosion and sedimentation when draining a large volume of water. Questions regarding E&S controls can be directed to the Sullivan Conservation District.

Other Maintenance
In most instances, dike repair and dredging do not require permitting, unless the pond itself is a permitted structure or should have been a permitted structure when it was built. Again, it is necessary to control any erosion or sedimentation that might occur from your activities.


1. Determine if wetlands are present on the pond site. Avoid wetlands if possible. If wetlands cannot be avoided, then a WATER OBSTRUCTION AND ENCROACHMENT PERMIT is needed from DEP.
2. Contact DEP dam safety with the information from the fact sheet to get a JURISDICTIONAL DETERMINATION
3. If the dam/pond is "on-stream," then determine if an ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT is needed from DEP.
4. If you will have a discharge pipe to a stream, then you will need a GENERAL PERMIT
5. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING! Have any site determination followed up by a letter. Save all correspondence for future reference.

PA Manuals and other Publications:
General Permits       
Water Obstruction and Encroachment Permit      
Individual and Small Project Permit
Environmental Assessment  
Pond Fact Sheet          
Wetland fact sheets

Many of the applications on this page require soils information, click onto this link for soils maps:

Additional Websites:
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
US Army Corps of Engineers
Penn State Agronomy Guide

USDA Web Soil Survey

For more information contact:
Randy Reibson, Technician


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