The Berks County Conservation District, under a Level II delegation agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, administers the Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program. Staff perform plan reviews, conduct earth disturbance inspections, respond to complaints and provide education on soil and water conservation practices for construction projects.
Small Projects: Half-acre or less
Small Projects disturbing more than 5,000 sf and less than 0.50 acre (21,780 sf) for accessory residential uses (pools, patios, sheds, pole barns, etc.) and with less than 2,000 sf of impervious area, could apply. Additional, restrictions include no steep slopes in excess of 15% and no disturbance of surface waters. Applications shall be reviewed and approved within 10 business days, if the application is complete and correct. If the District does not respond within 10 business days form the date the application was submitted (applications submitted after noon are considered submitted the following business day), the project will be considered approved, with no further action by the District.
Non-NPDES: Projects less than 1 acre
The statewide goal of this program is to minimize accelerated erosion and sediment pollution that may result from earthmoving activities. Erosion and Sediment Best Management Practices (BMPs) are to be utilized on all earth disturbances. A written E&S plan is required to be prepared and submitted for review whenever there is earth disturbance greater than or equal to 5,000 square feet. This approved plan must be on-site during the construction activity.
NPDES: Projects 1 acre or more
The District, in conjunction with PADEP, administers the Nonpoint Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permitting Program for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities. Projects that generate earth disturbances greater than or equal to 1 acre are required to obtain a PAG-02 NPDES Permit. For projects from 1 acre up to 5 acres may apply for the PAG-01 program. Sites discharging to a High Quality (HQ) or Exceptional Value (EV) watershed require an Individual NPDES Permit.
The cutting and removal of trees for sale requires an Erosion and Sediment Control plan for minimizing accelerated erosion and sediment pollution that can result from earth disturbance activities. Any timber harvesting project that disturbs 25 acres or more (including the haul road, skid trails, landing areas, etc.) is required to obtain an Erosion and Sediment Control Permit (ESCP).