Frequently Asked Questions

Why does it take so long to get a permit?

The Conservation District makes every attempt to achieve timely issuance of permits for projects. However, often the delays are not under the control of the Conservation District.  Delays by consultants in responding to reviews can add considerable time to the process. Missing information or the need to coordinate with other permits or agencies sometimes influences when the permit can be issued.


How long will each review take?

The Conservation District strives to provide a timely review of all plans. Administrative reviews of NPDES permit applications are conducted within 10 working days of receipt. Applicants will be notified of the acceptance of the application or deficiencies as soon as possible.

Technical review of plans cannot be completed until the plan is accepted as being administratively complete.  Technical reviews of the plans will be done in the order the application is received as complete.  Policy requires that reviews be completed within 30 days of acceptance, however the Conservation District strives to conduct reviews as soon as possible.


How can I speed up the review process?

The best way to get a speedy and complete review is to make sure the submission is complete and easily understood.  Often valuable time is spent or unnecessary review comments generated because the required information could not be found or understood.


Is a pre-submission meeting required before submission?

The Conservation District does not require but strongly recommends that a pre-submission or pre-design meeting be held for major projects.  This allows for clearer understanding of permitting requirements, ability to discuss unique conditions or concerns, early coordination of other permitting requirements and often can give the designer insights into pending requirements that might be implemented before the plan will be submitted.


Do I need a plan?

Chapter 102, the state’s erosion and sedimentation control regulations, requires the development of a written E&S control plan for all earth disturbances of 5,000 square feet or greater, any earth disturbances in High Quality or Exceptional Value watersheds, or if other DEP permits require it.  The plan must be prepared by someone experienced in erosion and sediment control.  The plan should identify the potential sediment pollution problems associated with the project and specify appropriate practices and techniques to be used to minimize sediment production and methods to remove sediment from the stormwater leaving the site.  The plan must be detailed enough to clearly show the steps to be taken and the order in which to take them.  This written plan is required to be on the site of the earth disturbance at all times and to be followed.

The plans must be submitted to and approved by the Conservation District when an adequacy letter is required by the local municipality or approval is required as part of another permit application.  Permits that require approval from the Conservation District include the NPDES permit, Chapter 105 general permits for stream work, and Chapter 105 Joint Permits for major projects in streams and wetlands.  The Conservation District or DEP may also specifically require a plan to be submitted for review in response to problems identified during an inspection of an active earthmoving project.

Earth disturbance activities associated with agricultural plowing or tilling, timber harvesting, and road maintenance do not require coverage under a NPDES permit but an E&S control plan is required for these activities.  Persons conducting timber harvesting or road maintenance activities which involve 25 acres or more of earth disturbance must apply for and obtain coverage under a separate permit known as an “Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit”.

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