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 Announcement

NCCD COVID-19 Protocol: last updated on 4/6/20
The County of Northampton has made a declaration of emergency and only essential Conservation District (NCCD) staff will be reporting into the office at limited capacity until further notice.

Public access to the Greystone Building is restricted, the Greystone Bulding lobby will be open during the hours of 8AM to 2PM Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to accept mail/deliveries (accept on holidays); the office will be closed on Thursdays starting on 4/9/20. 
Paper applications for permits/reviews are no longer being accepted until further notice, electronic submission is highly reccommended (please see protocol below).
Check back here for updates to NCCD - Greystone Building procedures


DEP COVID-19 Update:

The Department of Environmental Protection is suspending the timeframes for providing permit decisions established in the Policy for Implementing the Department of Environmental Protection Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee due to the office closures related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please note that DEP staff will continue to process received permit applications. However; due to operational conditions, applicants may experience delays receiving decisions. Applicants may also experience delays in receiving permit decisions where the applications are processed by County Conservation Districts. DEP will provide emergency authorizations for projects that are critical to public health and safety.

Check here for DEP updates: https://www.dep.pa.gov/Pages/AlertDetails.aspx

NCCD Operation Plan

Based guidance received from PADEP, to reduce in the spread of the COVID-19 virus,
NCCD will no longer be accepting paper applications (delivery or mail) as of Wednesday, 3/25/20, until further notice.

If you have a submission or resubmission, please email the District Manager a PDF of your completed NCCD application (required for all initial applications and whenever info. is revised) and a picture of your applicable fee checks (DO NOT SEND YOUR PERMIT DOCUMENTS to this email), based on availability and in the order received, NCCD will verify that the checks are completed correctly per application instructions and the NCCD fee schedule;
send email to: spletchan@northamptoncounty.org
Once application and fees are deemed correct by Management, NCCD will respond to your email and provide you the contact information to which you will need to email your documents.  At that time, you should place your fee check(s) in the mail to: NCCD, 14 Gracedale Ave., Greystone Bldg., Nazareth, PA 18064.  NCCD will process your application in order received.
We ask that you use a file management tool to provide us a link to the documents or keep your submission under 10 MB as our system cannot receive large emails.  NOTE: Due to County email security, we do not have access to all file management tools, so please work with the staff if they are not able to open your documents, they will notify you based on availability and order received.
If you are unable to do either of the above, please put your submission on a thumb drive and mail it with your fee check(s). 
If you are unable to provide your submission using the above methods, and must submit paper copies, please note that the processing of your application will be delayed, as the documents will be placed in quarantine for at least 14 days before staff is able to take your application home to review. 

- Electronic request form for electronic pre-application meetings should be sent to Manager via email (spletchan@northamptoncounty.org). Meeting will be scheduled by Manager through Skype/Zoom, Outlook invite will be sent by NCCD to associated staff, applicant, consultants, municipalities, etc.  If your firm/company has other conferencing capabilities, please inform Manager with intial request.

- Pre-construction meetings to be held via conference call and scheduled directly with assigned 102 staff (re: About Us page for contacts).


Complaints related to NCCD Programs
NCCD will continue to receive and process complaints; please email complaint information to spletchan@northamptoncounty.org (pictures are welcome). Under direction of PADEP, complaints that are critical to public health and safety will be prioritized on a case by case basis. District staff are working remotely, and will do their best to respond to complaints related to issues critical to public health and safety. Any complaints that are critical to public health and safety will only receive a field inspection after reaching that decisions jointly with our DEP regional office.

UPDATE to NCCD Operation - Released 3/27/20 by PADEP

Thank you for your understanding; the safety of our staff is our priority.
Check back here for regular updates to NCCD procedures

2020 Northampton County High School Envirothon scheduled for Thursday, April 23, 2020 is CANCELLED due to cancellation of the State and National Competitions based on PA Governor's emergency order.

Board of Directors Committee and Board Meeting scheduled for April 14th 2020 is CANCELLED

Please check back here for more updates.

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Chapter 102 Training Workshop POSTPONED - to be rescheduled
              3/24/20 at Lehigh Valley Hotel Conference Center, Bethlehem 8:00AM-3:30PM  

A Message from Lehigh and Northampton County Conservation Districts:

Hello All, 

For health and safety reasons the Chapter 102 Workshop is going to be postponed. We will follow up when more information is available but hope to have a rescheduled date in late spring or early summer.

All event tickets will be transferred to the rescheduled date and refunds will be available upon request. Refunds are available through the Eventbrite website up until March 17th, but we will be able to process these requests past that date if you contact us directly, until 7 days prior to the rescheduled event date. Please note that the Eventbrite fee is non-refundable.

For additional information or refund requests please contact Holly Kaplan at hkaplan@lehighconservation.org or 610-391-9583 x10. 

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to resuming normal operations! 

Stay well, 

LCCD + NCCD

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Attention General NPDES Permit holders: YOUR PERMIT IS EXPIRED if you did not complete the below

     If you have one or more active General NPDES permits on file with the Northampton County Conservation District (NCCD), you were provided a letter at the end of 2019 providing you   If District did not received your renewal application or NOT (if work is completed and stabilized) OR DEP Central Office did not receive your Acknowledgement Form by 3/9/20, your permit coverage is expired, site work must cease, all disturbance shoudl be stabilized and the site is considered to be in violation.  Please contact the regional 102 staff member immiedately to discuss a corrective action plan.
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- NEW NPDES Permit FAQ released by PA DEP - please review this document prior to contacting NCCD with questions on the new NPDES permitting process, as we are experiencing a high number of calls; we appreciate your understanding.

 

Who we are

 

 

The Northampton County Conservation District is one of 66 Conservation Districts statewide and nearly 3000 nationwide dedicated to conserving soil and water resources (click for Conservation District History). The Conservation District is part of county government and also a sub-unit of state government.


Over 65 years ago Pennsylvania state legislators recognized the need to support grassroots local conservation efforts.
As a result, the PA Conservation District Law was passed authorizing the creation of county conservation districts in every county, except Philadelphia. The Northampton County Conservation District was founded in 1961 when a group of farmers joined together to promote the use of conservation practices to protect soil and water resources in Northampton County.


Today, the Northampton County Conservation District's main goals are to promote soil conservation, maintain or improve water quality and promote environmental education. To achieve these goals, the Conservation District performs a variety of programs ranging from reviewing erosion and sediment pollution control plans for earth disturbance activities to providing advice on starting a local watershed association.


The Conservation District is led by a seven member Board of Directors. District Directors are volunteers that are nominated by an approved local organization and then appointed by Northampton County government. Their responsibilities range from policy creation to supporting efforts of district staff and their partner agencies to provide quality administrative, technical, and educational assistance to all county residents. Four members of the board are farmer directors, two are public directors and one is a representative of Northampton County Council.

Why soil conservation is important


Soil Conservation is a set of management strategies that are used to prevent soil from being eroded from the earth's surface or becoming chemically altered by overuse. Various strategies, or best management practices (BMPs), are used by excavation contractors, farmers and others to achieve this goal. So, what is the harm if a little mud washes into the stream? Excess sediments are associated with increased turbidity and reduced light penetration in the water column, as well as more long-term effects associated with habitat destruction and increased difficulty in filtering drinking water. By volume, sediment is the greatest pollutant to the surface waters of Pennsylvania.

Complaints


The District needs your help.  If you see any Erosion and Sedimentation Control issues associated with construction or agricultural activities or manure management issues on farmland, please contact our front office: 610-829-6279.  All complaints will be kept anonymous as required by State/Federal laws. 

All complaints or issues regarding wetlands, stream encroachments or illegal dumping of construction debris should contact the PA Department of Environmental Protection, Northeast Regional Office: 1-866-255-5158 (State-wide). 
Stormwater/flooding issues should be addressed to the associated municipality, District assistance will be provided when requested by municiaplity.

In the event of an emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

 What’s New

    • New DEP Bureau - Regional Permit Coordination Office (RPCO)

    • NEW Water Quality Project Mini-Grant Program
      NCCD has a new mini-grant program!  Grants of up to $5,000 are available (as funds allow) to projects to improve water quality of and reduce pollution to the natural resources of Northampton County.  Applicants should complete the Grant Request for Assistance (Page 2 of this policy) and contact the NCCD Watershed Specialist to complete an application. Applications will be assessed by NCCD Resource Technical Committee at the next scheduled meeting after date received.  Grant round is currently open. 
    • NCCD Fee Schedule Increase
      Beginning April 1, 2018.  All fees will now be based on acreage and include all services provided by District staff; the revised fee schedule includes an increase for the majority of project classifications.  The fee increase is necessary to help maintain the District's Chapter 102 Program and to begin implementation of the Post Construction Stormwater Management (PCSM) Delegation from PADEP.  With this new delegation, NCCD will review all permits in-house for completeness and technical adequacy of both E&S and PCSM plans; General Permits will be issued by the District and Individual Permits will be issued by PADEP after NCCD has completed their reviews.  The NCCD Application for review is required to be submitted for any application to be accepted by the District. 
      Please review the following links and reference for applications submitted AFTER APRIL 1, 2018: 2018 NCCD Revised Fee schedule.pdf;
                                 2018 NCCD Application.pdf
  • NEW DEP Website for E&S & PCSM Resources
    PADEP has organized all resources for the Chapter 102 program in one location.  Click on the link above for the latest and greatest guidance and forms related to Chapter 102 (E&S, PCSM, NPDES).  The majority of the information is under a link called "E&S Resources".  This would be the best location to obtain the most up to date forms for the program.
  • Volunteer Opportunities are always available at the District:
    Please click on the link below for more information:
    https://www.idealist.org/en/government/48f4caa61093421bb30f5ea1ed9a13c2-northampton-county-conservation-district-nazareth?
    Internships are also available, please contact District Manager, Sharon Pletchan at 610-829-6284 if you are interested.
  • Pre-application meetings with the District and DEP are recommended and available at our office:
    Meetings are typically scheduled for 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month.
    Contact Wendy at (610) 829-6279 to schedule an appointment.
  • ATTENTION MS4 MUNICIPALITIES:
    NCCD is available to assist municipalities with their MS4 requirements.  Please contact District Manager, Sharon Pletchan at 610-829-6284 if you are interested in scheduling a meeting to discuss how we can help.
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