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 Announcement

 

NCCD COVID-19 Protocol: last updated on 8/19/20
The County of Northampton has made a declaration of emergency

Greystone Building lobby will be open to the public during the hours of 8AM to 4PM Monday-Friday;
Appointments/email/phone call interaction with staff is requested; however essential staff interaction is being offered as of 6/8/20, please ring outside notification bell (mask is required).  
Electronic submission is still highly recommended;
however paper mailed and drop-off deliveries are being accepted without quarantine as of 6/29/20
(unless other DEP submission procedures are in place)
(please see protocol below).

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
DEP COVID FAQ: Please review this document before contacting District staff

NCCD Operation Plan

Based guidance received from PADEP, to reduce in the spread of the COVID-19 virus,
Submissions/Deliveries

NOTE: if you do not follow the protcol outlined below, your electronic application/resubmission will not be received or processed and may be subject to withdraw or denial per PADEP SOP.

If you have an electronic submission or resubmission, please email 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, 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: northamptoncd@northamptoncd.org
Once application and fees are verified, NCCD will respond to your email and provide you the contact information to which you will need to email your documents (perferred option #1 below).  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. 
You have 3 options for submittal:
1. Use a file management tool to provide a link to the documents per verification email provided by NCCD; NOTE: Please do not send emails directly to technical staff.  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. Use of a file management tool is preferred, but if this is not possible, please keep your email attachments under 10 MB total or your email may not be received due to size restrictions.  If your submission is not accessible, legible or scaled accordingly; it cannot be accepted.
2. Put your submission on a thumb drive and mail it with your fee check(s).  NOTE: date received will be considered the date an NCCD staff member is able to access the office, retrieve and view your thumb drive.
3. Submit paper copies through mail or drop-off (NOTE: Drop-offs are non-essential and should not warrent staff interaction unless a specific meeting is scheduled). 

NOTE: Complete documents should be provided with ANY electronic submission, substitutions are not acceptable at this time.

Paper copies of the permit documents and plans may be requested once "normal" operations are able to occur. 

 

Virtual Meetings are required at this time.  

 

-Pre-application meetingsElectronic request form for virtual standard pre-application meetings should be sent via email (northamptoncd@northamptoncd.org) (unless requesting expedited technical review, reference policy under Downloads tab and email Sharon Pletchan at spletchan@northamptoncounty.org for more information); all proposed meeting attendees should be included in the initial email request. Meeting will be scheduled by Manager through Zoom, Outlook invite will be sent to associated NCCD staff and municipalities as well as the parties included in the original email request.  The meeting will be considered tentative until a link to the documents to be discussed has been provided to Wendy via email; the deadline for this link is 48 hrs prior to your tentatively scheduled meeting. 
If the link is not received by the deadline, your meeting will be cancelled and you will need to submit a new request. 
If your firm would rather use a different electronic media to hold the call, please inform Manager of this upon your initial request.

 

Pre-construction meetings are to be held via conference call and scheduled directly with assigned 102 staff (re: About Us page for contacts); staff will require a shared screen with the plans and permit during the call or a link to the documents 48 hrs. prior to the call if we do not already have the documents electronically to be able to hold the meeting; if documents are not presented or provided, the meeting will be cancelled until appropriate documents can be presented. 

- Inspections/Field Work - staff will be performing inspections based on a priority list governed by PADEP and the District Manager.  At this time, all field work must be pre-approved by the District Manager prior to execution.  If you would like to request an inspection, including submission of Notice of Termination to initiate a final inspection, please contact the assigned regional staff member for NPDES/Chapter 102 construction sites; Jim Clauser should be contacted for Agricultural field assistance and Nate Pritchard should be contacted for Watershed management assistance (re: About Us page for contacts).  NOTE: Field time for staff is limited due to social distancing requirements.  It is requested that a maximum of only ONE person be present to accompany the District staff member during the inspection.  Please make District staff aware of any additional safety protocols required on-site, practice social distancing and wear a mask in compliance with CDC guidelines.  The staff is directed to deny service if CDC safety protocols are not followed.


Complaints related to NCCD Programs
NCCD will continue to receive and process complaints; please email complaint information to northamptoncd@northamptoncd.org 
Do not call 102 technical staff directly.

Under direction of PADEP, issues critical to public health and safety will be prioritized for first response. The District Manager will prioritize and assign complaints accordingly. District staff are limited in the field, and will do their best to respond to complaints in a timely manner (pictures are welcome).  

NOTE: If your complaint/issue is related to impacts to wetlands or streams please contact PADEP complaint line at 1-866-255-5158 as NCCD does not currently have delagation authority over these areas.

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

Thank you for your understanding; the safety of our staff is our priority.

The next NCCD Board of Directors Meeting is scheduled for October 13th, 2020 at 7:30PM and
is open to the public however due pandemic interaction limitations,
the meetings will be held remotely

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87015171296?pwd=aEkyejZIVnYyZ1J6dGppK1oxYUpzQT09

Meeting ID: 870 1517 1296

Passcode: 976947

Dial-in #: (646) 876-9923

 

Administration/Operations Committee – CANCELLED

Resource Technical Committee
–  – CANCELLED
 
Education/Outreach Committee   CANCELLED

 

 

Please check back here for more updates.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chapter 102 Training Workshop CANCELLED
              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, 

Due to the ongoing health concerns, the Lehigh and Northampton Conservation Districts have decided to cancel the Chapter 102 Workshop. It is unclear when an event of this size will be safe to hold, so in the interest of providing training, the Districts will instead be making several of the presentations available online shortly. Please check back to the Districts' websites as we will be posting information as soon as it is available related to the NPDES permitting process and Chapter 102 E&S and PCSM practices.

Refunds are being issued for the workshop, if there are any problems please contact Holly Kaplan at hkaplan@lehighconservation.org.

We appreciate your understanding and hope you find the posted presentations useful. Thank you, 

Stay well, 

LCCD + NCCD

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- 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 and contact the NCCD Watershed Specialist to complete an application. Applications are due by the end of each month to be considered at the next scheduled NCCD Resource Technical Committee and Board Meeting.  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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