Because of a lack of DEP funding for this program, the District (as were many others) was forced to terminated its delegation agreement with the DEP on January 1, 2003. General permits must now be issued through the DEP Southcentral Regional Office in Harrisburg (717-705-4802). However, limited permit applications are still available at the Conservation District office.
The Chapter 105 rules and regulations govern all watercourses, ditches, and streams that drain a minimum of 100 acres or have a defined bed and bank (i.e. there is a channel bottom and banks on each side, with no minimum drainage requirement). Chapter 105 also governs wetlands, dams, and water obstructions (i.e. rip-rap, bank stabilization, culverts, etc.). Chapter 105 permits for Mifflin County can be issued by the DEP. These permits are needed to obtain the necessary approval before conducting a specific activity near a stream/ wetland. Other more involved/ larger projects, such as filling a wetland, installing a “large” bridge, and placing fill within the floodway (see definitions), require a different permit from DEP and should be applied for as far in advance as possible.
Any work within, through, or beside the channel bottom, banks, and/ or within the determined floodway almost always requires a Chapter 105 permit. Depending on the size of the stream, the “floodway” may be defined as an area within 50 feet of the top of the streambank (50 feet on both sides), or it may be a larger setback on each side of the stream, depending on the elevations around the stream, the size of the stream, etc. The only way to be certain of the width of the floodway for a given watercourse or stream is to check the FEMA flood maps. DEP Southcentral Regional Office should be able to assist you in making this determination (717-705-4802). Work involving wetlands in any way or manner always requires a Chapter 105 permit. The Chapter 105 program requires authorization from DEP in various circumstances, always associated in some way with streams, floodways, or wetlands. The simplest way to remember the Chapter 105 permitting program is as follows: if you are in any way going to do anything near a stream (near meaning any closer than 50 feet away from the banks), watercourse, or wet area (which may be wetlands), assume you need a permit to stay in compliance with DEP regulations. Then give the DEP SCRO a quick call and they should be glad to assist you in determining the floodway for the given stream, determine the presence or absence of wetlands, and determine what, if any, permits are necessary for your project.