Like it or not, permits are a part of nearly every business activity. GeoServices’ professionals can help guide you through the sometimes complex and occasionally frustrating permitting process. Our professionals are experienced with preparation of a wide variety of permits and the process of review and permit submission.

Land Disturbance and Natural Resource Use Permits

We are experienced with nearly every type of permit involving land disturbance or natural resource use, including:

SRBC and DRBC Allocation Permits

River Basin Commission (RBC) Permits

In the mid-Atlantic and northeast states, two river basin commissions are Federal Interstate Compact Commissions. These are the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC). These two RBCs have strong regulatory authority over allocation of water within the respective basins. Other RBCs, such as the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICRP) and the Ohio River Basin Commission (ORBC), are active and although they currently lack strong regulatory authority, consideration of these RBCs must be included in any plans for major withdrawals within the respective basins. While both the SRBC and the DRBC have threshold withdrawals which trigger regulatory action, any water withdrawn for use in Marcellus Shale drilling activities requires a withdrawal allocation from the respective RBC (or Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in basins outside the Susquehanna and Delaware basins).

GeoServices has an excellent working relationship with the SRBC and our office is only minutes from the SRBC office in Harrisburg. We have prepared dozens of applications for the SRBC and DRBC and routinely represent clients before the Technical Support Commission Hearings of the SRBC.

Types of Permits and Plans

The list below is only a partial listing of permits and plans we have prepared on behalf of our municipal, natural gas, golf course, quarry, agricultural, commercial, and industrial clients.

  • Ground Water Withdrawal Applications
  • Surface Water Withdrawal Applications
  • Approval by Rule Applications
  • Consumptive Water Use Applications
  • Aquifer Testing Plans
    • Ground Water Availability Studies
    • Hydrogeologic Description
    • Monitoring Plan
  • Pass-by flow determinations
  • Aquifer testing waiver applications for existing sources
  • Property owner notifications, notifications to state and local governments, and newspaper of record

For a more complete understanding of how we can assist you with your permitting and water allocation needs, please contact us.

Water Supply Permits

Public water supplies require permits. The extent of the permitting required is based on the volume of water withdrawn, the number of people a public water supply system serves, and the source of the water supply. Not only do public water supplies require permits, but permits are also required for the natural gas industry to withdraw water for fracing purposes. Regardless of the use of the water, GeoServices’ personnel are well versed in the permitting process and are capable of meeting your needs in a timely, cost-effective manner.

Public Water Supply System

Public water supply systems in Pennsylvania are classified as transient or non-transient and community or non-community public water supply systems. The designations are based on the number of people or connections served, as well as the length of time that these connections or people use this source. GeoServices works with all public water suppliers to ensure safe, sustainable sources and can aid in obtaining any public water supply permit needed.

Ground Water Permitting

GeoServices routinely works with river basin commissions, such as the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC), and state regulatory agencies such as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to obtain the necessary permits for public water supply wells.

Surface Water Permitting

Withdrawals from surface water may require safe yield assessments, passby flow determinations, habitat loss assessment (using IFIM), average daily flow determinations, or other stream flow assessments to obtain a surface water withdrawal permit.

Non-Coal Mining Permits

GeoServices’ personnel are experienced in mine and reclamation planning and permit application preparation for non-coal mining operations in several northeastern states.

Plans and Permits

In addition to mine and reclamation planning, bonding determinations, and permit preparation, we are experienced in preparation of ancillary plans and permits, including SPCC Plans, NPDES permits, ground water protection plans, and evaluation of impacts of quarry de-watering on neighboring properties.

If you need assistance with development of new reserves, expansion of existing sources, development or modification of reclamation plans, or other issues relating to non-coal mining, please contact us.

Marcellus Shale Drilling Permits

GeoServices’ experienced staff deftly navigates the permitting process for natural gas extraction wells. We provide support to obtain the permits and the Water Management Plan required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.

PADEP Permits

The PADEP requires numerous permits to drill a natural gas extraction well in Pennsylvania. Some of the more commonly required permits may include:

  • Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP-1)
  • Dam permit for a centralized impoundment
  • Dam Permits
  • Stream encroachment
  • Water Management Plan

Other permits may also be required, depending on site activity.

SRBC Permits

When working within the Susquehanna River Basin, the SRBC also has multiple permit requirements. GeoServices routinely works with the SRBC to obtain these permits for several applications.

  • Surface Water Withdrawal
  • Ground Water Withdrawal
  • Consumptive Use
  • Approval by Rule

SPCC Plans and Renewals

Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan

The Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule is part of the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation, which also includes the Facility Response Plan (FRP) rule. The SPCC rule requires specific facilities to prepare, amend, and implement SPCC Plans. SPCC Plans must be submitted and implemented by specific facilities in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines to address the potential for a discharge of oil to navigable waters and adjoining shorelines. These plans must address oil spill prevention, spill preparedness, and spill response at your facility, and no two facilities are the same.

Preparing SPCC Plans

If your facility is required to submit an SPCC plan, GeoServices, Ltd. will work together with the EPA regional inspector to prepare the plan for you following the SPCC rule. GeoServices will make sure that the plan conforms to current SPCC regulations and is sealed by the EPA inspector.

DEP Applications & Permits

GeoServices’ professionals are experienced in the preparation of a wide variety of applications and permits required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for projects involving every facet of use, protection, and development of natural resources.

Department of Environmental Protection Permits

The list below is only a partial listing of the types of applications and permits which have been prepared for our clients.

  • Erosion and Sediment Control Permits
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits
  • Public Water Supply Permits
  • Permit-by-Rule Applications
  • Water Allocation Permits
  • Beneficial Re-Use of Historic Fill Permit
  • Act 2 Closure Applications
  • Residual Waste Disposal Permits
  • Land Application Permits
  • Spray Irrigation Permits
  • Ground Water Assessment Permits
  • Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plans (SPCC)
  • Non-Coal Surface Mining Permits
  • Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit
  • Storage Tank Site Specific Installation Permit Application
  • Water Pollution Control Permit Application
  • Stormwater Permit
  • Gas Drilling Permits
  • Pre-Drilling Plans
  • Aquifer Test Plans
  • Water Management Plan

For more information give us a call or “Contact Us“!

Storm Water Permits

Storm Water Discharge Permit

Storm water is a term that describes runoff generated from rain and snowmelt events. Storm water is of concern because this runoff flows over land accumulating debris, chemicals, or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes regulations that may require certain municipalities to obtain a discharge permit for stormwater.

Permit Guidance

GeoServices can help you navigate through those regulations to help you determine if you need a permit. We also can guide you through the National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. We will help you determine the forms required and how and where to file them. GeoServices can also help you manage all paperwork and keep track of renewals. So, if the mountain of paperwork required for permitting seems overwhelming, call GeoServices.

NPDES Permits and Renewals

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a Federal program administered by the States that requires wastewater dischargers to have a permit in order to protect public health and aquatic life. NPDES permits are required for municipal wastewater treatment plants, industrial point sources (including Marcellus Shale drilling operations), and concentrated animal feeding operations. Typically, NPDES permits are valid for a period of five years and renewals must be submitted at least 180 days prior to expiration of the current permit.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits

NPDES permits typically set site-specific effluent limits, treatment or management procedures, compliance monitoring, and reporting requirements. If your facility is required to submit, renew or report on an NPDES permit, GeoServices, Ltd. will work together with the DEP Regional Office to ensure that your facility remains in compliance.

Dam Safety Permits

Dam permits in Pennsylvania are issued by the Division of Dam Safety. Both on-stream and off-stream projects may need a dam permit depending on site conditions.

Dam Permit Project Criteria

To determine the need for a dam permit for a project, the following must be evaluated:

  • For in-stream structures, a permit is needed if
    • The drainage area exceeds 100 acres
    • The maximum depth of water is greater than 15 feet
    • The storage volume is greater than 50 acre-feet
  • A dam permit is also required for off-stream structures with depths greater than 15 feet and storage of more than 50 acre-feet
  • A dam permit is required for fluids or semi-fluids other than water that may result in pollution or danger to people or property if fluids escape.

While GeoServices does not complete dam design and construction, we have experience working through the permitting process for water supply projects that require additional storage, such as reservoir storage, frac water storage for natural gas drilling, or other lagoons and impoundments.

For more information give us a call or “Contact Us“!