How to apply for a permit in Pennsylvania

For work in Pennsylvania, submit the required Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection office. You may also write or call the office below for an application. It is important that you provide complete information in the application, as requested. 

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Dams, Waterways and Wetlands
Rachel Carson State Office Building
Market Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105
(717) 787-6827

Permit Types

In the Baltimore District, we use two types of General Permits: the Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit - 6 (PASPGP-6) and Nationwide Permits (NWPs) for work in Pennsylvania. These General Permits may be used to authorize impacts to waters of the United States that have been determined to result in no more than minimal adverse environmental effects. The majority of projects quality for authorization under on of the General Permits. For projects with the potential for more than minimal environmental impacts, authorization may be obtained through a Letter of Permission or an Individual Permit. Additional information on State Programmatic General Permits, NWPs, Letters of Permission and Individual Permits may be found on our Permits and Processes Page.

In some instances, issued authorizations may require compensatory mitigation to offset unavoidable impacts to aquatic resource functions and services.  Information on compensatory mitigation requirements may be found on our Mitigation page (Link to Mitigation page).

Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit-6 (PASPGP-6)

PASPGP-6 authorizes work in waters of the United States within portions of Pennsylvania that have no more than minimal adverse environmental effects, individually and cumulatively, subject to the permit’s specific terms and conditions.  This programmatic general permit operates in conjunction with Pennsylvania’s Department of the Environment’s (PADEP) state regulatory program that protects the aquatic environment in a manner equivalent to the Department of the Army regulatory program. PASPGP-6 became effective July 1, 2021 and will expire June 30, 2026. 

View the June 25, 2021 public notice regarding the issuance of PASPGP-6. 

Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit-5 (PASPGP-5)

PASPGP-5, which expired on June 30, 2021, authorized work in waters of the United States within portions of Pennsylvania that had no more than minimal adverse environmental effects, individually and cumulatively, subject to the permit’s specific terms and conditions. This programmatic general permit operated in conjunction with Pennsylvania’s Department of the Environment’s (PADEP) state regulatory program that protects the aquatic environment in a manner equivalent to the Department of the Army regulatory program. PASPGP-5 became effective July 1, 2016, was revised in July 2018, and expired on June 30, 2021.  

View the May 2, 2016 public notice regarding the issuance of PASPGP-5. View the July 30, 2018 public notice regarding the modification of PASPGP-5.  

Nationwide Permits

Nationwide Permits (NWPs) are general permits issued on a nationwide basis to authorize minor activities with minimal evaluation time. NWPs have been established to reduce the regulatory reporting burden for specific activities that have no more than minimal impacts to the aquatic environment. Most NWPs have been suspended in the Baltimore and Philadelphia District’s area of responsibility within Pennsylvania since the PASPGP-6 provides comparable Department of the Army authorization.

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a final rule in the Federal Register (86 FR 2744) announcing the reissuance of 12 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and four new NWPs, as well as the reissuance of NWP general conditions and definitions with some modifications. These 16 NWPs will go into effect on March 15, 2021, and will expire on March 14, 2026:

  • NWP 12 – Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities
  • NWP 21 – Surface Coal Mining Activities
  • NWP 29 – Residential Developments
  • NWP 39 – Commercial and Institutional Developments
  • NWP 40 – Agricultural Activities
  • NWP 42 – Recreational Facilities
  • NWP 43 – Stormwater Management Facilities
  • NWP 44 – Mining Activities
  • NWP 48 – Commercial Shellfish Mariculture Activities
  • NWP 50 – Underground Coal Mining Activities
  • NWP 51 – Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities
  • NWP 52 – Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects
  • NWP 55 – Seaweed Mariculture Activities
  • NWP 56 – Finfish Mariculture Activities
  • NWP 57 – Electric Utility Line and Telecommunications Activities
  • NWP 58 – Utility Line Activities for Water and Other Substances

​The 12 existing NWPs published in the January 13, 2021 final rule replace the 2017 versions of these NWPs. The 2017 versions of NWPs 12, 21, 29, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 48, 50, 51, and 52 expire on March 14, 2021.

On March 5, 2021, the Baltimore District issued Special Public Notice 21-08, announcing the final suspensions and regional conditions for these 16 2021 NWPs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The document identifying the suspended NWPs can be found here. A copy of the NWPs, definitions, general conditions, and regional conditions can be found here

On December 27, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a final rule in the Federal Register (86 FR 73522) announcing the reissuance of 40 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and the issuance of one new NWP. The NWP general conditions and definitions published in the January 13, 2021 Federal Register (86 FR 2744) apply to the 41 NWPs issued in the December 27, 2021 final rule. A copy of the NWPs, definitions, general conditions, and regional conditions can be found here.

These 41 NWPs issued in the December 2021 final rule went into effect on February 25, 2022, and will expire on March 14, 2026:

  • NWP 1 - Aids to Navigation
  • NWP 2 - Structures in Artificial Canals
  • NWP 3 - General Maintenance
  • NWP 4 - Fish & Wildlife Harvesting, Enhancement, and Attraction Devices and Activities
  • NWP 5 - Scientific Measurement Devices
  • NWP 6 - Survey Activities
  • NWP 7 - Outfalls & Associated Intakes
  • NWP 8 - Oil & Gas Structures on Outer Continental Shelf
  • NWP 9 - Structures in Fleeting and Anchorage Areas
  • NWP 10 - Mooring Buoys
  • NWP 11 - Temporary Recreational Structures
  • NWP 13 - Bank Stabilization
  • NWP 14 - Linear Transportation
  • NWP 15 – U.S. Coast Guard Approved Bridges
  • NWP 16 - Return Water from Upland Contained Disposal Areas
  • NWP 17 - Hydropower Projects
  • NWP 18 - Minor Discharges
  • NWP 19 - Minor Dredging
  • NWP 20 - Response Operations for Oil and Hazardous Substances
  • NWP 22 - Removal of Vessels
  • NWP 23 - Approved Categorical Exclusions
  • NWP 24 - Indian Tribe or State Administered Section 404 Program
  • NWP 25 - Structural Discharges
  • NWP 27 - Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Enhancement, and Establishment
  • NWP 28 - Modifications of Existing Marinas
  • NWP 30 - Moist Soil Management for Wildlife
  • NWP 31 - Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Facilities
  • NWP 32 - Enforcement Actions
  • NWP 33 - Temporary Construction, Access, and Dewatering
  • NWP 34 - Cranberry Production Activities
  • NWP 35 - Maintenance Dredging of Existing Basins
  • NWP 36 - Boat Ramps
  • NWP 37 - Emergency Watershed Protection
  • NWP 38 - Cleanup of Hazardous& Toxic Materials
  • NWP 41 - Reshaping of Existing Drainage and Irrigation Ditches
  • NWP 45 - Repair of Uplands Damaged by Discrete Events
  • NWP 46 - Discharges in Ditches
  • NWP 49 - Coal Remining Activities
  • NWP 53 - Removal of Low-Head Dams
  • NWP 54 - Living Shorelines
  • NWP 59 - Water Reclamation and Reuse Facilities

The 40 existing NWPs published in the December 27, 2021 final rule replace the 2017 versions of these NWPs.

On February 4, 2022, the Baltimore District issued Special Public Notice 22-02, announcing the final suspensions and regional conditions for the 41 2021 NWPs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The document identifying the suspended NWPs can be found here. A copy of the NWPs, definitions, general conditions, and regional conditions can be found here.