Clean Fill Policy Update

Clean Fill Policy Update

Author: Keith Rhodes

Major changes are expected to be coming to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) Fill Policy. These changes have been in consideration since 2014 and recently DEP issued for comment a complete overhaul of the fill policy. A final version is on the horizon and the following changes are expected:

  • Dredged material cannot be used as clean fill (automatically classified as waste)

  • Fill material may not include reclaimed asphalt, natural asbestos, mine spoils, or acid producing rock

  • Historic fill must be sampled before it can be reused

  • Fill material may not be mixed to meet the numeric standards for clean fill

  • New definitions of “environmental due diligence” and “project area”

  • Authorize use of background conditions

  • Possible updated clean fill Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) regulations

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a letter regarding PCB levels in fill to various entities in Pennsylvania, could complicate any project involving earth disturbance where PCBs are present.

These are just a few of the key points in a long list of changes expected in the fill policy.

Timeline of PA DEP fill policy changes:

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