Philadelphia Water Department

Chapter 2 - Submission, Review, and Approval Procedures

2.3 Review Phases

2.3 Review Phases

Section 2.3 describes the Review Phases associated with the Development Compliance, Development Exemption, and Demolition Review Paths. For more information regarding the Stormwater Retrofit Review Path, the applicant is referred to the Stormwater Retrofit Guidance Manual. The applicant should use this Section after the applicable Review Path has been determined for their project (Section 2.1.2) and an understanding is achieved of which Review Phases and the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) Stormwater Plan Review approvals are required for the project’s Review Path (Section 2.2). The four possible Review Phases for a project include the Conceptual Review Phase, Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Review Phase, Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan (PCSMP) Review Phase, and Record Drawing Review Phase.

Development Compliance Review Path (Section 2.3.1)

  • Conceptual Review Phase
  • PCSMP Review Phase
  • Record Drawing Review Phase

Development Exemption Review Path (Section 2.3.2)

  • Conceptual Review Phase
  • E&S Review Phase (If Applicable)

Demolition Review Path (Section 2.3.3)

  • Conceptual Review Phase
  • E&S Review Phase (If Applicable)

Figure 2.3-1 summarizes the relevant Review Phases for the different Review Paths. For each Review Phase, this Section describes Submission Package components, the submission and review process, and the project expiration policy.

Figure 2.3-1: Summary of Review Phases for Each Review Path

It is important for the applicant to note that while some Review Paths have similar Review Phases, specific Submission Package components, review processes, and approval documentation differ among Review Paths. These differences are described in detail within the following sections.

2.3.1 Development Compliance Review Path

Conceptual Review Phase

The Conceptual Review Phase is the first Review Phase of the Stormwater Plan Review process for the Development Compliance Review Path.  A project is initiated with the submission of the Existing Resources and Site Analysis (ERSA) Application to PWD, which includes a Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package.

Submission Package Components

The Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package for the Development Compliance Review Path contains a Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan and Approval Fee. Projects on public land (local, State, and federal) or projects sponsored by a government entity (unless PWD is the sole entity) must still pay review fees.

The process of developing a Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan will help the applicant develop a stormwater management strategy that minimizes impacts to existing critical features and responds to key site constraints and opportunities. PWD uses the Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan to gain a preliminary idea of what is proposed at the project site, to confirm the proposed project limits of disturbance (LOD), to assess the proposed stormwater management strategy, including evaluation of stormwater management practice (SMP) loading ratios and drainage areas (Chapter 3), and to verify the project’s applicability for an Expedited PCSMP Review (Section 2.4).

A complete Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package for the Development Compliance Review Path consists of the materials listed in Figure 2.3-2.

Figure 2.3-2: Development Compliance Review Path Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package Checklist

DEVELOPMENT COMPLIANCE REVIEW PATH
Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package Checklist
  Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan
  Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan Approval Fee
Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan
  • The Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan must meet all requirements listed in Appendix E, Table E-3: Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan Requirements as well as general plan sheet requirements listed in Appendix E, Table E-1.
  • In preparing the proposed stormwater management strategy for the project site, the applicant must use the stormwater management design process detailed in Chapter 3.
  • Construction details should not be submitted with the Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan.
  • A sample Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan is available here for the applicant's reference.
Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan Approval Fee
  • For up-to-date fee information, the applicant is referred to PWD Regulations Attachment A: Rates and Charges.
  • PWD accepts payment in the form of a cashier’s check, business check, or money order made payable to “City of Philadelphia.” Personal checks are not accepted.
  • Because fees must be mailed or hand delivered, PWD will begin the Conceptual Review prior to receipt of the fee, but cannot issue the Conceptual Approval Letter until the fee is received.
  • The PWD project tracking number must be listed on the check or included in an accompanying transmittal letter.
Submission and Review Process
  • The applicant submits the Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package as a component of a complete ERSA Application Submission Package (Section 2.1.1) via the Stormwater Plan Review website.
  • PWD issues an email confirmation to the applicant that the submission has been received.
  • PWD reviews the ERSA Application Submission Package, including the Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package, within five calendar days.
    • PWD reviews the submitted plans and documentation by analyzing the proposed development and its stormwater management strategy. At a conceptual level, preliminary determinations are made regarding compliance with the Stormwater Regulations, as well as eligibility for an Expedited PCSMP Review. Examples of specific review items evaluated by PWD include loading ratios for SMPs and management of 100% of post-development directly connected impervious area (DCIA). The applicant is referred to Chapter 3 for stormwater management design guidance.
    • PWD performs an initial review of proposed water and sewer connections and possible conflicts with PWD infrastructure. However, this represents only a preliminary review, and the applicant will still need to obtain separate connection permits outside of this Conceptual Review Phase (Section 2.5).
  • If PWD has comments on the submission, comments will be issued to the applicant via email.
  • The applicant resubmits to PWD, via email, a revised Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package that addresses the comments. Depending on the number and complexity of comments, the applicant may choose to include a response letter addressing each review comment and outlining any major plan or design changes. This can be an iterative process, and PWD does not restrict the number of times an applicant can resubmit. At any time, the applicant or PWD may request a meeting to discuss review comments.
  • If PWD has no comments, or if the comments have been addressed sufficiently by the applicant, PWD issues an email confirming Conceptual approval of the project, including electronic copies of a Conceptual Approval Letter and a PWD-stamped Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan. These items will also be sent in hard copy form to the Primary Design Contact listed on the ERSA Application.
  • The applicant may use the signed copy of Conceptual Approval Letter and PWD-stamped Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan in filing for a Zoning Permit. Building Permits, however, cannot be obtained, nor can earth disturbance activities begin, until the Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan (PCSMP) Review Phase is complete.

Figure 2.3-3: Development Compliance Review Path Conceptual Review Phase Flow Chart

Expiration Policy

For the Conceptual Review Phase, the applicant has one year to resubmit in response to PWD comments, but may also request one additional six-month extension. A Project Extension Request Form can be found at the Stormwater Plan Review website.

Once a Conceptual Approval Letter is issued, the applicant has one year to submit the PCSMP Review Phase Submission Package to begin the PCSMP Review Phase, but may also request one additional six-month extension. Beyond this extension, Conceptual approvals will only remain active if there is a valid Zoning Permit in place.

PCSMP Review Phase

The PCSMP Review Phase is the second Review Phase in the Stormwater Plan Review process for the Development Compliance Review Path.  A project is eligible to submit for the PCSMP Review Phase after receiving a Conceptual Approval Letter from PWD. 

The PCSMP Review Phase is PWD’s final review before construction. At the end of this Phase, PWD will issue a PCSMP Approval Letter. PCSMP approval is not a permit, but rather one of many prerequisite materials that must be presented to PWD Water Transport Records in order to receive PWD sign-off on a Building Permit (Section 2.5 and Section 2.6). For projects that do not require a Building Permit, PCSMP approval must be obtained before earth disturbance activities can begin.

The site layout and stormwater management design included with the PCSMP Review Phase Submission Package must be consistent with the design that was approved during the Conceptual Review Phase. If major changes are made to the project after PWD issues a Conceptual Approval Letter, the applicant must contact PWD to determine if a revised Conceptual Approval Letter is needed before proceeding to the PCSMP Review Phase. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) or the City of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) may reject Zoning Permit or variance applications if materials submitted to these agencies differ significantly from the approved Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan. Examples of major changes that would require a new Conceptual approval include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes to proposed LOD;
  • Changes in proposed impervious area (such as building footprint or location);
  • Changes in stormwater routing; and
  • Changes in the type, placement, sizing, and/or location of SMPs or changes to the stormwater management strategy.

If the stormwater management design changes during the PCSMP Review Phase, and the applicant would like to pursue an Expedited PCSMP Review, he or she must contact PWD before resubmitting to discuss specific design and submission requirements. The applicant is referred to Section 2.4 for more information on Expedited PCSMP Reviews.

Submission Package Components

A complete PCSMP Review Phase Submission Package for the Development Compliance Review Path consists of the materials listed in Figure 2.3-4. All hard copy submissions must include a letter of transmittal identifying the PWD project tracking number, type of submission package (PCSMP, PCSMP Field Change, etc.) and the applicant's contact information.

Figure 2.3-4: Development Compliance Review Path PCSMP Review Phase Submission Package Checklist

DEVELOPMENT COMPLIANCE REVIEW PATH
Post Construction Stormwater Management Plan Review Phase Submission Package Checklist
  Final Construction Drawings
  Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan (PCSMP) Package
  Proof of Application for Applicable State and Federal Permits
  Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan Submittal Fee
  Transmittal Letter
Final Construction Drawings
  • All plans must be signed and sealed by the appropriate professional licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first sheet of the plan set must have an original signature (not an electronic, scanned, or stamped copy) and seal from a Professional Engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The remaining plans may have a facsimile seal.
  • All plans must meet general plan sheet requirements listed in Appendix E, Table E-1.
  • The following items must be incorporated into the Final Construction Drawings:
    • Existing Conditions Plan that meets all requirements listed in Section 2.1.1,
    • Demolition Plan,
    • Site Plan,
    • Grading and utility information,
    • Landscaping information, and
    • Construction details.
Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan Package
  • Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan
    • The PCSMP is a set of engineering drawings depicting the post-development conditions and post-construction stormwater management design of a project. The PCSMP drawings and Final Construction Drawings do not necessarily have to be separate plans; they may be combined into a singular plan set.
    • The PCSMP must be signed and sealed by a Professional Engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first sheet of the plan set must have an original signature (not an electronic, scanned, or stamped copy) and the remaining plans may have a facsimile seal.
    • Drawings must contain appropriate sequences of construction for each SMP (Chapter 4).
    • Grading and utility information, landscaping information, and SMP construction details, must be either incorporated into PCSMP drawings or provided as separate plan sheets.
  • E&S Plan
    • The E&S Plan displays the post-construction condition along with other site characteristics related to the earth disturbance activities and proposed E&S measures for a project site.
    • The E&S Plan must include a LOD line type which is drawn around all proposed site features, E&S controls, and other areas that may be disturbed over the course of construction for activities such as construction staging, re-grading, demolition, etc. The applicant is advised to be conservative when estimating the LOD to avoid proceeding along the wrong Review Path, which could lead to costly delays, change orders, and enforcement action during construction. A numerical value for the LOD must be clearly displayed on the E&S Plan.
    • The E&S Plan must be prepared in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program Manual (2012 or latest), Chapter 1 – Required E&S Plan Content. E&S measures (e.g., compost filter sock, rock construction entrance, etc.) are referred to as E&S Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the PA DEP Manual.
    • The E&S Plan must also comply with the following requirements specific to the Philadelphia Water Department. Should E&S Plan requirements conflict between PA DEP and PWD, the applicant is to follow the specific PWD E&S Plan requirements presented in this Manual.
    • A sample E&S Plan is available here for the applicant's reference.
  • Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan Report
    • The PCSMP Report contains a detailed discussion of the proposed development and its impacts to the volume, rate, and quality of stormwater runoff from the site. It also contains descriptions of the project site, stormwater management criteria, calculations, maps, and other supporting documentation. The applicant may refer to Chapter 3 for information on stormwater management criteria and calculations.
    • The PCSMP Report must be signed and sealed by a Professional Engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    • Specific requirements for the PCSMP Report are listed in Appendix E, Table E-7.
Proof of Application for Applicable State and Federal Permits
  • Proof of issuance is required for PWD sign-off on a Building Permit; however, the applicant must only prove that they have applied for all applicable permits within the initial submission for PCSMP Review to proceed. To provide proof of application, the applicant must submit copies of permit applications, application receipts, or notification letters from relevant agencies.
  • Applicable permits include various State and Federal permits that may be required for development on a given site. If the project will involve earth disturbance of more than one acre, the applicant may need to obtain a PA DEP General (PAG-02) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit or Individual NPDES Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities. It is the applicant’s responsibility to determine which permits are required by other regulatory agencies for a project. The applicant is referred to Section 2.6 for information on Zoning Code requirements and to Section 2.7 for information on NPDES Permit requirements.
Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan Submittal Fee
  • For up-to-date fee information, the applicant is referred to PWD Regulations Attachment A: Rates and Charges.
  • Payment must come in the form of a cashier’s check, business check, or money order, made payable to “City of Philadelphia.” Personal checks will not be accepted.
  • The PWD project tracking number must be listed on the check or included in an accompanying transmittal letter.
Submission and Review Process
  • The applicant submits a complete PCSMP Review Phase Submission Package to PWD in both hard copy and electronic form. The electronic copies of the submission materials can be included in the hard copy submission on a CD-ROM or other electronic file storage format, or they can be provided separately via FTP servers or online file hosting.
  • PWD conducts an initial PCSMP administrative screening of the submitted materials to confirm that all necessary components are included. If any of the PCSMP Review Phase Submission Package components are found to be missing or incomplete, PWD will contact the applicant by email.
  • Once PWD’s PCSMP administrative screening is complete, and PWD has verified the inclusion of all components, PWD contacts the applicant via email and begins the 15-day review period (five-day period for Expedited PCSMP Reviews, Section 2.4). During the review, PWD examines the submittal to determine if all applicable Stormwater Regulations are met for the project. PWD verifies all plans, documents, and calculations are legible, accurate, and consistent.
  • If PWD has comments on the submission, PWD issues the comments to the applicant via email. PWD issues all comments in a PCSMP Review letter, which is sent as an attachment to the email. In this email, the reviewer provides their contact information, and the applicant is encouraged to contact the reviewer directly if they have any questions about a particular comment. PCSMP Review comments can be discussed during weekly Walk-In Hours (Section 2.0.3); however, the applicant is encouraged to contact the assigned reviewer in advance to confirm the reviewer’s availability for the Walk-In session.
  • The applicant resubmits to PWD a revised PCSMP Review Phase Submission Package that addresses the comments in both hard copy and electronic form. The hard copy submission must include a CD-ROM, or other electronic file storage format, containing the electronic versions of the submission materials.
    • Each resubmission initiates the 15-day review period (five-day period for Expedited PCSMP Reviews).
    • Revised submittals must include all required revisions and new material, as well as a response letter addressing each review comment and indicating where the new information can be found.
    • A cover letter must be attached that describes any changes to the design that may not be included within the comment response letter.
    • This can be an iterative process, and PWD does not restrict the number of times an applicant can resubmit. At any time, the applicant or PWD may request a meeting to discuss review comments.
    • The hard copy submission must include a letter of transmittal identifying the PWD project tracking number, type of submission package (PCSMP, PCSMP Field Change, etc.) and the applicant's contact information.
  • Once all of the review comments have been addressed by the applicant, PWD will issue an Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Agreement(s) (Section 6.1.2) for signature and notarization, as well as invoices for additional fee payment consisting of a PCSMP Hourly Review Fee and O&M Agreement Recording Fee(s).
    • For the O&M Agreement(s), PWD compiles the signatory sections, the signatory acknowledgement sections, and Exhibit A, based on the information provided by the applicant within Worksheet 4 (Appendix G), which must be completed and submitted as part of the PCSMP Review Phase Submission Package. Incomplete and/or incorrect information within Worksheet 4 will prevent the issuance of a PCSMP Approval Letter until all omissions and/or discrepancies are addressed. Exhibit B lists all SMPs to be constructed on the listed parcel(s).
    • For up-to-date information on the PCSMP Hourly Review Fee, the applicant is referred to PWD Regulations Attachment A; Rates and Charges.
    • The O&M Agreement Fee is determined by the fee schedule established with the City of Philadelphia Department of Records.
    • The applicant submits fee payments in the form of a cashier’s check, business check, or money order, made payable to “City of Philadelphia.” Personal checks will not be accepted. The PWD project tracking number must be listed on all checks or included in an accompanying transmittal letter.
  • Upon receipt of fee check(s) and two original, signed, and notarized copies of each O&M Agreement, PWD issues a PCSMP Approval Letter via email.
  • After issuance of the PCSMP Approval Letter, a representative of PWD will sign the O&M Agreement(s), and the O&M Agreement(s) are then recorded with the City of Philadelphia Department of Records on behalf of the property owner. A copy of the signed, fully executed O&M Agreement(s) will be mailed to the signatory at the conclusion of the recording process.
  • The applicant must submit the PCSMP Approval Letter along with any other required prerequisite materials to PWD WTR when acquiring signatures on Building Permit applications.

Figure 2.3-5: Development Compliance Review Path PCSMP Review Phase Flow Chart

Field Changes

PWD recognizes that design changes may be necessary after PWD issues the PCSMP Approval Letter.  If construction must deviate from approved plans, the applicant must contact PWD immediately. Deviations include, but are not limited to:

  • Location, size, and/or type of SMPs;
  • Infiltration feasibility; and/or
  • Other changes in the stormwater conveyance system.

Depending on the extent of the deviation, PWD may request that the applicant submit formally for field change approval. Field changes are given priority in the PCSMP Review queue and will be reviewed as soon as possible. The applicant must speak directly to the assigned reviewer to determine what must be included in the field change submittal. An additional hourly review fee may be applied to the review of all field changes.

At the completion of construction, PWD’s Inspections Coordinator must be contacted to schedule a final inspection (Chapter 5). This will initiate the Record Drawings Review Phase.

Expiration Policy

For the PCSMP Review Phase, the applicant has one year to resubmit in response to PWD comments, but may also request one additional six-month extension. A Project Extension Request Form can be found on the Stormwater Plan Review website.

A PCSMP approval is valid for two years from the date it is issued unless a valid Building or Demolition Permit is in place. There are no extensions. Projects that did not require Building or Demolition Permits from L&I will remain active if the project has advanced to active construction.

Record Drawing Review Phase

The Record Drawing Review Phase is the final Review Phase of the Stormwater Plan Review process for the Development Compliance Review Path.  A project is eligible to submit for the Record Drawing Review Phase upon completion of construction activities. 

PWD uses a project’s Record Drawings to verify compliance of the constructed site with the Stormwater Regulations and to document and verify the quantity of stormwater managed on a site. If compliance issues were observed during construction, PWD may request that L&I hold the Certificate of Occupancy until the Record Drawing Review Phase or final inspection is complete. It is critical that the Record Drawings reflect any changes from the Approved PCSMP design, approved field changes or otherwise, that may affect the performance of the SMPs. The Record Drawing Review Phase is complete when the applicant receives a letter confirming that the Record Drawing(s) are in general accordance with the Approved PCSMP.

Throughout construction, the contractor or engineer must document all SMP installations as described in the Construction Certification Package (CCP). The contractor must also keep the Approved PCSMP on-site at all times throughout the construction process and document all changes from the Approved PSCMP as they occur. PWD recommends marking up and tracking changes on an actual copy of the Approved PCSMP to simplify preparation of the Record Drawings. Using the Approved PCSMP as a base, the Record Drawings should highlight information confirmed to be in accordance with the Approved PCSMP in yellow and identify any deviations in red ink. The Record Drawings must be clear and legible.

Submission Package Components

The Record Drawing Review Phase Submission Package consists of materials listed in Figure 2.3-6, which must be submitted to PWD for review after the final inspection has been completed. All hard copy submissions must include a letter of transmittal identifying the PWD project tracking number, type of submission package (Record Drawing), and the applicant's contact information.

Figure 2.3-6: Development Compliance Review Path Record Drawing Review Phase Submission Package Checklist

DEVELOPMENT COMPLIANCE REVIEW PATH
Record Drawing Review Phase Submission Package Checklist
  Record Drawings
  Construction Certification Package
  Transmittal Letter
Record Drawings
  • The Record Drawings may be prepared by Professional Engineers, Registered Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Land Surveyors, Professional Geologists, and Contractors licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The preparer of the plan must display prominently their signature and professional seal, or, in the case of Licensed Contractors, their signature and L&I Contractor License Number, on each Record Drawing plan sheet. (PA DEP may have different requirements concerning the types of professionals who may prepare Record Drawings. For projects that require a NPDES Permit, the applicant is strongly encouraged to refer to PA DEP’s requirements for Record Drawings before selecting a professional to prepare Record Drawing(s) for PWD.)
  • The Record Drawing(s) must meet all requirements listed in Appendix E, Table E-8.
  • The applicant must submit one hard copy and one electronic copy to PWD.
  • The applicant is referred to Appendix K for a sample Record Drawing.
  • The applicant is referred to Section 5.3.2 for more information on Record Drawing construction documentation.
Construction Certification Package
  • The applicant is referred to Appendix J for the CCP Template and instructions.
  • The applicant must submit one electronic copy to PWD.
  • The applicant is referred to Section 5.3.1 for more information on CCP documentation during construction.
Submission and Review Process
  • The applicant submits a complete Record Drawing Review Phase Submission Package to PWD in both hard copy and electronic form. The hard copy submission must include a CD-ROM, or other electronic file storage format, containing the electronic versions of the submission materials. The hard copy submission must also include a letter of transmittal identifying the PWD project tracking number, type of submission package (Record Drawing), and the applicant's contact information.
  • PWD reviews the submitted Record Drawing(s) and CCP to ensure that the project has been constructed in accordance with the project’s Approved PCSMP.
  • Upon review, PWD will issue comments on the submission via email.
    • If the submitted Record Drawing Review Phase Submission Package is determined to be incomplete, the applicant must modify and/or add to the Record Drawings and/or CCP per the comments contained in the letter, and resubmit in both hard copy and electronic form. The hard copy submission must include a CD-ROM, or other electronic file storage format, containing the electronic versions of the submission materials.Depending on the number and complexity of review comments, the applicant may choose to include a response letter addressing each review comment.
    • If the submitted Record Drawings are determined to be complete, but constructed conditions differ from the Approved PCSMP, PWD may require the applicant to submit calculations prepared by a qualified design professional demonstrating compliance with Stormwater Regulations. Specifically, PWD may check the SMP storage volume, release rate, drainage areas, and other items that affect a site’s compliance with the Stormwater Regulations (Chapter 3). If the applicant cannot demonstrate compliance with the Stormwater Regulations, PWD will request that the applicant outline corrective actions to bring the project into compliance. If necessary, and once corrective actions have been performed, the applicant must contact PWD to re-inspect. If necessary, the applicant must submit requested materials that address the comments in both hard copy and electronic form. The hard copy submission must include a CD-ROM, or other electronic file storage format, containing the electronic versions of the submission materials.
    • If the Record Drawings are determined to be in general accordance with the Approved PCSMP, PWD will issue a letter via email stating as such.

Most non-residential and condominium projects that comply with Stormwater Regulations per a Record Drawing review and final inspection may be eligible for stormwater billing credits. A Stormwater Credits Application (Form B) may be submitted to PWD Stormwater Billing and Incentives for review once the previously-outlined steps are completed. This form, and more information on PWD’s Stormwater Billing Program, can be found on the Stormwater Billing and Incentives website.

Figure 2.3-7: Development Compliance Review Path Record Drawing Review Phase Flow Chart

2.3.2 Development Exemption Review Path

Conceptual Review Phase

The Conceptual Review Phase is the first Review Phase of the Stormwater Plan Review process for the Development Exemption Review Path.  A project is initiated with the submission of the ERSA Application to PWD, which includes a Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package.

Submission Package Components

The Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package for the Development Exemption Review Path contains an E&S Plan which PWD will use to verify the proposed project LOD and to confirm the E&S Plan has been prepared in accordance with the E&S requirements of the PA DEP as specified in 25 Pa. Code §102.4.

A complete Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package for the Development Exemption Review Path consists of the materials listed in Figure 2.3-8.

Figure 2.3-8: Development Exemption Review Path Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package Checklist

DEVELOPMENT EXEMPTION REVIEW PATH
Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package Checklist
  Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Plan
Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
  • The E&S Plan displays the post-construction condition along with other site characteristics related to the earth disturbance activities and proposed E&S measures for a project site.
  • The E&S Plan must include a LOD line type which is drawn around all proposed site features, E&S controls, and other areas that may be disturbed over the course of construction for activities such as construction staging, re-grading, demolition, etc. The applicant is advised to be conservative when estimating the LOD to avoid proceeding along the wrong Review Path, which could lead to costly delays, change orders, and enforcement action during construction. A numerical value for the LOD must be clearly displayed on the E&S Plan.
  • The E&S Plan must be prepared in accordance with the PA DEP Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program Manual (2012 or latest), Chapter 1 – Required E&S Plan Content. E&S measures (e.g., compost filter sock, rock construction entrance, etc.) are referred to as E&S BMPs in the PA DEP Manual.
  • The E&S Plan must also comply with the following requirements specific to the Philadelphia Water Department. Should E&S Plan requirements conflict between PA DEP and PWD, the applicant is to follow the specific PWD E&S Plan requirements presented in this Manual.
  • A sample E&S Plan is available here for the applicant's reference.
Submission and Review Process
  • The applicant submits the Conceptual Review Submission Phase Package as a component of a complete ERSA Application Submission Package (Section 2.1.1) via the Stormwater Plan Review website.
  • PWD issues an email confirmation that the submission has been received.
  • PWD reviews the ERSA Application Submission Package, including the Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package, within five calendar days.
    • PWD reviews the submitted plans and documentation by analyzing the proposed development and LOD to confirm exemption from the Stormwater Regulations and by confirming the development of an E&S Plan. PWD performs an initial review of proposed water and sewer connections and possible conflicts with PWD infrastructure. However, this represents only a preliminary review, and the applicant will still need to obtain separate connection permits outside of this Conceptual Review Phase (Section 2.5).
  • If PWD has comments on the submission, PWD issues the comments to the applicant via email.
  • The applicant resubmits to PWD, via email, a revised Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package that addresses the comments. Depending on the number and complexity of comments, the applicant may choose to include a response letter addressing each review comment and outlining any major plan or design changes. This can be an iterative process, and PWD does not restrict the number of times an applicant can resubmit. At any time, the applicant or PWD may request a meeting to discuss review comments.
  • If PWD has no comments, or if the comments have been addressed sufficiently by the applicant, PWD issues an email confirming Conceptual approval of the project, including electronic copies of a Conceptual Approval Letter, and a PWD-stamped E&S Plan. These items are also to be sent in hard copy form to the Primary Design Contact listed in the ERSA Application.
    • Within the Conceptual Approval Letter, PWD will state whether the applicant must complete an E&S Review Phase. The applicant is referred to Section 2.2.2 for more information on the type of projects that will require an E&S Review.
    • For projects whose earth disturbance will exceed one acre, PWD may defer the E&S review to PA DEP. If PWD does defer a review to PA DEP, this will be stated in the Conceptual Approval Letter. In this circumstance, earth disturbance activities cannot begin until PA DEP approves the E&S Plan and/or issues the NPDES Permit (if required). The applicant must also send an electronic copy of plans approved by PA DEP to PWD.
  • The applicant may use the Conceptual Approval Letter and PWD-stamped E&S Plan when filing a Zoning Application.
  • If an E&S Review Phase is not required, the applicant may use the Conceptual Approval Letter and PWD-stamped E&S Plan in the process of obtaining Building Permit sign-off from PWD.  The applicant is referred to Section 2.5 for more information on other reviews for Building Permit sign-off.

Figure 2.3-9: Development Exemption Review Path Conceptual Review Phase Flow Chart

Expiration Policy

For the Conceptual Review Phase, the applicant has one year to resubmit in response to PWD comments, but may also request one additional six-month extension. A Project Extension Request Form can be found at the Stormwater Plan Review website.

For Development Exemption projects, a Conceptual Approval Letter is valid for two years from the date of issuance unless a valid Building or Demolition Permit is in place. There are no extensions. Projects that did not require Building or Demolition Permits from L&I will remain active if the project has advanced to active construction.

For Development Exemption projects that require an E&S approval from PWD, the applicant will have one year to submit an E&S Review Phase Submission Package after the Conceptual Approval Letter is issued, but may also request one additional six-month extension. Beyond this extension, Conceptual approvals will only remain active if there is a valid Zoning Permit in place.

E&S Review Phase (If Applicable)

The E&S Review Phase is the final Review Phase required for projects in the Development Exemption Review Path that must obtain E&S approval. This second phase applies to projects proposing more than 15,000 square feet of earth disturbance (5,000 square feet in the Darby and Cobbs Creeks Watershed) while qualifying for an exemption from PCSM Requirements (Section 1.2.1). A project is eligible to submit for the E&S Review Phase after receiving a Conceptual Approval Letter from PWD, which will also notify the applicant if an E&S Review Phase Submission Package is required.

If a project undergoes major changes after PWD issues the Conceptual Approval Letter, the applicant must contact PWD to determine if a revised Conceptual approval is needed before proceeding to the E&S Review Phase. Examples of major changes that would require a new Conceptual approval include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes to proposed LOD, and
  • Changes in proposed impervious area (such as building footprint or location).

At the end of this Review Phase, PWD will issue an E&S Approval Letter. The E&S Approval Letter is not a permit, but rather a prerequisite necessary before earth disturbance activities can begin.

Submission Package Components

A complete E&S Review Phase Submission Package for the Development Exemption Review Path consists of the materials listed in Figure 2.3-10. All hard copy submissions must include a letter of transmittal identifying the PWD project tracking number, type of submission package (E&S), and the applicant's contact information.

Figure 2.3-10: Development Exemption Review Path E&S Review Phase Submission Package Checklist

DEVELOPMENT EXEMPTION REVIEW PATH
E&S Review Phase Submission Package Checklist
  Signed and Sealed Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Plan
  Transmittal Letter
Signed and Sealed E&S Plan
  • The E&S Plan displays the post-construction condition along with other site characteristics related to the earth disturbance activities and proposed E&S measures for a project site.
  • The E&S Plan must include an LOD line type which is drawn around all proposed site features, E&S controls, and other areas that may be disturbed over the course of construction for activities such as construction staging, re-grading, demolition, etc. The applicant is advised to be conservative when estimating the LOD to avoid proceeding along the wrong Review Path, which could lead to costly delays, change orders, and enforcement action during construction. A numerical value for the LOD must be clearly displayed on the E&S Plan.
  • The E&S Plan must be prepared in accordance with the PA DEP Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program Manual (2012 or latest), Chapter 1 – Required E&S Plan Content. E&S measures (e.g., compost filter sock, rock construction entrance, etc.) are referred to as E&S BMPs in the PA DEP Manual.
  • The E&S Plan must also comply with the following requirements specific to the City of Philadelphia and the Stormwater Regulations. Should E&S Plan requirements conflict between PA DEP and PWD, the applicant is to follow the specific PWD E&S Plan requirements presented in this Manual.
  • The Signed and Sealed E&S Plan must be signed and sealed by a Registered Professional licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first sheet of the plan set must have an original signature (not an electronic, scanned, or stamped copy) while the remaining plans may have a facsimile seal.
  • A sample E&S Plan is available here for the applicant's reference.
Submission and Review Process
  • The applicant submits a complete E&S Review Phase Submission Package to PWD in both hard copy and electronic form. The hard copy submission must include a CD-ROM, or other electronic file storage format, containing the electronic versions of the submission materials. The hard copy submission must also include a letter of transmittal identifying the PWD project tracking number, type of submission package (E&S), and the applicant's contact information.
  • PWD reviews the submission within 15 calendar days.
  • If PWD has comments on the submission, PWD issues the comments to the applicant via email.
  • The applicant resubmits to PWD a revised E&S Review Phase Submission Package that addresses the comments in both hard copy and electronic form. The hard copy submission must include a CD-ROM, or other electronic file storage format, containing the electronic versions of the submission materials. Depending on the number and complexity of comments, the applicant may choose to include a response letter addressing each review comment and oulining any major plan or design changes. This can be an iterative process, and PWD does not restrict the number of times an applicant can resubmit. At any time, the applicant or PWD may request a meeting to discuss review comments.
  • If PWD has no comments, or if comments have been addressed sufficiently by the applicant, PWD issues an E&S Approval Letter by email. The E&S Approval Letter is not a permit, but rather a prerequisite necessary to begin earth disturbance activities.
  • The applicant may use their E&S Approval Letter in the process of obtaining Building Permit sign-off from PWD. The applicant is referred to Section 2.5 for more information on other reviews for Building Permit sign-off.

Figure 2.3-11: Development Exemption Review Path E&S Review Phase Flow Chart

Expiration Policy

For the E&S Review Phase, the applicant has one year to resubmit in response to PWD comments, but may also request one additional six-month extension. A Project Extension Request Form can be found at the Stormwater Plan Review website.

An E&S Approval Letter is valid for two years from the date it is issued unless a valid Building or Demolition Permit is in place. There are no extensions. Projects that did not require Building or Demolition Permits from L&I will remain active if the project has advanced to active construction.

2.3.3 Demolition Review Path

Conceptual Review Phase

The Conceptual Review Phase is the first Review Phase of the Stormwater Plan Review process for the Demolition Review Path.  A project is initiated with the submission of the ERSA Application to PWD, which includes a Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package.

Submission Package Components

The Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package for the Demolition Review Path contains a Demolition Plan and an E&S Plan. PWD uses these components to confirm the proposed project LOD, that the project is limited to just demolition,  and to confirm that the E&S Plan has been prepared with the E&S requirements of the PA DEP as specified in 25 Pa. Code §102.4.

A complete Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package for the Demolition Review Path consists of the materials listed in Figure 2.3-12.

Figure 2.3-12: Demolition Review Path Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package Checklist

DEMOLITION REVIEW PATH
Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package Checklist
  Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Plan
  Demolition Plan
Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
  • The E&S Plan is representative of the stabilized post demolition site condition and displays site characteristics related to the earth disturbance activities and proposed E&S measures. The E&S Plan must show that the site will be left in a stabilized condition that does not create a public health and safety concern.  Further, site preparation for future development activities including foundation work associated with an L&I Foundation-Only Building Permit, is not permitted as part of the Demolition Review Path. In order for the project to complete the Demolition Review Path, all disturbed areas must be stabilized with pervious cover (e.g., grass, gravel, etc.).
  • The E&S plan must include a LOD line type which is drawn around all proposed site features, structures to be removed, E&S controls, and other areas that may be disturbed over the course of demolition. The applicant is advised to be conservative when estimating the LOD so as to avoid continuing down the wrong Review Path, which could lead to costly delays, change orders, and enforcement action during construction.
  • A numerical value for the LOD must be clearly displayed on the E&S Plan.
  • The E&S Plan must be prepared in accordance with the PA DEP Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program Manual (2012 or latest), Chapter 1 – Required E&S Plan Content. E&S measures (e.g., compost filter sock, rock construction entrance, etc.) are referred to as E&S BMPs in the PA DEP Manual.
  • The E&S Plan must also comply with the following requirements specific to the Philadelphia Water Department. Should E&S Plan requirements conflict between PA DEP and PWD, the applicant is to follow the specific PWD E&S Plan requirements presented in this Manual.
  • A sample E&S Plan is available here for the applicant's reference.
Demolition Plan
  • The Demolition Plan is representative of existing conditions and identifies all site features to be removed during demolition
  • The Demolition Plan identifies all utilities and lateral connections that will be abandoned including cut and plug locations.
  • All requirements listed in Appendix E, Table E-2: Existing Conditions Plan Requirements must be met.
Submission and Review Process
  • The applicant submits the Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package as a component of a complete ERSA Application Submission Package (Section 2.1.1) via the Stormwater Plan Review website.
  • PWD issues an email confirmation to the applicant that the submission has been received.
  • PWD reviews the ERSA Application Submission Package, including the Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package, within five calendar days.
    • PWD reviews the submitted plans and documentation by analyzing the proposed development and LOD to confirm exemption from the Stormwater Regulations and by confirming the development of an E&S Plan prepared by a Professional Engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • If PWD has comments on the submission, PWD issues the comments to the applicant via email.
  • The applicant resubmits to PWD, via email, a revised Conceptual Review Phase Submission Package that addresses the comments. Depending on the number and complexity of comments, the applicant may choose to include a response letter addressing each review comment and outlining any major plan or design changes. This can be an iterative process, and PWD does not restrict the number of times an applicant can resubmit. At any time, the applicant or PWD may request a meeting to discuss review comments.
  • If PWD has no comments, or if the comments have been addressed sufficiently by the applicant, PWD issues an email confirming Conceptual approval of the project and including electronic copies of a Conceptual Approval Letter and a PWD-stamped E&S Plan. These items are also sent in hard copy form to the Primary Design Contact listed in the ERSA Application.
    • Within the Conceptual Approval Letter, PWD will state whether the applicant must complete an E&S Review Phase and obtain an E&S approval. The applicant is referred to Section 2.2.4 for more information on the type of projects that will require an additional E&S review.
    • For projects whose earth disturbance will exceed one acre, PWD may defer the E&S review to PA DEP. If PWD does defer a review to PA DEP, this will be stated in the Conceptual Approval Letter. In this circumstance, demolition or earth disturbance activities cannot begin until PA DEP approves the E&S Plan and/or issues the NPDES Permit (if required). The applicant must also send an electronic copy of plans approved by PA DEP to PWD.
  • If an E&S Review Phase is not required, the applicant may use the Conceptual Approval Letter and signed copy of the E&S Plan in the process of obtaining Building Permit sign-off for Demolition from PWD. The applicant is referred to Section 2.5 for more information on other reviews for Building Permit sign-off.
    • If the project requires a Building Permit, the applicant must contact PWD to determine if a different Review Path is more appropriate for the project.
    • If the Demolition project involves the removal of impervious surfaces, the applicant can visit the PWD Stormwater Billing website to determine whether the project site is eligible for a reduction in its monthly stormwater bill. Any questions regarding stormwater bill reductions should be directed to Stormwater Billing and Incentives at (215) 685-6070.

Figure 2.3-13: Demolition Review Path Conceptual Review Phase Flow Chart

Expiration Policy

For the Conceptual Review Phase, the applicant has one year to resubmit in response to PWD comments, but may also request one additional six-month extension. A Project Extension Request Form can be found at the Stormwater Plan Review website.

For Demolition Review Path projects, a Conceptual Approval Letter is valid for two years from the date of issuance unless a valid Building or Demolition Permit is in place. There are no extensions. Projects that did not require Building or Demolition Permits from L&I will remain active if the project has advanced to active construction.

For Demolition Review Path projects that require an E&S approval from PWD, the applicant will have one year to submit an E&S Review Phase Submission Package after the Conceptual Approval Letter is issued, but may also request one additional six-month extension. Beyond this extension, Conceptual approvals will only remain active if there is a valid Zoning Permit in place.

E&S Review Phase (If Applicable)

The E&S Review Phase is the final Review Phase required for projects in the Demolition Review Path that must obtain E&S approval. This second phase applies to projects proposing more than 15,000 square feet of earth disturbance (5,000 square feet in the Darby and Cobbs Creek Watershed). A project is eligible to submit for the E&S Review Phase after receiving a Conceptual Approval Letter from PWD, which will also notify the applicant if an E&S Review Phase Submission Package is required.

If a project undergoes major changes after PWD issues the Conceptual Approval Letter, the applicant must contact PWD to determine if a revised Conceptual Approval Letter is needed before proceeding to the E&S Review Phase. Examples of major changes that would require a new Conceptual approval include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes to proposed LOD, and
  • Changes in proposed impervious area (such as building footprint or location).

For the Demolition Review Path, the E&S Review Phase is the final review before demolition. At the end of this Review Phase, PWD will issue an E&S Approval Letter. The E&S Approval Letter is not a permit, but rather a prerequisite necessary before earth disturbance and demolition activities can begin.

Submission Package Components

A complete E&S Review Phase Submission Package for the Demolition Review Path consists of the materials listed in Figure 2.3-14. All hard copy submissions must include a letter of transmittal identifying the PWD project tracking number, type of submission package (E&S), and the applicant's contact information.

Figure 2.3-14: Demolition Review Path E&S Review Phase Submission Package Checklist

DEMOLITION REVIEW PATH
E&S Review Phase Submission Package Checklist
  Signed and Sealed Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Plan
  Transmittal Letter
Signed and Sealed E&S Plan
  • The E&S Plan displays the post-construction condition along with other site characteristics related to the earth disturbance activities and proposed E&S measures for a project site.
  • The E&S Plan must include an LOD line type which is drawn around all proposed site features, E&S controls, and other areas that may be disturbed over the course of construction for activities such as construction staging, regrading, demolition, etc. The applicant is advised to be conservative when estimating the LOD to avoid proceeding along the wrong Review Path, which could lead to costly delays, change orders, and enforcement action during construction. A numerical value for the LOD must be clearly displayed on the E&S Plan.
  • The E&S Plan must be prepared in accordance with the PA DEP Erosion and Pollution Control Program Manual (2012 or latest), Chapter 1 – Required E&S Plan Content. E&S measures (e.g., compost filter sock, rock construction entrance, etc.) are referred to as E&S BMPs in the PA DEP Manual.
  • The E&S Plan must also comply with the following requirements specific to the City of Philadelphia and the Stormwater Regulations. Should E&S Plan requirements conflict between PA DEP and PWD, the applicant is to follow the specific PWD E&S Plan requirements presented in this Manual.
  • The Signed and Sealed E&S Plan must be signed and sealed by a Registered Professional licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first sheet of the plan set must have an original signature (not an electronic, scanned, or stamped copy), while the remaining plans may have a facsimile seal.
  • A sample E&S Plan is available here for the applicant's reference.
Submission and Review Process
  • The applicant submits a complete E&S Review Phase Submission Package to PWD in both hard copy and electronic form. The hard copy submission must include a CD-ROM, or other electronic file storage format, containing the electronic versions of the submission materials. The hard copy submission must also include a letter of transmittal identifying the PWD project tracking number, type of submission package (E&S), and the applicant's contact information.
  • PWD reviews the submission within 15 calendar days.
  • If PWD has comments on the submission, PWD issues the comments to the applicant via email.
  • The applicant resubmits to PWD a revised E&S Review Phase Submission Package that addresses the comments in both hard copy and electronic form. The hard copy submission must include a CD-ROM, or other electronic file storage format containing the electronic versions of the submission materials. Depending on the number and complexity of comments, the applicant may choose to include a response letter addressing each review comment and oulining any major plan or design changes. This can be an iterative process, and PWD does not restrict the number of times an applicant can resubmit. At any time, the applicant or PWD may request a meeting to discuss review comments.
  • If PWD has no comments, or if comments have been addressed sufficiently by the applicant, PWD issues an E&S Approval Letter by email. The E&S Approval Letter is not a permit, but rather a prerequisite necessary before earth disturbance and demolition activities can begin.
  • For Demolition Review Path projects, the applicant may use their E&S Approval Letter in the process of obtaining Building Permit sign-off from PWD. The applicant is referred to Section 2.5 for more information on other reviews for Building Permit sign-off.
    • If the project requires a Building Permit, the applicant must contact PWD to determine if a different Review Path is more appropriate for the project.
    • If the Demolition project involves the removal of impervious surfaces, the applicant can visit the PWD Stormwater Billing website to determine whether the project site is eligible for a reduction in its monthly stormwater bill.  Any questions regarding stormwater bill reductions should be directed to Stormwater Billing and Incentives at (215) 685-6070.

Figure 2.3-15: Demolition Review Path E&S Review Phase Flow Chart

Expiration Policy

For the E&S Review Phase, the applicant has one year to resubmit in response to PWD comments, but may also request one additional six-month extension. A Project Extension Request Form can be found at the Stormwater Plan Review website.

An E&S Approval Letter is valid for two years from the date it is issued unless a valid Building or Demolition Permit is in place. There are no extensions. Projects that did not require Building or Demolition Permits from L&I will remain active if the project has advanced to active construction.

TOP Manual Version: 3.1