Serving Our County, Conserving Our Resources, Preserving Our Environment.
In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the York County Conservation District has implemented our Continuity of Operations Plan. Please check our website daily for any updates.
Also Due to the concerns with the Covid-19 pandemic, the York County Conservation District Seedling Sale has been cancelled.
The Conservation Board made this decision to protect the safety of the public as well as district staff, as the numbers of coronavirus cases in York County continue to increase.
If you placed an order, we are working on refunds and will get them to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.
We are still open for business: answering phones and emails, receiving plans and processing permits, but to protect the health and safety of our staff we are operating under a Partial Closure status. Our office building at 2401 Pleasant Valley Road is closed to the public through April 3, 2020.
You may continue to submit plans Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm. You must call the security guard phone number posted on the front door at 2401 Pleasant Valley Road before placing your submittal in the plastic bin located at the front door at 2401 Pleasant Valley Road.
Plans will continue to be reviewed on a first-come, first serve basis however the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has suspended the timeframes for providing permit decisions established in the Policy for Implementing the Department of Environmental Protection Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee. Please note applicants may experience delays in receiving permit decisions.
Staff who are working remotely will have access to email. When calling in please leave your name, email address, and a brief message with the receptionist and she will forward an email to the intended staff person. The staff person will contact you by email.
Act 38 Nutrient Management Plans will be reviewed according to the delegated time frames and procedures established by the State Conservation Commission. Final approvals will be completed by the District Board as delegated.
The District Ag staff will continue to assist agricultural cooperators with the development and implementation of plans and Best Management Practices. Cooperators will be contacted by staff before any on farm visits are conducted and all staff will follow social distancing protocols.
Group meetings and trainings have been postponed.
To limit exposure to and spread of the COVID-19 virus, District staff will only investigate new complaints and perform site inspections that are critical to public health and safety while remaining outdoors and practicing social distancing protocols.
DEP will continue to respond in the field to environmental emergencies referred by Conservation Districts that present an immediate threat to public health and safety. Environmental emergencies and complaints during the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency can be reported to the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at 1-800-541-2050.
Earthmoving activities related to emergency repairs authorized under the Governor’s Executive Order must meet all the regulatory requirements of 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102, and Chapter 105. Questions regarding emergency authorizations should be directed to the appropriate DEP Regional Office.
The District is aware of the Governor’s Order to cease construction and other activities (excluding any waivers approved by DCED) for the duration of the COVID -19 emergency declaration. Please check https://www.dep.pa.gov/Pages/AlertDetails.aspx daily for the latest DEP Alerts. The District has received the following guidance from PA DEP on March 27, 2020:
“For Life Sustaining Businesses: Permittees and operators who are considered “life sustaining businesses” as set forth in Governor Tom Wolf’s March 19, 2020, Order, available at https://www.governor.pa.gov (the “Governor’s Order”) may continue to conduct permitted earth disturbance activities to the extent that those earth disturbance activities are in support of the operation of the life sustaining business. If earth disturbance activities are conducted, the permittee must remain in compliance with all terms and conditions of any applicable permit.”
“For Non-Life Sustaining Businesses: Permittees and operators who are not considered “life sustaining businesses” as set forth in the Governor’s Order must, pursuant to the Governor’s Order, cease earth disturbance activities. Per 25 Pa. Code § 102.22 and the terms and conditions of their permit, including any approved plans, permittees ceasing earth disturbance activities must immediately implement temporary or permanent stabilization practices in accordance with approved permit plans and conditions and the stabilization standards outlined in the Erosion and Sediment Control Program Manual.
In recognition of the Governor’s directive to implement social distancing, permittees may, upon temporary or permanent stabilization, cease performing weekly Routine Inspections as otherwise required by their permit. Permittees must continue to conduct other inspections required by their permit, including Post-Storm Event Inspections and Corrective Action Inspections as set forth in their permit.
Required site inspections of permitted activities by permittees are considered critical operational functions and will not be considered to be out of compliance with the Governor’s Order. Permittees and operators are reminded to limit on-site personnel, and in all cases follow social distancing and COVID-19 mitigation guidance provided by the PA Department of Health and CDC.
The cessation of Routine Inspections as set forth herein is not a limitation of, or defense to, liability for injury to private property or invasion of personal rights. Permittees must continue to comply with all other permit terms and conditions, including, but not limited to, the requirement to take immediate action to restore, repair, or replace the BMP or to provide an alternative method of treatment upon reduction, loss, or failure of any BMP.”
Please also see the PA Department of Economic & Community Development’s (DCED) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on their website at https://dced.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/452553495-Life-Sustaining-Business-FAQs.pdf . FAQ #13 states that “Construction activities not clearly authorized under the DHS Guidance should suspend general operations, but may maintain specific limited operations necessary to ensure compliance with federal, state, or local regulatory requirements.” This indicates that Best Management Practice maintenance activities may be conducted to ensure compliance with Chapter 102 Erosion & Sediment Control regulatory requirements. Please also note the Chapter 102.22 requires immediate temporary stabilization where cessation of an earth disturbance activity will exceed 4 days. Please refer to your E&S plan for site-specific maintenance and temporary stabilization specifications.
Thank You for your patience during this difficult time and stay healthy!
The York County Conservation District is the county government office devoted to assisting residents with their natural resource and environmental concerns.
The District was founded in 1938 when 554 farmers signed a petition requesting assistance for protecting the natural resources of York County. Today, we not only assist farmers, but also all county residents, by promoting the maintenance, improvement and wise use of land, water, soil and other related natural resources within the County. We accomplish this mission through educational programs and the administration of laws and regulations for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the State Conservation Commission.