The ABCs of AHEs

Posted by Tori Morgan on Wednesday, May 11, 2022

AHE Letters Spelled out using children's alphabet blocks

Docket Renewals, Aquifer Test Plans, & Waivers

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) has regulatory requirements for groundwater withdraws that focus on collecting data. Historically, SRBC groundwater withdrawal docket renewals required either an Aquifer Test Plan (ATP) or Aquifer Test Plan Waiver Request to accompany a groundwater withdrawal application. However, the SRBC is working to make the Docket Renewal process easier. An ATP is very time-intensive and costly. In the case where enough data exists about the performance of the well, a waiver request would be submitted in lieu of an ATP. While not as much effort as an Aquifer Test Plan, the waiver request still involved a great deal of time and money.

Enter the AHE

After feedback from supply well owners/municipalities about how expensive it was to renew their groundwater withdrawal dockets, the SRBC recently developed the Alternative Hydrogeologic Evaluation (AHE) policy which allows supply well owners to submit an AHE in lieu of a waiver request. Note, this does not replace the need for an ATP if one is warranted. The AHE is a risk-based analysis and intended to focus only on the sustainability of existing and proposed withdrawals, impacts to other users, and impacts to the environment. It is intended to be less costly than the waiver request, however, like the ATP and the waiver request, it requires the participation of a licensed hydrogeologist.

Submitting an AHE

The AHE is intended to be submitted online via the SRBC website, prior to the groundwater withdrawal application. Much of the information gathered for the AHE will be applicable to the groundwater withdrawal application. The groundwater withdrawal application needs to be submitted to SRBC at least 6 months in advance of expiration of the docket. SRBC recommends hosting a Pre-Application meeting and start preparing the AHE at least one year in advance of the docket expiration date.

All in all, the AHE is a positive step for SRBC Docket holders, that can save time and money when renewal time comes around. If you have questions or need help sorting out ATPs, AHEs, or waivers, reach out - we’re always glad to help!

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Tori Morgan, LO

compliance coordinator

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Categories: Municipal Infrastructure

Tagged: Wastewater  |  Stormwater  |  Environmental

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