Stormwater management efforts by Lemoyne Borough, Lower Paxton Township, Susquehanna Township, Harrisburg’s Capital Region Water, and municipalities statewide were highlighted at a recent event in Lemoyne held by the Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Hundreds of municipalities are required to submit new, more stringent stormwater management permit applications and Pollutant Reduction Plans by September 16.
“Stormwater runoff is one of the biggest sources of water pollution, and one of the thorniest problems to solve,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “The Pollutant Reduction Plans coming into DEP offices from municipalities across the Commonwealth are a sign of change.”
The plans must quantify the amount of sediment municipalities are currently putting into local impaired waters or the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and specify steps they’ll take to reduce it by 10 percent within 5 years.
Lori Yeich, Recreation and Conservation Manager, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, discussed how that agency can provide funding support for park and other outdoor recreation projects that can help municipalities meet their stormwater reduction goals.
Dennis McGee, head of the Lemoyne Borough Stormwater Committee; Shannon Gority, CEO of Capital Region Water; George Wolfe, Lower Paxton Township manager; and David Kratzer, Susquehanna Township manager, discussed their municipalities’ efforts.
Collaboration was a recurring theme: partnerships between municipal governments; community residents; state agencies; potential funding sources, such as PennVEST; and nonprofit organizations, such as Penn State Extension and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, were emphasized as key to making progress.
Harrisburg, Lower Paxton, and Susquehanna are partnering on a Pollutant Reduction Plan to meet their required stormwater pollution reductions in Lower Paxton Creek. Lemoyne has successfully enlisted gardeners, borough staff, and other residents in maintenance of their more than 18 raingardens.