Stormwater goes into local creeks and streams

RETTEW’s Community Development group secured a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for more than $47,000 to help municipalities in the Cocalico Creek Watershed develop Pollution Reduction Plans.

Kara Kalupson, RETTEW’s MS4 Coordinator, spearheaded the effort to find the funding. MS4, or Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, is a program required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) whereby municipalities must educate the public and instate measures protecting the quality of stormwater. This water often carries pollutants caused by poor environmental practices in the community into local creeks and streams. A Pollution Reduction Plan is a regulatory necessity for municipalities in Pennsylvania to complete by 2018. Such plans will reduce sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen, and other harmful nutrients entering local streams.

The most cost-effective way to substantially reduce pollutants is to work collaboratively with other municipalities, thus sharing the costs of planning, analysis, design, construction, and other activities benefiting each involved municipality. Under this grant, RETTEW will develop the framework for evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges of each of the six municipal partners. Municipalities must submit their pollution reduction plans to the PADEP by September 2017. RETTEW estimates that these plans must be completed by early June to allow for the 45-day public review and comment period prior to plan submission.

After analyzing each municipality’s capacity, RETTEW will identify the specific roles and responsibilities of each municipality in implementing the regional pollution reduction plan, including project management, inspections, preparing educational materials, and organizing volunteer activities. Our team will develop a finalized plan for submission to the PADEP.