July 17, 2016 09:14

Communities Cooperate for Compliance

In an effort to avoid fines for noncompliance, eleven local Pennsylvania governments are banding together in an Intergovernmental Stormwater Committee to help each other handle increasingly strict stormwater regulations from the U.S. EPA and the state Department of Environmental Protection. They include Blair County, the city of Altoona and several other boroughs and townships.

These municipalities have been working under a 2013 MS4 permit that expires in 2018. For the next five-year permit, they’ll need to reduce their Total Maximum Daily Load of runoff sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus by ten percent. This will be done via the construction of rain gardens, streambank buffers, pervious parking lots and other means of filtering runoff.

These projects could cost as much as $2.7 million, according to Councilman Michael Haire. “With MS4, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” he said. “The fines that would be levied for non-compliance would kill us.”


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In many ways, we are fortunate that, in our chosen profession, we are able to help people when certain disasters occur: the tornadoes in Missouri, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Georgia, the flooding in Louisiana, the snows in the northeastern part of the country, the rain in California, and the snow in Colorado....

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