John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

Complying with DEP's MS4 Sediment Reduction Requirements

Newtown Township Board of Supervisors Meeting, October 15, 2018

As part of Newtown Township's MS4 Definition program, the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection requires the township to reduce the amount of sediment going into some of the watersheds of the township. At the October 15, 2018, BOS meeting/2019 budget presentation, Supervisor Linda Bobrin asked about the budget item allocated to complying with this requirement. Township Manager Micah Lewis outlined a plan in the works to comply with the requirements without spending a huge sum of money. Part of that plan could eventually involve maintaining catch basins owned by Home Owners Associations.

Storm Water Management Discussions at BOS Meetings

11-Oct-2017: There was a previous motion to authorize payment of up to $7,500 to hire John Hall & Associates to move forward with the MS4 discussions regarding alt of the control measures that the Township may need to take. Ms. Fountain stated that after the application was submitted in September, Mr. Hall would have a face-to-face meeting with the DEP and ask why Newtown was having more stringent requirements. The legal expense fund is almost depleted and an additional $5,000 was requested.

9-Aug-2017: The Township has to approve a storm water management program for the Township. We are suggesting your program include two parts. The first part is the Minimum Control Manager (MCM). In this part, you have to have: public education, public participation, illicit discharge and detection, construction storm water runoff control, and operation and maintenance of municipal facilities. The Township has been doing this first part since 2003, and doesn't need to change for the next 5 year permit period from 2018 to 2023. The second part of the program is the pollution reduction plan (PRP). This part is where the Township has to show that it is going to have to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients going into some of the watersheds within the Township. A motion to move forward with a single application to outline eleven projects with the provision of the disclaimer mentioned that would be included in the report in order to gain compliance with the requirements of the report but understanding that Newtown Township would be progressing legally. Mr. Couch moved to approve the motion. Mr. Ryan seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

28-Jun-2017: In 2003, the Township had to get a permit from the DEP to allow runoff that flowed from Township properties into the waterways. The permit required minimum control measures, i.e. educate the public, get the public involved, do illicit discharge and detection, construction site storm water management, post-construction storm water management, and municipal facilities operation and maintenance. The permit's term was 5 years but was extended to 10 years. A new program and new requirements were released in 2013 and is called Total Maximum Daily Load Waste Load Allocation (TMDL WLA). In the requirement, if a TMDL study was done to a waterway, it is required to reduce the pollutant (usually sediment) to the maximum extent practical. The Township approached the DEP about how the Township didn't need to do anything after the Neshaminy Creek TMDL study, but now the Township needs to reduce sediment by 10% and some of our waterways are not impaired. DEP's answer was that the requirements were made and Newtown needed to complete the 10% sediment reduction. Mr. Ferguson said Newtown may need more legal expertise in this matter to deal with certain circumstances so that project presentations to the DEP can move forward. Mr. Calabro asked if the $850,000 would need to be considered in the budget meetings in a few months. Mr. Ferguson agreed that a l/Sth portion be allocated for the 2018 budget but projects that the Township has access to can begin. Ms. Fountain added that the $850,000 was a very rough estimate and that the Board will have to act on what storm water projects would be in their program by August so they could be included in the application and would be done within the next five year permit period. Mr. Ferguson volunteered to contact other municipalities and ask what sediment reduction projects they did in the last five years to get an idea of projects. There was additional discussion about budgeting amounts for the MS4 requirements. Regarding not knowing if projects need to be completed, and given five years to complete them, MS4 projects might not have to be budgeted for 2018. The projects might be able to be completed sometime during the five year period (ex. all projects completed in year 3), it wouldn't matter to the DEP as long as the Township was in compliance within the 5-year permit period.

 

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