In the next few years, the Centre Region municipalities and Penn State will work together to reduce pollution in waterways that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. This month, the public has the opportunity to offer input on the regional plan that will serve as an a guide for doing this.
In order for College, Ferguson, Harris and Patton townships and State College borough, as well as Penn State, to renew their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits, they are required to submit a Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan.
Each has its own five-year permit, but they’ll work as partners to address stormwater issues.
The plan is “a design to implement best management practices to produce tangible and effective improvements to the quality of stormwater discharges in the Chesapeake Bay,” Amy Kerner, the borough’s engineer, told State College Borough Council at its meeting Monday.
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The region is required to reduce total suspended sediment by 10 percent, total phosphorus by 5 percent and total nitrogen by 3 percent.
Spring Creek, Slab Cabin Run and part of Buffalo Run are impaired by stormwater runoff, said Tracey Olexa, of NTM Engineering.
The projects identified in the plan are various stream restorations, basin retrofits, street sweeping and the Meyer-Everhart forest buffer.
One of the challenges of developing the plan is that the projects can’t be engineered; the plan just identifies ideas for projects, she said.
And it’s not rigid, Olexa said. If the municipalities come up with other projects that would meet the required reductions, those can be pursued.
A public information meeting on the draft plan will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at the College Township Municipal Building, 1481 E. College Ave.
Public comments will be received until Oct. 30 for consideration prior to finalizing the plan for submission to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as part of the MS4 permit renewal — the deadline for which is May 4.