Live streaming…Pollution-reduction plan subject of East Cocalico session

By on June 21, 2017

The East Cocalico supervisors at their June 15 meeting viewed a power point presentation by engineer Mike LaSala, Land Studies, explaining ways the township could meet the reduction of pollutants mandated by the municipal separate stormwater system program, better known as MS4.

The township already has many best management practices in place, such as planting of riparian buffer areas along streams. Farmers in the community are working to reduce sediment run-off, manage manure and use established, best farming practices.

LaSala showed the audience a map indicating all of East Cocalico Township is located within the Chesapeake Bay Basin.

The Cocalico Creek watershed comprises about 68 percent of the township’s identified urbanized area, as established by the 2010 census. Cocalico Creek is a tributary of the Conestoga River, which is a tributary of the Susquehanna River.

Muddy Creek is also a tributary of the Conestoga River. The Muddy Creek Watershed represents 32 percent of the township’s urban area. Currently the focus is on these defined, urban areas.

In addition to the Cocalico and Muddy creeks, East Cocalico discharges stormwater into other local streams where water is identified as impaired. They also, according to the MS4 program, are included in the pollutant reduction requirements.

These other streams include Stony Run (tributary of Cocalico), Little Muddy Creek, and unnamed tributaries of Muddy Creek.

In watersheds where sediment is identified as a concern, sediment loading must be reduced by 10 percent. If nutrients are a concern, phosphorus must be reduced by five percent and nitrogen by three percent in the proposed plan to be submitted in September 2017.

“DEP says if you make the sediment reduction you can assume you’re making nitrogen and phosphorous reductions,” said Scott Russell, township manager.

The above is termed “the presumptive approach” and East Cocalico, as well as other municipalities, are using this DEP identified approach.

LaSala and Brent Lied, township engineer, concurred the plan identifies more projects than the township needs and likely will undertake. The merit of each project proposed will be evaluated based on how much improvement will be attained for the dollars spent.

Both engineers explained many projects will provide a big reduction in sediment, which will go a long way in satisfying the new guidelines for the MS4 program’s 2018 to 2023 cycle, the plan cycle for which the proposal is being prepared.

Some projects, for example rain gardens, might not be prudent for the township to undertake due to their expense and the low gain, calculated at about a one percent reduction in pollutants, for sites at which they could be a consideration.

The entire plan for the Nutrient/Sediment Reduction Plan and the Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Plan is available for inspection at the township office, 100 Hill Road, or online at the township’s Web site: http://eastcocalicotownship.com. Public comments are welcome in writing or at the supervisors’ July 6 meeting.

 

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