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Green vs. Green – Stormwater management in Central Pennsylvania

Tim Stuhldreher’s article Green vs. green: Stormwater management balances environment, cost in the Central Penn Business Journal addresses developers in the Susquehanna River watershed,

If you’re a developer, chances are you’ve been including more “green infrastructure” for stormwater management in your projects  — open areas where the ground can absorb rainwater, thickly planted stream buffers, perhaps even permeable paving materials…Whatever you’ve been doing, plan on doing more of it.

Why in Central Pennsylvania specifically? Because the Susquehanna River is the tributary with the largest drainage basin draining into the Chesapeake Bay, making it the leading contributor of nutrient pollution to the threatened estuary system.  Under increasing regulatory pressure to protect and restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay, managing both the volume and quality of stormwater runoff is a high priority in order to meet the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) goals developed for problematic pollutants in cities and municipalities around the watershed.   Policy instruments such as the MS4 Permits issued for municipal stormwater systems, the watershed and state-scale Watershed Implementation Plans developed to coordinate TMDL compliance activities, requires developers to add stormwater management of their activities and their eventual site to the equation.  Though this increased cost and consideration is not necessarily being embraced (understandably), its necessary and inevitable if we are going to improve the flagging health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Stuhldreher explains how green infrastructure provides a cost-effective solution,
To control costs, planners will need to consider stormwater issues regionally.  Good projects will incorporate a smart mix of conventional “hard” infrastructure and appropriate “green” practices.
To read the full article, click here.

 

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