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EPA Orders Four Municipalities in South Central Pennsylvania to Improve Stormwater Management

Release Date: 08/06/2010
Contact Information: David Sternberg, 215-814-5548 sternberg.david@epa.gov

(PHILADELPHIA - August 6, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has sent orders to four south central Pennsylvania municipalities requiring improvements to their respective Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) programs. Orders went to Silver Spring Township and Lower Allen Township in Cumberland County, and Wyomissing Borough and West Reading Borough in Berks County. EPA issued similar orders last April to 79 other municipalities in this south central part of the state, an area that drains to the Chesapeake Bay.

The orders require the cited municipalities to correct problems with their respective MS4 programs and come into compliance with their Clean Water Act permit. In order to comply with their permit, municipalities are required to develop stormwater management programs to control pollutants from entering their drainage systems, which include storm drains, pipes, and ditches, designed to collect and convey stormwater runoff.

“These orders are needed because improperly managed stormwater can wash harmful pollutants into local streams and rivers,” said Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “EPA is committed to bringing these municipalities into compliance for the health of local waterways in Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake Bay.”

Urbanized areas contain large portions of impervious surfaces such as roads, rooftops and parking lots that channel stormwater directly into local streams, rivers, and other water bodies. Improperly managed stormwater runoff from urbanized areas can damage streams, cause significant erosion, and carry excessive nutrients, sediment, toxic metals, volatile organic compounds, and other pollutants downstream.

EPA continues to perform on-the-ground MS4 inspections of municipalities throughout Pennsylvania and other mid-Atlantic states for compliance with existing permit provisions. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is in the process of completing a 5-year renewal of the MS4 general permit which is scheduled to be completed in the latter half of 2011. For more information about MS4s visit http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/munic.cfm