At the July 6 Elizabethtown Borough Council meeting, Hanover Engineering presented portions of their draft plans for the borough to comply with federal requirements for pollutant discharge to waterways under the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Program, also known as MS4.
Municipal storm systems ensure a clean and safe environment in our community; however, historically there has not been much consideration for the discharge and downstream influence. The MS4 is an action meant to address the “out of sight, out of mind.” It demonstrates an ecological wisdom in which societies function with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature.
One can expect, as with most regulatory programs, that there will be administrative hurdles, delays, fees, and bureaucratic roadblocks.
Success will be realized with advanced planning and an informed and engaged public. The borough’s plan to meet MS4 requirements must be submitted to the state by Sept. 16 and there will be a 45-day public comment period prior to submission. Hanover Engineering is expecting to present their final plan to the borough during the July 20 council meeting with public notification prepared shortly thereafter.
As the public comment period opens, we have an opportunity to provide input on the best management practices and minimum control measures that the borough will employ over the next few years. This may involve such projects as stream bank development, permeable parking lots, rain gardens, settlement basins and my other technologies which will change the landscape of Elizabethtown. It can be difficult to focus on the “out of sight, out of mind,” but I encourage everyone to stay involved with in the process so that the borough can adequately meet the MS4 requirements as well as the expectations of the community.