The Chester County Water Resources Authority (CCWRA) hosted the county’s first virtual Municipal Stormwater Summit on Friday, April 16, from 9:00am – 11:00am.
Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz and Michelle Kichline welcomed attendees to the Summit and highlighted Chester County’s legacy of land use and environmental planning and stewardship in their opening remarks. CCWRA’s Executive Director, Seung Ah Byun, then kicked off the presentations with an update on the county’s water conditions.
Byun gave an overview of CCRWA’s role and their mission to protect and restore the County’s 2,348 miles of streams and 760 square miles of groundwater aquifers. She also reviewed data on recent rainfall trends and groundwater levels, and discussed water quality and biotic diversity monitoring results from the county’s partnership with the United States Geologic Survey.
Following her presentation, Cori Trice, Watershed Coordinator for the Chester County Conservation District (CCCD), provided updates on their current programs, including the TreeVitalize Watersheds Program, Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, and the new Spotted Lanternfly Control Program. Trice also noted that the Conservation District is taking the lead on the development of a County-wide Action Plan that will outline the actions needed to improve water quality in the area of the county that drains to the Chesapeake Bay.
Next, Gabby Ratliff, Community Resilience Coordinator for the Chester County Department of Emergency Services, discussed how communities can address flooding concerns through the 2021 Chester County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Ratliff provided an overview of the planning and risk assessment process, as well as goals, objectives, actions, and next steps for the plan – which helps to ensure that communities are eligible for funding support.
Brian O’Leary, the Chester County Planning Commission’s Executive Director, highlighted the implementation of projects supporting the “Protect” goal of Landscapes3, the county’s comprehensive plan. Some recent projects O’Leary mentioned include the Red Clay Stream Restoration in Kennett Township, the Plum Run Stream and Riparian Restoration in East Bradford Township, and the Hibernia Dam Rehabilitation Project, among others.
Up next, Justin Spangler of LandStudies, Inc. discussed the municipal, recreational, and developer benefits of floodplain restoration. Spangler talked about several recent floodplain restoration projects in Lancaster County, such as Brubaker Run at Lime Spring Square, Kurtz Run at Landis Homes, and the Santo Domingo Creek at Rock Lititz. He emphasized how these projects could serve as an alternative to traditional stormwater management in select locations, and noted that floodplain restoration can lead to reduced peak stormwater runoff and improved water quality.
Cory Trego, Water Resources Planner at the Chester County Water Resources Authority, followed Spangler’s presentation with an update on Chester County’s Act 167 Plan and County-wide Stormwater Management Model Ordinance. Trego covered the need for an update to the plan and model ordinance, as well as the purpose and process for doing so.
To conclude the presentations, Beth Uhler and Bob Flinchbaugh of CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, LLC presented on an option for an updated simplified approach to stormwater management for small projects that would replace the current approach outlined in the current County-wide Act 167 Stormwater Management Model Ordinance.
An open discussion for questions and answers followed the presentations.
This event served as the first Watershed Plan Advisory Committee Meeting for the update to the County-wide Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan and Model Ordinance.
To view a recording of the 2021 Municipal Stormwater Summit, as well as the individual slideshow presentations, visit https://www.chesco.org/4920/2021-Municipal-Stormwater-Summit.