Capital Region Water, Lower Paxton Township, and Susquehanna Township in Dauphin County have committed, by virtue of an intergovernmental cooperation agreement, to working together on the Paxton Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Strategy to reduce sediment from stormwater discharges and stream bank erosion and improve the health of Paxton Creek.
“We thank Lower Paxton Township and Susquehanna Township for working collaboratively with us on the Paxton Creek TMDL and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for allowing it to happen,” said Capital Region Water CEO Shannon Williams. “This regional approach will yield cost savings for all our customers and a healthier Paxton Creek.”
In 2013, the Department of Environmental Protection determined that 20 miles of Paxton Creek (approximately 40 percent) are considered impaired by sediment, with over 86 percent of the sediment contributed by stream erosion.
To address this impairment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a TMDL Report that requires all entities discharging stormwater or combined sewer overflows to Paxton Creek to collectively reduce sediment loads by 35 percent.
DEP requires entities discharging to a stream subject to a TMDL to prepare and implement a 2-phase TMDL Plan, consisting of:
— A TMDL Strategy (due December 31, 2015) that outlines the type and extent of projects, operational practices, and/or policies they plan to implement to meet the TMDL.
— A TMDL Design Details Plan (Due September 2017) that provides site-specific information and an implementation schedule for the proposed controls.
As the primary dischargers to Paxton Creek, Capital Region Water, Lower Paxton Township, and Susquehanna Township proposed, and DEP agreed, that a single TMDL Strategy for the entire watershed would satisfy permit requirements and be more cost effective than separate initiatives.
A public review draft of the TMDL Strategy proposes the following strategy for meeting the TMDL:
— Streambank and/or riparian restoration along 11 miles of Paxton Creek.
— New or retrofit stormwater management controls for 10 percent of the drainage area within the Paxton Creek watershed in a manner that reduces sediment load and improves the Paxton Creek flow regime.
— Control of CRW’s combined sewer overflows in a manner that reduces sediment load and improves the Paxton Creek flow regime.
— Enhanced riparian preservation practices, construction site erosion and sediment control, post-construction stormwater control for development/redevelopment projects, and maintenance of MS4s.
— Further collaboration among the three partner Jurisdictions, other dischargers to Paxton Creek, funding agencies, and Paxton Creek stakeholders to support Plan development and implementation.
Individuals interested in reviewing a copy of the Watershed TMDL Strategy may do so at the following locations:
— Capital Region Water’s website: www.capitalregionwater.com/paxtoncreekstrategy
— Capital Region Water, 212 Locust Street, Suite 500, Harrisburg, PA
— Lower Paxton Township, 425 Prince Street, Harrisburg, PA
— Susquehanna Township, 1900 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA.
Written public comment is encouraged by December 14, 2015, and may be provided in the following manner:
— By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
— Capital Region Water, 212 Locust Street, Suite 500, Harrisburg, PA 17101;
— Lower Paxton Township, 425 Prince Street, Harrisburg, PA 17109;
— Susquehanna Township, 1900 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17110.
Verbal public comment may be offered at any of three regularly scheduled meetings:
— November 17, 2015, 7:30 pm, Lower Paxton Township, 425 Prince Street, Harrisburg, PA
— November 18, 2015, 5:00 pm, Capital Region Water, 212 Locust St., First Floor, Harrisburg PA
— December 10, 2015, 7:30 pm, Susquehanna Township, 1900 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PAFor more information, visit Capital Region Water’s Paxton Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Strategy webpage.