Harmar finds cheaper way to comply with anti-pollution program | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Harmar finds cheaper way to comply with anti-pollution program

Harmar Township municipal building

The cost for Harmar to meet requirements related to a state anti-pollution program could be lower than the township anticipated.

Township Engineer Matt Pitsch told Harmar supervisors last week that he thinks it will cost about $155,000 for the township to comply with the Department of Environmental Protection’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Program, also known as the MS4 program.

“We were (originally projecting costs) in the $500,000 to $600,000 range, so this is much better,” Pitsch said.

The MS4 program was created to get municipalities across the state to comply with storm-water requirements outlined in the federal Clean Water Act. Goals include removing pollutants in rivers, streams and other bodies of water caused by storm runoff. The pollutants can range from silt eroding from riverbanks into streams to anti-skid materials used in winter road maintenance being washed into storm drains.

Pitsch said the township is required to remove 15 tons of sediment annually from its waterways, primarily Deer Creek and Little Deer Creek.

“Our original (estimate) included retrofitting some of our detention ponds, which would have required us to remove soil from the ponds as well as brush and over-hanging trees around them, and a sandy mulch mixture would be installed to promote filtering,” Pitsch said.

Pitsch told supervisors he now thinks the township can meet its requirements by stabilizing the banks of Little Deer Creek, which is a tributary of Deer Creek. He said Harmar cannot do that with Deer Creek because it is larger, higher-category stream.

Pitsch said DEP must approve the township’s plan.

If it does, the township can apply for a grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development to pay for the work. The township would need to come up with a 15 percent matching share, or about $23,000.

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