As the negative impacts of poorly managed runoff have proliferated, so has our understanding of what works--and what doesn't. A wide range of innovative, green methods for dealing with stormwater has begun to evolve.
Grass Roots Movement
The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) prohibits the discharge of pollutants into waterways without the appropriate permits. Pennsylvania’s Stormwater Management Act (better known as Act 167), MS4 Program, Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sediment Control Requirements), and NPDES Permit Program for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities are amongst the Commonwealth’s methods for meeting the runoff-related requirements of the Clean Water Act.
For all practical purposes, though, implementation of stormwater management efforts in Pennsylvania occurs at the community level because individual municipalities are ultimately responsible for adopting zoning ordinances, subdivision and land development regulations, and other programs that keep their locality’s runoff under control.
Contrary to the common perception, properly planning for stormwater can accomplish this goal while speeding the permitting process, saving on construction costs, and resulting in profitable projects that enhance a community in multiple ways.
An Ounce Of Prevention
An entire suite of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) have been developed, techniques that range from preserving natural systems and minimizing disturbances to alleviating unavoidable impacts when they do occur through various “structural” means. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure when it comes to stormwater management—and prevention comes from planning ahead.