County wants feedback on pollution-cutting plan

Jason Addy
York Dispatch

The York County Planning Commission wants to hear from residents over the next month as it prepares its regional plan for reducing the amount of pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways.

Residents can view the 266-page draft of the York County Regional Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan for 2018-2023 at the planning commission’s office in the York County Administrative Center or on its website,

The Department of Environmental Protection holds a press conference to announce grant funding for 17 additional municipal stormwater projects at York County Prison in Springettsbury Township, Thursday, June 29, 2017. The projects are all located in Pennsylvania's portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Dawn J. Sagert photo

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County planners are encouraging residents to give feedback, provide new suggestions or show their support for the collaboration between 48 municipalities and the county, said Lindsay Gerner of the commission’s long-range planning division.

“The municipalities that are in the plan have already had their opportunity to speak,” so officials are hoping to hear from residents about new ideas for projects and to raise some awareness about the amount of money and effort it takes to maintain the numerous stormwater systems, she said.

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The public comment period will remain open through Aug. 18. Comments must be made in writing and can be sent or delivered to the York County Planning Commission office or emailed to Gerner at

The planning commission also will accept written comments and field questions on the draft proposal during a public meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 9 at the West Manchester Township Municipal Building, located at 380 East Berlin Road.

Regional permit: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requires each municipality to have a Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan in place to receive a five-year Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit, also known as an MS4 permit, Gerner said.

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The pollutant-reduction plan details how a municipality is going to reduce the amount of pollution that enters local waterways through its stormwater system, she said.

Until a few years ago, each municipality in York County submitted its own pollutant-reduction plan, but during the last permitting phase, municipal and county officials decided to submit one regional plan “so we didn’t duplicate efforts,” Gerner said. 

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Each municipality also saves a significant amount of money by submitting one regional permit application, she said.

In the first three years of the collaboration, municipalities have been able to pool their money to complete larger projects and cut costs, Gerner said.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of success with this,” Gerner said.