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Public sessions to focus on flooding, pollution in York County
The public is welcome to participate in three scheduled information sessions about flooding and water pollution, according to the York County Planning Commission.
The first meeting is 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at the York Learning Center, 300 E. Seventh Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., according to a statement from the commission.
“York County’s public waterways are in poor condition, and the situation is getting worse,” Felicia Dell, the commission's director, said.
A potential solution to fight flooding and water pollution is to create a new stormwater authority, the commission said. The authority has to be approved by the York County Board of Commissioners, the planning commission said.
Lindsay Gerner, planning commission senior planner, said if the authority is approved, authority members would be “tasked with implementing projects such as stream restorations, erosion control projects and reforestation along county waterways in order to improve the health of York County’s waters.”
Finding ways to invest in the projects, and the number of people who will be part of the authority, she said, are "questions being explored as part of the Stormwater Authority Implementation Plan.”
“We have been working on the concept of a York County Stormwater Authority since 2014,” Gerner said.
County commissioners asked the planning commission to find out if an authority was “feasible," she said.
Research for the authority’s feasibility included public outreach, such as surveys and meetings, Gerner said, as well as in-depth interviews with municipalities and municipal meetings. Findings were presented to county commissioners in a document called the York County Stormwater Authority Feasibility Study, she added.
“The study showed that it was feasible and it was something the municipalities would like to explore more,” she said. “The county commissioners also agreed on wanting to know more and charged the York County Planning Commission with the next step, the York County Stormwater Authority Implementation Plan.”
The stormwater authority would focus on meeting a federal mandate to reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that flows into the Susquehanna River from York’s waterways and ends up in the Chesapeake Bay, according to the commission.
Approximately 1,100 miles of York County streams have been identified as not meeting mandated environmental standards, according to the commission. More streams need to be tested, the commission said.
There also are 215 locations on county roads that have “experienced frequent flooding problems,” the commission said in its statement.
Meetings are scheduled for Sept. 25 and Nov. 8. Residents can get the latest information and submit comments at www.yorkstormwater.com.