Lackawanna River Corridor Association visits ACOG meeting

June 19th, 2015 9:30 am

First Posted: 11/11/2014

Bernie McGurl and Joyce Hatala, of the Lackawanna River Corridor Association, spoke at the Abington Council of Governments (ACOG) meeting Nov. 6, explaining municipal MS4 stormwater management requirements.

Similar to a presentation he gave three days before at the Ransom Township Board of Supervisors meeting, McGurl’s speech outlined six MS4 (municipal separate stormwater sewer systems) program elements. By law, all operators of MS4s must develop stormwater management plans that implement these “minimum control measures.”

They include: public education and outreach, public participation and involvement, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site runoff control, post-construction runoff control and pollution prevention and good housekeeping.

“Stormwater, the water that rains out of the sky and lands on the ground on our parking lots and our roofs and our driveways and our roadways, goes down into a gutter, into a culvert and out into, eventually the waters of the United States,” McGurl, LRCA executive director, explained to the council. “And we in the modern 21st century, automobile-dependant lifestyle and economy that we have, we create a lot of pollution — some of which we see, and some of which we don’t see.

“…So when it rains, that rainwater gathers all that material together, and that adds to the pollutant that’s going into our streams, eventually down the Lackawanna River, down the Susquehanna River and into the Chesapeake Bay.”

He added the fate of American waters is not just on the back of corporate America, but the responsibility also rests on the shoulders of every individual citizen and household, which is why the Clean Water Act targets urban municipalities with the MS4 program.

“It’s all of us that are generating water pollution,” he said.

The council members discussed various possibilities regarding the represented municipalities partnering with each other and/or the LRCA to further their individual programs. Each agreed to spread the word among their fellow municipal council and board members.

In other business, brief municipal reports were given and a nominating committee was formed for the ACOG election to be held in December.