Water Quality & Stormwater Management
Water quality, both for ground and surface water sources, is by far the most commonly raised concern for those responding to the comprehensive plan survey.
Not only do surface and ground water sources provide drinking water for Dauphin County’s residents, but the Susquehanna River and its tributaries provide a significant recreational resource for residents and visitors, contributing significantly to our economy.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulates water quality and has designated many of Dauphin County’s waterways as impaired for sediment or nutrient pollution. Many municipalities and other entities are regulated through the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program, through which permits are issued that contain limits for contaminants.
- Enhance the quality of ground and surface water resources;
- Reduce development-related impacts on water quality and increased runoff through improved regulatory and policy tools;
- Support the efforts of municipalities and others to address MS4 storm water requirements.
KEY ACTION ITEMS
- Through education and model ordinance development, promote the utilization of a variety of techniques, such as official maps, coordination of land acquisition and/or easement programs, environmental protection zoning, setback/buffer requirements, low impact development and transfer of development rights to protect and preserve environmentally sensitive lands;
- By seeking to identify areas where nutrient pollution is having the greatest impact on overall water quality, support the Dauphin County Conservation District (DCCD) in its effort to have an implemented conservation plan for all agricultural operations and a nutrient management plan for application of all animal and chemical nutrients;
- In partnership with DCCD, municipalities, environmental organizations, Dauphin County Parks and Recreation, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC), PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), develop a countywide strategy for addressing surface and ground water quality and quantity issues;
- Working through partnerships with the Conservation District, DCNR, DEP, and environmental organizations throughout Dauphin County, seek opportunities to educate municipal officials and the general public on environmental issues and opportunities for improvement;
- Working with the Manada Conservancy, Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, Hershey Trust, DCCD, and other key organizations, seek to coordinate land conservation efforts focused on the areas of greatest environmental sensitivity and potential for development.;
- Develop a region-wide GIS database of green infrastructure opportunities and coordinate with municipalities, utility providers, PennDOT, developers, and redevelopment authorities to implement green infrastructure where it has the greatest infiltration and water quality improvement potential;
- Work through DCCD to simplify and improve the model stormwater management ordinance in an effort to enhance enforcement and effectiveness of stormwater management practices;
- Coordinate between EPA, DEP, municipalities, and other MS4 permit holders in efficiently addressing permit requirements;
- As the items listed herein are put into action, the Implementation Partners should seek to continue their efforts toward the accomplishment of the plan’s goals through the identification and implementation of additional efforts deemed appropriate by the their committee and the County Commissioners. Any such actions should be publicly identified in the “Tracking Our Progress” section of the Comprehensive Plan Website.