When District 9 was charged with creating projects designed to reduce pollutants carried by stormwater that flows to the Chesapeake Bay, they reached out to a group of local municipalities faced with same daunting task.
Sediment reduction commitments aren't unique to District 9, they are part of PennDOT's statewide Municipal Separate Storm System or MS4 - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit administered by the Department of Environmental Protection. All Districts have a share of the responsibilities to reduce pollutants entering the five major watersheds across the Commonwealth.
Similarly, many municipalities within urban areas must also reduce the pollutants entering the stormwater which drains to the streams, lakes and rivers.
In Blair County, the Blair County Intergovernmental Stormwater Committee (Blair ISC) was developed to consolidate the resources of several municipalities and meet the requirements of their MS4 NPDES Permits.
Partnering with other MS4 permittees such as the Blair ISC is an effective way to share the costs associated with constructing stormwater control measures since both groups can obtain credit for their individual pollutant reduction plans. Partnering also expands the search area for suitable sites to include land outside of PennDOT's right-of-way. Design, construction, maintenance and monitoring tasks are shared between the parties.
In the coming months, District 9 and the Blair ISC will be developing a stream restoration project on private land aimed at reducing pollutants which enter the stormwater. This kind of partnership is a win for both parties and a good reminder of what we can accomplish when we team up with others.