In 1990 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began Phase I of the Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program for reducing stormwater pollutant discharges into surface waters. NPDES Phase I affected larger municipalities, industrial sites and land development larger than 5 acres. Phase I specifically affected the cities of Allentown, Erie, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In 1999 Phase II of the NPDES program was enacted. These new federal and state stormwater management regulations required all Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4's) which includes Lower Paxton Township and over 900 other Pennsylvania townships to apply for a NPDES permit in order to continue to discharge stormwater from the Township stormwater system to streams and tributaries of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Lower Paxton Township submitted a Notice of Intent NPDES permit application to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and received an approved general permit to allow the Township to continue to discharge stormwater to streams. The permit requires that the Township develop and implement a stormwater management program that includes six components including Public Education, Public Involvement, Construction Site Runoff Management, Post-Construction Stormwater Management, Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination, and Good Housekeeping and Pollution Prevention. It is hoped that the outcome of the program will be reduced pollution, enhanced fishing and recreation, improved drinking water quality and reduced flood damage.
There are many websites that have extensive information on stormwater management. Below are some that may assist the public gain knowledge on stormwater and what we all need to do to improve our environment.