WAY is a coalition of stakeholders being innovative leaders encouraging watershed-based planning, restoration and protection in York County, Pennsylvania, and beyond.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ways to Achieve and Account for Pollution Reductions

There are many ways to achieve and account for pollution reductions. In Developing an effective and viable strategy for York County to meet its pollution reduction targets, a variety of solutions were evaluated. Below is a description of potential solutions recommended for the County by the York County Coalition for Clean Waters. York County has identified four areas of activity, and they are:

  1. Capture unreported actions;
  2. Existing program administration;
  3. Best Management Practices; and
  4. BMPs not currently in Bay Model.

 The Chesapeake Bay Model can only give credit for BMPs entered into it, and only what is known can be entered into it. The amount of pollution reduction Pennsylvania has achieved since January 1, 2006, is determined by BMPs that have been entered into the Bay Model by US EPA. To date, Pennsylvania has primarily included only BMPs cost shared by Federal/State programs. Thus, unreported actions relate to BMPs that were (1) funded completely by private dollars, (2) cost shared through government programs not presently accounted for in the Bay Model, or (3) undertaken without pollution reduction being a goal, but in reality, achieved pollution reductions.

York County’s municipalities need to identify, report, and get credit for these unreported BMPs to help achieve their draft target reductions. These unreported BMPs, or “credits,” may be the least costly and most efficient means of reducing the distance the County must travel toward reaching its pollutant reduction targets. Examples of such projects include, but are not limited to:

Capture Unreported Actions  
  • Ag BMPs not associated with conservation plans and/or cost shared by Appendix C programs,   
  • Municipal BMPs not required by NPDES permits or cost shared by Appendix C programs, 
  • Projects cost shared with agencies not included in Appendix C, such as PEMA and PennDOT; project examples include Wrightsville Susquehanna riverbank restoration and PennDOT Mt. Rose Avenue stream bank stabilization, 
  •  Projects requiring PA DEP permits, BUT not cost shared by Appendix C programs, 
  •  Erosion and sedimentation projects not reported to PA DEP, and 
  •  BMPs completed by any stakeholder on private lands.

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