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

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ways to Achieve and Account for Pollution Reductions - Best Management Practices

Best Management Practice (BMP) solutions consist of two (2) general types: structural BMPs and non-structural BMPs. Both types will need to be an integral component of York County’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) strategy. Moreover, the sustainability of York County’s water resources will depend upon incorporating BMPs into all aspects of our communities and lives. The Pennsylvania Stormwater BMP Manual identifies and describes both structural and non-structural BMPs and, in addition, provides design/construction criteria for structural BMPs. Nevertheless, a brief overview of each type is provided below.

Non-structural BMPs: Non-structural BMPs are practices that incorporate techniques and behaviors that do not involve physical construction. Education, outreach, planning, ordinance provisions, and land preservation are types of non-structural BMPs.

This WIP, however, focuses on provisions that could be adopted by a municipality, either through a standalone ordinance or incorporated into an existing zoning or subdivision/land development ordinance, and, when put into practice, would ultimately help to reduce stream pollution.

These provisions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Urban Nutrient Management
  • Conservation by Design/Low Impact Development (LID)
  • Green Infrastructure
  • IWRP Flowchart Tool
  • On-lot Septic System Management
  • Protection of Sensitive Environmental Areas

Structural BMPs: Structural BMPs are those practices that use physical structures features to improve water quality.

Although PA DEP provided the County with a scenario of pollution reduction actions (BMPs) to meet the Draft Planning Targets, a primary purpose of this Plan, as previously stated, is to modify that scenario in an effort to make it better suited to York County, yet still meet the targets.

The Recommended Pollutant Reduction Actions Scenario Table (see Appendix D) includes an array of urban and agricultural BMPs to improve streams throughout the County, regardless of whether they are on the Impaired Waters List (see Appendix B), in an effort to be of benefit to both MS4 and non-MS4 municipalities.

Furthermore, BMPs that yield the most efficiency for the least amount of cost or “biggest bang for the buck” are highlighted on the Table.

With regard to recommended urban BMPs, four (4) of the BMPs are highlighted for having high efficiency and low cost in achieving reductions in two (2) out of the three (3) pollutants.

The Actions Opportunity Table (see Appendix E) notes the impaired streams by municipality and the amount of land available in the watershed to implement the Recommended Pollutant Reduction Actions or BMPs.

Both the Recommended Pollutant Reduction Actions and Actions Opportunity Tables were developed by local stakeholders, with specialized knowledge. They represent an attempt to produce a more efficient, less expensive, and more “implementable” means for York County and its municipalities to meet the Draft Planning Targets. However, the average efficiency, median lifecycle costs, and impaired waterway BMP lineal feet/acreage calculations should be used for general information and planning purposes only. Their accuracy cannot be guaranteed as there are many variables and costs are constantly changing.

The Tables can be used separately or in conjunction with one another. While all of the BMPs listed in the Recommended Actions Table are beneficial, their applicability on a watershed or municipal basis may vary.