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

Monday, August 25, 2014

York County WIP - BMPs Not in the Current Bay Model

The current Chesapeake Bay Model has limitations, which results in certain types of pollutant reduction activities (BMPs) not being considered for credit. These limitations may exist for various reasons; however, it is worth examining the potential to revise the Model to credit such activities. A process exists by which new technologies, unthoughtof reductions, or intentionally not included BMPs may be included/reconsidered in the Model. Municipal leaf pick-up programs and surface water supplier sediment filtration processes may be examples of such activities. Awareness of such activities or BMPs that reduce nutrients and/or sediment is the first step for credit to be acknowledged in the Model.

There is evidence to indicate that some York County pollution reductions are resulting from a practice that is not recognized in the Model. These pollution reductions should not be overlooked. The merit of working with PA DEP to incorporate such pollution reductions into the Bay Model needs to be determined. Nevertheless, due to the complexities of the Model, potential difficulty in calculating pollutant reductions, and ecological factors that influence reductions, obtaining credit may be a lengthy process, if possible at all.

Success of this solution will be contingent upon availability of necessary data to document the pollution reduction and cooperation from regulatory agencies. There is potential for supporting documentation to exist on pollutant reductions resulting from some activities, such as municipal
leaf/yard waste pick-up programs and sediment removal from surface water supplier intakes. For example, municipalities may track tonnage of waste picked up, while water treatment plants
may track the tonnage of sediment removed from their source water. This data, as well as additional information, would likely be needed to obtain credit retroactively, and annually into the future,
for these types of activities. As stated previously, US EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Program are in the process of developing guidance that will be beneficial to the data collection effort. It is also
important to note that for BMPs to be credited under this solution, they must have been implemented on or after January 1, 2006.

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