Southeastern PA

Richland Township bracing budget to meet EPA stormwater rules

QUAKERTOWN, Pa. - In order to meet new state storm water regulations, Richland Township will be adding a new item to its 2017 budget.

Township Chairman Timothy Ritter said to the rest of the board that initial engineering alone can cost $100,000 to $250,000. That will include mapping the township to include all new requirements, and pollution reduction plans for all watersheds, as well as completing permits and paperwork.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires municipalities in the state to correct deficiencies with their respective Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) programs and to come into compliance with their Clean Water Act stormwater discharge permits.

The regulation will require municipalities to "almost track every drop of water that falls and runs off in the township," said Ritter.

MS4s are publicly-owned drainage systems, including storm drains, pipes and ditches, which are designed to collect and convey stormwater runoff in urbanized areas.

Improperly managed stormwater runoff from urbanized areas can cause flooding and significant erosion, and can also damage streams.

In other news, Police Chief Richard Ficco gave his report to the board and reminded it of the upcoming shredding event and  drug take-back program.

The single event allows residents to bring documents to be shredded thoroughly and to bring unused or expired drugs to be safely disposed.

It takes place at Richland Township Police department, 229 California Road, in Quakertown, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.

And Richland Township may soon be joining a growing number of municipalities in the Twitterverse.

Township Manager Paul Stepanoff recommended the board adopt the social media platform to present one-way information it deems important to the community.

Currently the township uses its website and seasonal newsletters to keep the public informed.

Residents with a Twitter account will have to follow the township's upcoming account to receive updates and information. Stepanoff will manage the Tweets with the help of an assistant, he said.

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