SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOC
The pollutant reduction plan in Salisbury Township could carry a hefty price tag estimated at $1.2 million.
Salisbury Township commissioners were given copies of the 27-page plan summary by Salisbury Township Engineer David J. Tettemer of Keystone Consulting Engieers, Inc. during a workshop following the May 24 meeting.
The goal of the PRP, as the plan is called, is to reduce debris, soil, cinders, sedimentation and the like from entering the township’s stormwater system and flowing into rivers, creeks and ponds in the township.
“Stuff that would normally wash down, you’re required to remove,” Tettemer said.
A public meeting on the PRP will be held 7 p.m. June 14 in the township municipal building, 2900 S. Pike Ave., prior to the regular township commissioners’ meeting.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is requiring Salisbury to reduce its existing sediment load by 10 percent, or 198,354.61 pounds, i.e., about 200,000 pounds, per year.
“We have to come up with a way to document that,” Tettemer said, referring to the amount of sediment load reduction.
“A certain length of roadway will have a certain length of loading,” Tettemer explained.
The township must meet the mandate in order to receive a renewal of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, which expires Feb. 28, 2019. The township must submit the plan for DEP approval in order for the permit to be renewed.
The deadline for implementation of the PRP, dating from granting a new NPDES permit, is 2023.
How the township will pay for the $1.2 million project, expected to take place over five years, is uncertain.
Board of commissioners President Robert Martucci Jr. asked if there are any state grants available.
“Unfortunately, this is an unfunded mandate,” Tettemer replied, adding, “I’m not going to promise there are grants.”
In his approximate 30-minute presentation which included land classification maps of the townshp, Tettemer gave a brief history of stormwater quality enforcement.
The PRP is the outcome of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), which dates to the 1970s when the federal Environmental Protection Agency handed over stormwater enforcement to state government agencies, which in the commonwealth’s case, is the DEP.
“For the first 40 years or so, the only recommendations were water-rate requirements,” Tettemer said.
After a 2004 lawsuit, Tettemer said, “Now there are water-volume and water-quality requirements.
“The DEP has clamped down on municipalities,” Tettemer said. “Pennsylvania now requires townships to improve water quality.
“It’s a very detailed and complex requirement,” Tettemer said.
Still, the goal is simple. In Salisbury, for example, it is to prevent pollutants from entering the Lehigh River, Black River, Saucon Creek and Trout Creek.
Tettemer cited two prime locations, Devonshire Park and Laubach Park, as possible areas for work to be done to fulfill the PRP.
At Devonshire Park, the project would be stream-bank restoration. “It’s highly-eroded. You would repair that,” Tettemer said.
The stream bank in Devonshire Park can be regraded and improved. At 1,255 linear feet of stream bank, there would be 56,324.40 pounds of sediment load reduction per year, based on the PRP summary.
“Once you fix that, you only have to maintain it,” Tettemer said.
“I’m having a hard time understanding how you measure that,” Martucci said.
“It’s all calculations,” Commissioner Rodney Conn replied.
Another improvement could take place at Harry S Truman Elementary School, where 350 linear feet can be stabilized with grading and plantings for a reduction of 15,708 pounds of sediment load reduction per year.
“We’ve been looking at Laubach Park and hoping we could incorporate that into MS4,” Tettemer said.
Township commissioners have put implementation of the Laubach Park and Franko Farm Park master plan on hold. A hydrology study was done at Laubach Park, which was a required first step for improvements to the park, which is beset with runoff problems, as are some residential properties in the vicinity of Lehigh Avenue, which borders the park’s north side.
“That study could be helpful,” Tettemer said.
“If we put in a couple of constructed wetlands, some storm sewers and then discharge into the existing pond, that would be about 10 percent of your requirement,” Tettemer said.
The proposed sediment load reduction at Laubach Park would be 20,337.71 pounds per year.
Martucci asked about possible funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which has provided grants for improvements at Lindberg Park.
Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich said, “It’s certainly something we can explore.”
Of the PRP summary, Tettemer said, “We will submit this to the DEP.
“These are concepts,” Tettemer emphasized.
“My recommendation would be to look at the projects and spread them out a little bit,” Tettemer said.
“Getting to where we are now is important. At least, we have a target,” Tettemer said.
Tettemer said most of the work required to achieve the improvements could be accomplished through a request for proposal, although some of the work might be able to be done by township public works department employees.
“Certain of the larger projects, you’re going to have to put out to bid,” Tettemer said, adding, “Public works might be able to do some of the work.
“It all depends on what it takes to get to that 200,000 number,” Tettemer said.
The township has other options.
“The township has a number of detention basins. By putting a berm in a detention pond, it could capture debris,” Tettemer said.
A detention basin retrofit along Lindberg Avenue could result in a sediment load reduction of 39,645.35 pounds per year.
A detention basin retrofit along Country Club Road could result in a sediment load reduction of 11,257.46 pounds per year.
A detention basin retrofit between Box Elder Road and Devonshire Park could result in a sediment load reduction of 18,285.40 pounds per year.
A detention basin retrofit adjacent to Devonshire Park could result in a sediment load reduction of 39,375.46 pounds per year.
Tettemer said detention ponds need to be cleaned out. At Laubach Park, Tettemer said, “We’ll have to do some regrading.
“If you’re going to do this, you may want to dredge the pond. You have to do that every 20 years,” Tettemer said.
“We have talked about fixing up Laubach Park and I don’t know how this is going to affect that,” board of commissioners Vice President Debra Brinton said.
Pausing, Brinton asked Tettemer about the PRP. “Do we have to do this?”
“Yes,” Tettemer answered.