New Cumberland feels the cost of bay cleanup

NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. (WHTM) —  A 30-day public review period has begun for New Cumberland’s latest Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan.

The plan, which includes increasing the size of forested buffer areas along the Yellow Breeches Creek from Borough Park to the Susquehanna River, is part of a requirement by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Ultimately, the state has required local municipalities within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to implement similar plans as the state attempts to achieve pollution reduction mandates set forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Phase one of New Cumberland’s project is expected to cost an estimated $300,000.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said Jack Murray, New Cumberland Borough Council President. ” “I find it typical. Mandates are something that local municipalities are hit with all the time. Somebody in Harrisburg gets a brilliant idea. Eventually, the cost gets passed down to the municipalities. It’s our responsibility.”

In addition to the buffer zones, which are designed to reduce erosion and filter out nitrogen and phosphorus before entering the water, New Cumberland also plans to increase street sweeping and hope residents do not illegally dump chemicals and other waste into the borough’s system of storm drains. The drains are marked clearly by metal signs indicating they empty directly into the Susquehanna River.

The borough intends to pay for the cleanup efforts through its general fund, applying for grants and seeking donations of time and materials.

The public is invited to submit comments in writing to the Borough through August 31.

A full copy of the New Cumberland Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan can be found New Cumberland CBPRP.

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