More municipalities issue stormwater fees to meet EPA regulations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Midstate municipalities must comply with federal regulations to help lower the number of pollutants that are going into waterways.

The Chesapeake Bay watershed covers more than 64,000 square miles and six states, including Pennsylvania.

Midstate municipalities must comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System that is monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

A lot of communities have funded small projects, such as planting trees and building retaining walls, but now municipalities that don’t have the money must come up with millions to make the necessary improvements, and they’re asking taxpayers to foot the bill.

Swatara Township was fined in 2010 for not meeting stormwater management regulations. The township notified residents last year that they would be charging a $60 stormwater fee beginning in 2018 to help pay for upgrades and improvements to the stormwater management effort.

Residents have the option to make quarterly payments. Some commercial and industrial facilities could be charged more based on an impervious surface calculation.

Tom Connolly is the president of the Swatara Township Board of Commissioners. He says the township is on the low end of stormwater fees in the region.

“No one wants to have to pay an additional fee,” Connolly said, “but it is our runoff upstream that is causing problems downstream.”

Swatara residents should contact the sewer authority with questions or concerns.

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