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Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty today appointed 25 people to a newly formed oversight committee that will guide the creation of Pennsylvania's Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual, which ultimately will help to improve water quality throughout the Commonwealth.
In addition, Secretary McGinty announced the department will provide a "safe harbor" for those who use appropriate stormwater best management practices and procedures identified on the DEP stormwater management Web site for the next 18 months as the Pennsylvania manual is developed.
"Water is a strategic and important resource for Pennsylvania," Secretary McGinty said. "Our sustained economic development and our commitment to public health make stormwater management a priority of this administration. I applaud these individuals for volunteering their time and energy to be a part of this challenging task."
The manual will support the implementation of federal and state water quality programs, emphasizing innovative best management practices that encourage on-site stormwater management and increased groundwater infiltration as a means to minimize stormwater discharges and limit the amount of surface pollutants entering Pennsylvania's streams. The manual also will include guidance and design criteria specific to the varying regions and landscapes in Pennsylvania.
The manual is being developed by Cahill Associates Inc., an environmental consulting firm in West Chester, Chester County.
The oversight committee represents a wide range of public and private interests, including local government, higher education, environmental concerns and developers. The committee will meet with Cahill Associates on a regular basis throughout the development of the manual to monitor the progress of the project and to provide expert advice, technical review and general guidance. In addition to the appointed members, DEP field staff and central office personnel will assist the committee.
Committee meetings will be open to the public, and the final draft of the manual will be available for public review and comment. The entire process is expected to take 18 months.
Following final approval and publication of the Best Management Practices Manual, Cahill Associates will provide training on the technical specifications and appropriate use of the manual's best management practices for DEP and conservation district staff, as well as for engineers, developers and contractors.