Lancaster County gets federal grant to study stormwaterTim Stuhldreher
The Lancaster County Clean Water Consortium is receiving a $150,000 federal grant to fund stormwater audits, the outgoing head of the Chesapeake Bay Program's executive council said Monday.
The consortium is one of 14 local-government bodies nationwide that will receive money via the nonprofit National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Local Government Green Infrastructure Initiative, executive council Chairwoman Lisa Jackson said. Jackson, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, stepped down Monday as chairwoman to make way for Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray.
The award will fund stormwater audits in six Lancaster County municipalities, said attorney Mary Lou Barton, a member of the Clean Water Consortium's steering committee.
The audits will examine how local governments spend money to reduce stormwater runoff and recommend improvements to maximize their effectiveness, Barton said. Staffers from the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland will conduct the reviews, she said.
Stormwater runoff from parking lots and roads contributes to Chesapeake Bay pollution, as does runoff from farmland treated with fertilizers. The Chesapeake Bay Program works to keep pollution out of the bay watershed; Pennsylvania is among several states involved in the effort.
The six municipalities to be audited are:
• East Cocalico Township
• Manheim Township
• Mount Joy
• Warwick Township
• West Lampeter Township
The local governments are looking to the audits for guidance on how they can "get ahead of the curve" on stormwater management, Barton said.
"They have very progressive leadership," she said.
The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland is one of 10 nationwide. This will mark the first time its consultants have done work in Pennsylvania, Barton said.
The audits are expected to begin this fall, she said.
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