Newtown Township's Pollution Reduction Plan: How Will It Impact Our Parks? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

At the April 10, 2019, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, Township Engineer Owen Hyne told Supervisors that the PA Department of Environmental Protect (DEP) requires that the township reduce pollutants (sediment and/or nutrients) from entering its watersheds by 10%. This is part of Newtown’s “MS4” program.

 

Three “impaired watersheds” were identified by the EPA for pollution reduction:

 

  1. Neshaminy Creek – Nutrients and Sediments
  2. Lake Luxembourg – Nutrients and Sediments
  3. Core Creek - Sediments

 

To meet DEP requirements, Newtown must reduce a total of 202,252 lbs. of sedimentation per year entering these watersheds for five years.

 

As late as 2017, it was thought that the Township would not be able to find enough project areas to meet the 10% reduction requirement, which could result in penalties to the Township. Also, it was anticipated that the cost would be “astronomical” – as much as $850,000!

 

After many discussions with the DEP, the Township has put forward a Pollution Reduction Plan (PRP) that details the scheduled implementation of a series of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) necessary for the reduction of pollutants in the waterways of the municipality. Specifically, the plan proposes to implement storm basin and meadow conversions, inlet cleaning and stream restoration projects.

 

At the April 12 BOS meeting, Supervisor Calabro asked if the Township has enough township basins that can be converted to meadows to meet the 10% reduction requirement. Township Manager, Micah Lewis clarified that the seven township owned basins will be converted to meadows along with under-utilized park areas. The manicured grass areas will be transformed into meadow areas (wild flowers, etc.), which will also reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs.

 

Included in the list of potential "meadow conversions" is 6.21 acres of the 22.8 acre Roberts Ridge Park located on Lower Dolington Road at Frost Lane. The area that the Township is considering for conversion to a meadow appears to be the grassy area where the Newtown Parks & Recreation Department hosts its “Super Soccer Stars” educational program for children ages 2-3

 

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