As the federal pollution reduction plan, or MS4, takes effect, municipalities across the area, including East Allen Township, are putting together stormwater plans. Engineer Jason Smith presented East Allen Township’s pollution reduction plan to supervisors during their February 13 workshop meeting. It is currently available for public comment.
The federal MS4 mandate is intended to reduce pollutants from municipal land by 10 percent over a five year period. Smith and his team mapped out the township’s stormwater infrastructure around the areas of the Monocacy Creek, East Branch Monocacy Creek, and Catasauqua Creek. East Allen Township has until 2024 to meet the 10 percent reduction goal.
Due to the township’s lack of urbanized area, Smith said it is in much better shape than other municipalities.
“By and large, the township will make out better than most,” he said.
However, farms are still adding to the township’s sedimentation and siltation pollution.
His team identified three areas of improvement: retrofitting an existing swale, adding an inlet filter bag to an area creek, and building a basin near Bicentennial Park. This basin, said Smith and Borough Manager Brent Green, could be transformed into a wetland or bird watching area, adding aesthetic and natural value to the project. All solutions would reduce sediment pollution by over one million pounds and far out-perform the 10 percent minimum.
“You are getting a good bang for your buck,” Smith said.
Building the basin could cost anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000. Smith said there are funding sources available.
However, he also explained that a future tax is inevitable. He said many townships are turning toward a stormwater fee to support the unfunded mandate.
But Smith added that even without the mandate, the township will be paying for it in the long run.
“Doing nothing with the problems we have with our streams [now] is also going to cost us a lot of money,” he said.