Capital Region Water, Lower Paxton Township, and Susquehanna Township have committed to working together on a Joint Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP) which includes the Paxton Creek Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Plan, the Chesapeake Bay PRP, the Wildwood Lake PRP, and the UNT Spring Creek PRP to reduce sediment from stormwater discharges and stream bank erosion and improve the health of Paxton Creek, Beaver Creek, Spring Creek, and the Chesapeake Bay. The approach outlined in the Paxton Creek Strategy is the basis of this Joint Plan, with updates where regulatory objectives have changed and based on further field work and analysis.
Photo Credit: Rhonda Hakundy-Jones, PCWEA
In 2013, The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection(DEP) determined that 20 miles of Paxton Creek (approximately 40 percent) are considered impaired by sediment, with over 86 percent of the sediment contributed by stream erosion. To address this impairment, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a TMDL Report that requires all entities discharging stormwater or combined sewer overflows to Paxton Creek to collectively reduce sediment loads by 35 percent.
DEP requires entities discharging to a stream subject to a TMDL to prepare and implement a 2-phase TMDL Plan, consisting of:
- A TMDL Strategy (due December 31, 2015) that outlines the type and extent of projects, operational practices, and/or policies they plan to implement to meet the TMDL.
- A TMDL Plan (Due September 15, 2017) that provides site-specific information and an implementation schedule for the proposed controls.
As the primary dischargers to Paxton Creek, Capital Region Water, Lower Paxton Township, and Susquehanna Township proposed, and DEP agreed, that a single TMDL Strategy for the entire watershed would satisfy permit requirements and be more cost effective than separate initiatives.
Joint Pollutant Reduction Plan
Capital Region Water, Lower Paxton Township, and Susquehanna Township have expanded the partnership further to include requirements for the Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan (CBPRP), Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Plan, and Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP) to address Wildwood Lake and an unnamed tributary (UNT) to Spring Creek. This Joint Pollutant Reduction Plan, “Joint Plan,” will meet the pollutant load reductions requirements necessary for the upcoming MS4 permit process. The Joint Plan was developed to address the watershed pollutant load reduction requirements mandated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP).
Through successful implementation of the Joint Plan, the following objectives will be achieved:
- Short-term sediment load reduction of 10% for the Paxton Creek TMDL
- Long-term 35% sediment load reduction necessary to meet the prescribed WLAs for Paxton Creek TMDL
- Appendix-D CBPRP, 10% sediment load reduction for the Municipal Entities’ combined Chesapeake Bay Planning Areas (Joint Planning Area)
- Appendix-E Siltation, 10% sediment load reduction for Wildwood Lake
- Appendix-E Siltation, 10% sediment load reduction for the UNT to Spring Creek
These goals will be achieved within five (5) years of PADEP’s issuance of each Municipal Entities’ Individual MS4 Permit.