It’s Still Going to Rain?

It’s Still Going to Rain?

Yes, It’s Still Going to Rain!

A follow up to the “Rain Tax” debate. Honesty matters for the residents of West Goshen!

It would seem that honesty and transparency are a problem for the Endorsed GOP candidates in West Goshen Township. They continue to deny that a stormwater fee (“Rain Tax”) is currently being discussed or was ever in the works.

This is just not the case. I have endeavored to uncover the truth and what I have learned is astonishing.

The Township has been actively engaged in creating a stormwater plan, as was demonstrated by the presentation given by West Goshen Township manager Casey LaLonde at the Villanova Stormwater Symposium, since October 2015.

According to three separate DEP officials from both the Harrisburg and Norristown offices the information that the Township denies has been available for some time now. In fact, according to the MS4 permit renewal point person in Norristown, “They (WGT) has been preparing this for years. The DEP has been guiding this all along.”

The DEP is NOT requiring the township to charge a stormwater fee. They are NOT telling them what to do to get the job done, just that a plan must be implemented and followed through for the MS4 permit. The permitting process is located on the DEP website for stormwater MS4 permitting. The requirements are understood by all Pennsylvania municipalities, and the permits are due on 9/16/17.

As stated by DEP officials, the municipalities were advised to openly discuss the need for stormwater plans. And how they were going to implement the plans. The reason is so that ALL stakeholders, homes & businesses alike, would be able to have their say and input into the process. Ms. Fields further stated that the township is running out of time for public input and needs to openly speak about it; a stakeholder group or participation is required for the MS4 permit. We are all stakeholders!

If your development already has a stormwater remediation plan, or stormwater basin, then why & how should your home be charged? If you have a ½ acre property with lots of grass and little runoff, how can you be charged the same as a property with ½ acre that is completely paved over? A plan must include all derivatives or contingencies for it to be fair and balanced.

TMDL Plan Objectives: There are two objectives for a TMDL Plan:

1. Long-Term Reduction – plan for the reduction of pollutant load(s) to achieve the WLA(s) in the TMDL. The TMDL Plan must describe a general plan as to how WLA(s) will ultimately be achieved.

2. Short-Term Reduction (the 5-year permit term) – plan for the short-term reduction of pollutant load(s) that will be achieved within the subsequent NPDES permit term.

MS4s must achieve at least one of the following objectives within the 5-year permit term:
1) the WLA(s) in the TMDL, or
2) if the WLA(s) cannot be achieved, a load reduction of at least 10% for sediment and/or 5% for TP (Total Phosphorus), compared to the existing load for these pollutants at the time of TMDL Plan submission. A load reduction of at least 10% for sediment may be used as the objective in lieu of a 5% reduction in TP under the presumptive approach.

The next township meeting is scheduled for Wednesday May 10, 2015 @7pm. Time to ask some hard questions of the board by residents and business owners who are concerned about their money.

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