Agricultural Sciences

Land-use planning webinar to look at stormwater management

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Extension will offer a Web-based seminar focusing on the challenges of managing stormwater in communities.

Scheduled for noon on Wednesday, Feb. 17, "When it Rains, It Drains: An Overview of MS4 Stormwater Management" will cover the impact of stormwater on water resources and the effectiveness of a partnership to address the difficulties municipalities face.

The 75-minute session will feature Marel King, the Chesapeake Bay Commission's Pennsylvania director, and Megan Lehman, with the Lycoming County Department of Planning and Community Development.

Municipal storm sewer systems collect contaminated runoff that otherwise would make its way into local waterways. In Pennsylvania, some municipalities currently face stringent water quality regulations to address the pollution issue.

"Stormwater runoff negatively impacts our water resources including the Chesapeake Bay," said King. "In Pennsylvania, all sectors including stormwater need to make significant reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution to comply with the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. There needs to be an understanding of the Chesapeake TMDL, and a timeline of what municipalities need to do to comply with the TDML will be discussed in the webinar."

Stormwater is an issue best tackled through regional solutions, Lehman noted, adding that the Lycoming County MS4 Coalition was established in 2014 as a partnership between Lycoming County and its municipalities to address the stormwater pollution issue.

"Ten permittees share equally in the cost of an MS4 planner in the Lycoming County Planning Department, who works to achieve a more efficient, cost-effective compliance through collaborative efforts amongst the MS4 permittees," she said.

Lehman will provide an overview of that partnership, including how it is organized, obstacles to its success that have been overcome and major accomplishments to date, as well as some of the anticipated challenges and opportunities faced by municipalities as permit requirements are changed.

"The work being accomplished by the Lycoming County MS4 Coalition is transferable to other communities throughout Pennsylvania in other river basins, such as the Delaware, Ohio and Potomac," Lehman said.

Webinars offered in the monthly land-use series, which all start at noon and are recorded for future viewing, include the following:

  • Previously recorded: "Reed vs. Town of Gilbert: The Supreme Court's New Rules for Temporary and other Signs"
  • March 16: "Dealing with Conflict over Natural Resource and Land Use Issues: An Introduction to the Strategies and Tools"
  • April 13: "Stabilizing Neighborhoods through Vacant and Abandoned Property Initiatives"
  • May 18: "Form-based Zoning:  Not your Grandfather's Approach"

The cost of the webinar series is $40 for all five webinars and $75 for all five webinars for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or To register, visit the website.

Last Updated February 08, 2016