This chapter shall be known and may be cited as "Stormwater Management."
The governing body of Swatara Township finds that:
Inadequate management of accelerated stormwater runoff resulting from development throughout a watershed increases flood flows and velocities, contributes to erosion and sedimentation, overtaxes the carrying capacity of existing streams and storm sewers, greatly increases the cost of public facilities to convey and manage stormwater, undermines floodplain management and flood reduction efforts in upstream and downstream communities, reduces groundwater recharge, threatens public health and safety, and increases nonpoint source pollution of water resources.
A comprehensive program of stormwater management, including reasonable regulation of development and activities causing accelerated runoff, is fundamental to the public health, safety, welfare, and the protection of the people of Swatara Township and all the people of the commonwealth, their resources, and the environment.
Inadequate planning and management of stormwater runoff resulting from land development and redevelopment throughout a watershed can also harm surface water resources by changing the natural hydrologic patterns; accelerating stream flows (which increase scour and erosion of streambeds and stream banks, thereby elevating sedimentation); destroying aquatic habitat; and elevating aquatic pollutant concentrations and loadings, such as sediments, nutrients, heavy metals, and pathogens. Groundwater resources are also impacted through loss of recharge.
Stormwater is an important water resource which provides groundwater recharge for water supplies and base flow of streams, which also protects and maintains surface water quality.
Public education on the control of pollution from stormwater is an essential component in successfully addressing stormwater issues.
Federal and state regulations require certain municipalities to implement a program of stormwater controls. These municipalities are required to obtain a permit for stormwater discharges from their separate storm sewer systems under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
Nonstormwater discharges to municipal separate storm sewer systems can contribute to pollution of waters of the commonwealth.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote health, safety, and welfare within Swatara Township, Dauphin County, by minimizing the harms and maximizing the benefits described in § 247-2 of this chapter through provisions intended to:
Meet legal water quality requirements under state law, including regulations at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93, to protect, maintain, reclaim, and restore the existing and designated uses of the waters of the commonwealth.
Manage accelerated runoff and erosion and sedimentation problems close to their source by regulating activities that cause these problems.
Preserve the natural drainage systems to the maximum extent practicable.
Maintain groundwater recharge, to prevent degradation of surface and groundwater quality, and to otherwise protect water resources.
Maintain existing flows and quality of streams and watercourses.
Preserve and restore the flood-carrying capacity of streams and prevent scour and erosion of stream banks and streambeds.
Manage stormwater impacts close to the runoff source, with a minimum of structures and a maximum use of natural processes.
Provide procedures, performance standards, and design criteria for stormwater planning and management.
Provide proper operations and maintenance of all temporary and permanent stormwater management facilities and best management practices (BMPs) that are constructed and implemented.
Provide standards to meet the NPDES permit requirements.
Implement an illegal discharge detection and elimination program within MS4 permitted urbanized areas to address nonstormwater discharges into Swatara Township's separate storm sewer system.
Primary authority. Swatara Township is empowered to regulate these activities by the authority of the Act of October 4, 1978, P.L. 864 (Act 167), 32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq., as amended, the "Storm Water Management Act," and the First Class Township Code.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 55101 et seq.
This chapter shall apply to all areas of Swatara Township, any regulated activity within Swatara Township, and all stormwater runoff entering into Swatara Township's separate storm sewer system from lands within the boundaries of Swatara Township.
Earth disturbance activities and associated stormwater management controls are also regulated under existing state law and implementing regulations. This chapter shall operate in coordination with those parallel requirements; the requirements of this chapter shall be no less restrictive in meeting the purposes of this chapter than state law.
"Regulated activities" are any earth disturbance activities or any activities that involve the alteration or development of land in a manner that may affect stormwater runoff. "Regulated activities" include, but are not limited to, the following listed items:
Earth disturbance activities.
Construction of new or additional impervious or semipervious surfaces.
Construction of new buildings or additions to existing buildings.
Diversion or piping of any natural or man-made stream channel.
Installation of stormwater management facilities or appurtenances thereto.
Installation of stormwater BMPs.
Approvals issued and actions taken pursuant to this chapter do not relieve the applicant of the responsibility to comply with or to secure required permits or approvals for activities regulated by any other applicable codes, laws, rules, statutes, or ordinances. To the extent that this chapter imposes more rigorous or stringent requirements for stormwater management, the specific requirements contained in this chapter shall be followed.
Notwithstanding any provision(s) of this chapter, including exemptions, any landowner or any person engaged in the alteration or development of land which may affect stormwater runoff characteristics shall implement such measures as are reasonably necessary to prevent injury to health, safety, or other property. Such measures also shall include actions as are required to manage the rate, volume, direction, and quality of resulting stormwater runoff in a manner which otherwise adequately protects health, property, and water quality.
The degree of stormwater management sought by the provisions of this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes. This chapter shall not create liability on the part of Swatara Township, any appointed or elected official of Swatara Township, the Dauphin County Conservation District or any officer, engineer or employee thereof for any erosion, sedimentation or flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.