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Highland reviews runoff rules

Adam Yalch

(5/13) In an effort to comply with environmental regulations, the Highland Township Board of Supervisors reviewed their policies regarding storm water drainage at their May 8 meeting.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently approved a blueprint for municipal storm water ordinances in Adams which had been drafted by the Adams County Office of Planning and Development (OP&D).

The county plan/model was developed as the result of a state mandate requiring counties to move away from multi-county, watershed-based guidelines (otherwise known as the Monocacy Plan) to focus on watersheds located wholly or partially within the boundaries of each county.

Developing regulations in-line with the state-approved, Adams County model should not pose a problem for Highland Township. The model ordinance was based upon what Highland Township was already doing.

The technical aspects of the ordinance are solid. Specifics, such as size and materials of allowable pipes for drainage, are already in place.

Representatives of KPI Technology, who serve as the township engineers, brought forth at the township meeting the recommendation of giving credit to residences who abide by stringent guidelines outlined in the county model.

A "credit," as used in a storm water control context, could be a reduction of requirements (such as sediment controls) if meeting the requirements would be unnecessarily excessive, based on a given applicantís proposal.

The board of supervisors, however, like the simplicity of their current ordinance, stating that itís clear language, and the lack of credit provided makes it easier and more efficient for residences to understand and get what they want accomplished.

Chairman Craig Rockey said "We have to tow the line with what you guys want, but we can be more strict. By not accepting credits we can keep things easy for everyone to understand."

In order to comply with the county model, township officials have only to tweak their current regulations to include certain provisions and exemptions.

Some of the exemptions needed include provisions for agriculture, forest and timber, residential gardening and landscaping needs. Exemptions will also be given for small projects such as garages and sheds.

Certain structures will be given special consideration based upon size and location to impervious soil.

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