Stormwater Advisory Committee
The Norristown Municipal Council recently approved the implementation of a Stormwater Utility Project to address the many stormwater related issues that our community faces—including flooding, sinkholes, clogged and broken storm drains and an aged storm sewer network. To address statewide issues related to stormwater management, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have mandated that local governments implement Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer Systems (MS4) programs that are in compliance with the EPA's stormwater regulations. These MS4 programs allow discharge of a specified amount of a pollutant into a receiving water (such as the Schuylkill River) under certain conditions.
Not surprisingly, both the EPA and the Commonwealth mandate that the programs be funded by local governments.
Because there is currently no direct Municipality funding source to deal with Norristown’s stormwater challenges, funds have typically been siphoned from the Public Works budget to address urgent issues only; thereby, continuing a decades-long process of ignoring necessary system maintenance. To fully address these issues the Municipal Council hired King of Prussia-based- Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. as a consultant to implement a formal stormwater utility program and fee.
One of the first steps in the process is to convene a Stormwater Advisory Committee to work with HRG in educating the community on the issue and, ultimately, recommending to the Council a stormwater management program and the appropriate fee to implement it. The Committee is composed of approximately 16 members, representing a broad spectrum of the community, including residential property owners, the school district, nonprofits, religious institutions, major industry, small and large commercial businesses, state and county agencies, etc. The Committee will meet over a period of about four months educate themselves, obtain community input and make a recommendation to the Municipal Council.
The committee and meetings
On Dec. 1, 2020, Municipal Council approved 10 people to serve on the Stormwater Advisory Committee, the first group of appointees to the committee. Members, so far, include council members, municipal staff and community members. The committee is expected to meet at least four times through 2021.
The committee first met on Jan. 7, 2021. which was accompanied by a presentation.