SPRING CREEK WATERSHED COMMISSION
November 16, 2016
Spring Township Municipal Building
(Prepared by Lexie Orr, Spring Creek Watershed Coordinator)
Chair called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
Members said the pledge.
- Bellefonte: Gay Dunne
- Benner: Absent
- College Township: Bill Sharp
- Ferguson: Absent
- Halfmoon: Mark Stevenson
- Harris: Denny Hameister
- Milesburg: Absent
- Patton: Absent
- Potter: David Whiteman
- Spring: Bill MacMath
- State College: Janet Engeman
- Walker: Don Franson
Denny noted that the minutes from the October SCWC meeting were revised to reflect the changes in CNET viewings times. Bill MacMath moved to approve/accept the Minutes from the October SCWC meeting. Bill Sharp seconded the motion. Minutes were accepted unanimously.
- Todd Giddings expressed his appreciation for how the commission has treated the friends of the commission and requested to consider adding them back to the email list.
- Adrienne Gemberling notified the commission that the WRMP, ClearWater, Trout Unlimited and the Recycling and Refuse authority in Coleville removed 2500 pounds of trash out of culverts, which included 1000 pounds of metal. This was all done by 7 volunteers. Bill MacMath, on behalf of all of Spring Township, expressed his appreciation for this effort. They had experienced serious flood damage after 7-10 inches of rain fell in a three or four hour period.
- Michelle Halsell, notified the commission of PSU’s Sustainable Communities Collaborative Fall Expo at the State College Borough Building on Dev 7th 4:30-6:30 PM. The expo will include student presentations on projects they’ve been working on (agriculture, architecture, communication, engineering, liberal arts, IST, etc.). She also handed out copies of the Sustainable Communities Collaborative annual report.
- Bob Eberhart announced that Lexie successfully defended her MS thesis.
Educational Topic – Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan (CBPRP) and Impaired Waters for Centre Region MS4 Permits
- Amy Kerner - Engineer for State College Borough (MS4 Partner)
- Don Franson – Walker Township (MS4 Partner)
- Urbanized areas, areas with more than 10.000 people per square mile, are required to have an MS4 permit. Population numbers are based on voting blocks. Urban clusters, like Bellefonte, are not as densely populated and not required to get a permit, but DEP could mandate this.
- The CBPRP is for streams within urbanized areas. The slides list all of these basins, what municipalities deal with them and requirements set by DEP biologists who tested streams. These new permits enforce improvements not only in your stream section but also five miles downstream. Therefore, while Patton Township has no impaired waters, it still needs to take measures because there are impaired waters within 5 miles downstream.
Requirements of CBPRP
- Maps of storm sewer sheds of regulated outfalls will be used to determine planning area and calculated .pollutant loads. All planning areas are required to reduce sediments by 10% in five years. This assumes a 5% reduction in total phosphorus (TP) and a 3% reduction in total nitrogen (TN).
- Existing loading is determined from area of storm sewer sheds and percent land use or cover with loading rates grouped into broad categories:
TN -10 lb/acre/yr
TP – 0.33 lbs/acre/yr
Sediment – 234.6 lbs/acre/year
- Municipalities will receive no credit for past nonstructural best managements practices (BMPs). Existing structural BMPs (with proper O&M) can reduce existing loading, but everyone still needs to reduce loading over the five year period. Any improvements have to be made within urbanized area. Local requirements for Spring Creek include a 10% reduction in siltation and a 5% reduction in TP.
- There is a 45 day period for public comment so a plan that is due in December should be ready in October. PSU’s permit is due first, so that puts our schedule at the plan being ready in October (10/19/17) for a December (12/2/17) approval.
- There is no sampling done after the 5 year period.
- Phase I: Hire a consultant to come up with a plan jointly between all municipalities in order to save money. This consultant will give us our base loading and where to site BMPs.
- Phase 2: Over the 5 year period, implement the plan (stream bank restoration, retrofitting, new facilities, etc.).
Note: The CBPRP is an unfunded mandate.
Mark noted that over 27 years, the water quality in the bay has not improved. However, that’s also in the face of growing populations. Combined storm and sewer systems still exist in a lot of areas. Agricultural runoff also continues to be a problem
Gay wondered if nutrient credits would be a good way to address farm runoff. Mark replied that currently these credits are too cheap to make a difference.
- At the November 15th meeting, Walt Ebaugh presented “We are not downstream from anywhere.”
Our water budget is 100 million gallons/day. 1/10 of this is consumed by current population. Spring Creek gets 86% of its baseflow from groundwater, so consumption of groundwater reduces stream flow. Beneficial reuse water that is processed and pumped into aquifer where it can cool before entering the stream could be a good way to balance human consumption.
- Slides and notes from the master class workshop will be provided with the next meeting minutes. One key recommendation that came out of the workshop is that Spring Creek needs a Watershed Management Plan.
- The development of a Watershed Management Plan will be a regular topic of discussion.
- Cory Miller suggested rather than getting a grant, maybe the major players PSU, UAJA, Water Authorities etc. could pay for the funding this planning process.
- Michele Halsell noted that the Low Impact Development Guide Book provides som excellent examples of what can be done.
Atlas Project Update
- Bob Donaldson discussed the Education Initiative as well as the recently developed Source Water Protection Consortium Website, which is a federal mandate. This can be used for information and linked to the Atlas website.
- Betsie Blumberg is going to author another article on open space with Bob Carline
- The Atlas workgroup has also discussed converting the website from private to public after making a few changes. Mark Stevenson asked for agreeance on opening the website to public. Rather than have to wait for the workgroup to come to a consensus, lets set a measureable threshold of readiness or deadline. Bill Sharp agreed that if the group wants to get contributors, we need to open the project up to the public. Bill Macmath moved to approve public access to the Atlas website. Gay Dunne seconded the motion. The movement was unanimously approved.
- Lexie and Michele presented the outline for the DEP Environmental Education Grant.
- Next workgroup meeting is December 8th, David Whiteman, Denny Hameister and Mark Stevenson will attend to approve the grant proposal.
Around the Watershed
- Mark Stevenson gave more updates on renovations and making bathrooms ADA compliant
- Gay Dunne discussed the Sustainable Communities Collaborative project at the landfill.
- Bill MacMath informed the group that the flood damage last week was estimated at 1 million dollars.
Todd Giddings– The Water-Level Report for the Spring Creek Watershed
- 2016 to date - 29.14 inches of precipitation (104/121 years)
- -17,511 gallons/minute
- Measurements come from stream gage, rain gage and observation well (not far from Ferguson township municipal building) Well CE 686 with 14 years of monitoring that well.
- We went from 10 billion gallons ahead in in March to 12 billion gallons behind now. To deal with droughts, the public water authorities have built very deep wells and they have reserve fields so that consumption rates do not exceed capacity.
- Individual authorities are responsible for notifying the public of water use restriction.
- For more detailed information please contact Todd.
Motion to adjourn by Bill Sharp was accepted without objection at 9:13 PM.
There are no remaining meetings in 2016. Next meeting is January 18th.