Newtown News
Update
Welcome to the April, 2019, issue of
Newtown News Update
. Back issues
and subscribing information can be foundhere. The opinions expressed
here are solely the those of John Mack and do not reflect the opinions of any
other person or entity.
Watershed Pollution Reduction
Plan
At the April 10, 2019, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, Township
Engineer Owen Hyne told Supervisors that the PA Department of
Environmental Protect (DEP) requires that the township reduce pollutants
(sediment and/or nutrients) from entering its watersheds by 10%. This is
part of Newtown’s “MS4” program.
MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. MS4s are
conveyances or systems of conveyances including roads with drainage
systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made
channels, or storm drains that are owned or operated by a public entity, are
designed or used for collecting or conveyingstorm water and are not a
combined sewer or part of a publicly owned treatment works. A municipality
is bound by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for an
MS4 when all or a portion of a municipality lies within an urbanized area
(UA), as determined by the US Census Bureau.*
* US Census Bureau uses a complicated formula to delineate Urban Areas from Rural Areas.
Newtown Township is approximately 12 square miles. According to the 2010 Census Data, ONLY
1.22 square miles of the Township is NOT considered Urbanized. That means 90% of Newtown
Township is considered an Urbanized Area by the US Census Bureau!
Three “impaired watersheds” were identified by the EPA for pollution
reduction:
1. Neshaminy Creek – Nutrients and Sediments
2. Lake Luxembourg – Nutrients and Sediments
3. Core Creek - Sediments
To meet DEP requirements, Newtown must reduce a total of 202,252 lbs. of
sedimentation per year entering these watersheds for five years.
As late as 2017, it was thought that the Township would not be able to find
enough project areas to meet the 10% reduction requirement, which could
result in penalties to the Township. Also, it was anticipated that the cost
would be “astronomical” – as much as $850,000!
A Town, A Plan, A Meadow (or Two or Three)
After many discussions with
the DEP, the Township has
put forward a Pollution
Reduction Plan (PRP) that
details the scheduled
implementation of a series of
Best Management Practices
(BMP’s) necessary for the
reduction of pollutants in the
waterways of the municipality without spending a huge sum of money.
Specifically, the plan proposes to implement storm basin and meadow
conversions, inlet cleaning and stream restoration projects.
Based upon this plan, the Township has budgeted $30,000 per year over 5
years. Much of the cost savings is due to the anticipated use of Township
labor and equipment to do the meadow conversions and other projects.
Download the Pollution Reduction Plan
At the October 18, 2018, BOS budget meeting, Mr. Lewis expressed hope
that the PA DEP would accept the plan. "DEP will likely approve what we are
proposing," said Lewis, "provided that the calculations support the proposal.
They have approved this method for sediment reduction in other
Townships," he added.
Activities in Some Parks May Be Affected
At the April 12, 2019, BOS meeting, Supervisor Calabro asked if the
Township has enough township basins that can be converted to meadows to
meet the 10% reduction requirement. Township Manager, Micah Lewis
clarified that the seven township owned basins will be converted to
meadows
along with under-utilized park areas
. The manicured grass areas
will be transformed into meadow areas (wild flowers, etc.), which will also
reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
Included in the list of potential "meadow conversions" is 6.21 acres of the
22.8 acre Roberts Ridge Park located on Lower Dolington Road at Frost
Lane. The area that the Township is considering for conversion to a meadow
appears to be the grassy area where the Newtown Parks & Recreation
Department hosts its “Super Soccer Stars” educational program for children
ages 2-3.
[See map on next page.]
Fisher & Mack for
Supervisor
Please consider supporting John Mack
and Dennis Fisher, both incumbents on
the Newtown Township Board of
Supervisors, for new 6-year terms as
Supervisors.
DONATE ONLINE to The Friends of
Fisher and Mack: $10 * $25 * $50 *
$100 * $200
Download the Pollution Reduction Plan
At the October 18, 2018, BOS budget meeting, Mr. Lewis expressed hope
that the PA DEP would accept the plan. "DEP will likely approve what we are
proposing," said Lewis, "provided that the calculations support the proposal.
They have approved this method for sediment reduction in other
Townships," he added.
Activities in Some Parks May Be Affected
At the April 12, 2019, BOS meeting, Supervisor Calabro asked if the
Township has enough township basins that can be converted to meadows to
meet the 10% reduction requirement. Township Manager, Micah Lewis
clarified that the seven township owned basins will be converted to
meadows
along with under-utilized park areas
. The manicured grass areas
will be transformed into meadow areas (wild flowers, etc.), which will also
reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
Included in the list of potential "meadow conversions" is 6.21 acres of the
22.8 acre Roberts Ridge Park located on Lower Dolington Road at Frost
Lane. The area that the Township is considering for conversion to a meadow
appears to be the grassy area where the Newtown Parks & Recreation
Department hosts its “Super Soccer Stars” educational program for children
ages 2-3.
[See map on next page.]
Fisher & Mack for
Supervisor
Please consider supporting John Mack
and Dennis Fisher, both incumbents on
the Newtown Township Board of
Supervisors, for new 6-year terms as
Supervisors.
DONATE ONLINE to The Friends of
Fisher and Mack: $10 * $25 * $50 *
$100 * $200
Roberts Ridge Park Planned Meadow Conversion (labeled "#7" in the above
map)
The impact of meadow conversion on Roberts Ridge Park was discussed at
the April 24, 2019, BOS meeting. Specifically, Supervisor Mack suggested
that a meadow conversion would negatively impact soccer and other
recreational activities in the park. Mr. Lewis responded that there is no
marked, official soccer field in Roberts Ridge Park and that children’s “Super
Soccer Stars” classes would be moved to other parks. Also, Mr. Lewis
confirmed that the meadows could be designed to include cutouts or paths
that would permit people to stroll through the meadows, which would
include wildflowers.
Mr. Mack asked if possible meadow conversions of basins owned by HOAs
would count toward the township’s reduction requirement. Mr. Hyne said
although these basins are covered under existing BMPs, some type of credit
would be given.
Mr. Lewis believes the meadow and basin conversions will start this year.
Mr. Calabro suggested working with Bucks County Community or Del Val
Colleges horticultural departments.
Submit Comments
The Pollution Reduction Plan will be are available for review and public
comment at the Newtown Township Building at 100 Municipal Drive,
Newtown, PA 18940 on April 19, 2019, for a 30-day comment period. You
can also download it here.
Comments can also be submitted in writing to the Newtown Township
Manager at the address listed above, no later than May 20, 2019 at 12:00
p.m. The plan will also be on the agenda at the May 8, 2019, Board of
Supervisors meeting. The public is welcome to attend this meeting and
comment upon the plan in person.
PFAS in Drinking Water Update
The Newtown Artesian Water Company recently published the 2019 first
quarter PFAS test results for drinking water sources in Newtown. There is a
reduction across the board, but it's “parts per trillion” so variances are
expected. In general, there is not much change from the results reported in
Q4 2018. See charts below.
Sen. Maria Collett, D-12, of Lower Gwynedd, recently introduced bill,S.B.
581, which would create an interim drinking water standard for four types of
PFAS at 10 parts per trillion. This is a fraction of a 70 ppt health advisory
level put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency and is even lower
than the limits recommended by the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection.
[See charts on next page.]
Further Reading:
“PFAS From Tainted Water on Military Bases My Be Spreading to Other
Towns in Bucks, Montco” [click here]
“Editorial: EPA Spins Its Wheels on Setting Maximum Contaminant
Level for PFAS” [click here]
“As EPA Launches National PFAS Plan, Pennsylvania Says Its People
“Can’t Wait” for Federal Government & Launches Its Own Plan to Set
Lower Health Limits for PFOA and PFOS” [click here]
Learn About the Candidates & Donate to the Campaign
“PA Senator Maria Collett Introduces Two PFAS Bills - Classifying PFAS
as Hazardous Substances & Lowering "Safe" Limits in Drinking Water
to 10 ppt vs EPA's 70 ppt” [click here]
“NJ Department of Environmental Protection Set to Regulate PFOS,
PFOA in Drinking Water. Safe Limits Will Be Much Lower Than
Recommended by the PA DEP.” [click here]
Fisher & Mack for
Supervisor
Please consider supporting John Mack
and Dennis Fisher, both incumbents on
the Newtown Township Board of
Supervisors, for new 6-year terms as
Supervisors.
Mack won a two-year seat in the 2017
election drawing the most votes among
all candidates running for three open
positions on the board. Fisher was appointed to the board in July 2018 to fill
the remaining term of Democrat Jen Dix who moved with her family to New
Hampshire.
“We’re very fortunate to have two highly capable and dedicated candidates
who have already proven themselves on the Board of Supervisors as
advocates for responsible government,” said George Skladany, chairperson
of the Newtown Democrats. “The municipal election this fall will be about
who has the best long-range interests of the township and its residents in
mind.”
John Mack
john@johnmacknewtown.info
215-808-0859
www.johnmacknewtown.info