channels, or storm drains that are owned or operated by a public entity, are
designed or used for collecting or conveyingstorm 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
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.