Oct 30, 2014

Permit Tackles Storm Water Management Issues

The Chesapeake Bay will have cleaner upstream waters in one Susquehanna River tributary

The Chesapeake Bay will benefit from cleaner upstream waters in one Susquehanna River tributary.

The Lancaster County Conservation District and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have authorized a permit for an innovative post-construction storm water management plan for Rock Lititz, the $100 million rehearsal campus catering to the rock-concert industry.

Rock Lititz approved the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for discharges associated with construction activities from the Rock Lititz site in Lititz, Pa., to the Santo Domingo Creek, a tributary of Lititz Run.

It’s the first time the conservation district, which issued the permit on behalf of DEP, has approved floodplain restoration to tackle storm water issues at this grand scale.

LandStudies Inc. designed and oversaw construction of the restored floodplain that runs through the 96.3-acre Rock Lititz site to reduce runoff peak rates, improve water quality and recharge groundwater, complying with state and local storm water management requirements. Although DEP has previously approved floodplain restoration for its ecological benefits — which include the creation of wildlife habitat, reduced streambank erosion and natural beauty — this permit ties floodplain restoration to more economic benefits — in this case, reduced storm water runoff.

Since floodplain restoration also reduces sediment pollution in streams, as shown in DEP’s 2013 study of Big Spring Run, the approval sets the stage not just for rock stars, whose top-secret rehearsals will promote job growth and other economic boosts to Lancaster County, but also for how Pennsylvania may meet regulations to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay in the future.