Bellevue stormwater plan

Bellevue engineer Ben Gilberti gave the borough council an overview Tuesday of the mandated plan for stormwater management that must be submitted to the state in order to obtain a permit for completing similarly mandated projects.

The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program originates with the federal Department of Environmental Protection (EPA), and is administered by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). It is not to be confused with the federal administrative consent order (ACO) mandates that focus on the elimination of storm and ground water from sanitary sewer systems, where excess water during periods of wet weather exceeds the capacity of the sewage treatment plant and results in the release of raw sewage into area waterways. The MS4 program seeks to regulate stormwater run-off and discharge that carry pollutants into those same waterways.

Gilberti said that local municipalities are entering the third five-year cycle for MS4 projects. In the past, municipalities have been tasked with identifying, mapping and measuring stormwater discharge. They now must submit plans for projects to be completed during the next five years. These projects will focus on removing sediment from “impaired waterways.”

Bellevue has an impact on three waterways that have been labeled impaired, Gilberti said: the Ohio River, Jacks Run and Spruce Run. The problem with both Jacks Run and Spruce Run is streambank erosion, which allows sediment to enter the stream and be carried to the Ohio River. For the next MS4 project, Bellevue will work on Jacks Run, stabilizing the streambank with vegetation and rock to prevent further erosion. The work will address some 800 feet of streambank, he said.

The full plan is available through the borough, and residents can submit written comments for 30 days before it is submitted to the state.