Attorney will consult on storm water issues

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com

Antrim Township supervisors agreed Tuesday night to consult with a specialized attorney on how to proceed with not proceeding with water cleanup mandates until receiving common sense answers from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

In November, township supervisors and Greencastle Borough Council members both voted to suspend work and fees associated with MS4 (municipal separate storm sewer system) sediment reduction requirements under their pollution reduction plan.

The township was told to reduce its sediment by 245,011 pounds per year, with an estimated cost of $2.8 million a year.

There is no pending litigation with DEP and supervisors are not saying the township will never do a sediment reduction project, but some issues need to be straightened out before moving forward, according to Brad Graham, township administrator.

That's where Martin Siegel will be consulted for his expertise as a long-time DEP attorney now in private practice. His rate for the township is $275 an hour.

Among the issues are how to improve water quality in a less costly way, using real data instead of models and doing a beneficial project on any stream instead of being limited to what has been identified as the "urbanized" area.

The Chesapeake Bay cleanup measures are a federal mandate which is enforced by DEP.