Bethlehem Township invites you to review our Pollution Reduction Plan referred to as our PRP required under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Individual Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). The objective of the PRP is to estimate the pollutant loads generated by existing land cover within the Township and provide a 5-year plan to reduce loads as per the MS4 permit requirements. The PRP includes; detailed maps of the planning area, existing pollutant load calculations, and proposed Best Management Practices (BMP) to achieve the required load reductions. It also identifies funding mechanisms and long-term operation and maintenance procedures.
The Township is seeking public comment on the draft PRP prior to submission to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) by May 4, 2018. The draft PRP can be reviewed by clicking this link: MS4_PRP
(54MB). A Hardcopy version is also available for review at the Bethlehem Township Municipal Building, located at; 4225 Easton Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18020. Written comments will be accepted and remain open for 30 days, until April 18, 2018. The Township will also accept verbal comments at the regularly scheduled public meeting of the Board of Commissioners on April 16, 2018. All timely comments received during the public comment period will be considered by the Township. A copy of all comments received and a record of consideration will be included with the final PRP submitted to DEP.
Additionally, should you like to review supporting material relative to the PRP Bethlehem Township program, the following Microsoft Power Point presentation links are available for your review.
Bethlehem Township PRP Cost Estimate Presentation
Bethlehem Township PRP General Information Presentation
Bethlehem Township is working to protect our local streams from being impacted by stormwater pollution, and want our residents to know that we take this seriously. In order to raise public awareness, we are adding these informative pages about the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permit which the PA Department of Environmental Protection issued to the Township. The Township is considered an MS4, or "Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System", and must submit annual reports to the DEP that meet certain requirements.
In decades past, it was customary for only polluting industries to have "discharge" permits, however there was a growing realization that even common land uses impact the environment.
For example, such things as driving cars (oil and antifreeze dripping onto roads, brake lining dust and rubber from tires); maintaining lawns (chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers), pet waste, litter, and soil erosion from construction activities also pollute water running into streams.
When it rains, these pollutants are washed over the land and down storms drains (storm drains are the catch basins with a metal grid alongside the roadway, and the underground piping connecting them). The storm drains ultimately converge, thus concentrating pollutant levels.
Storm drains are not connected to a treatment system, so no pollutants are removed from the water.
By far the largest percentage of storm water in Bethlehem Township ends up in the Lehigh River, coming from the Monocacy Creek, Nancy Run and Lehigh River sub-basin #5. The Lehigh converges with the Delaware River in Easton. The northeast corner of the Township is in the Bushkill Creek watershed, which drains directly to the Delaware River. To determine which watershed you live in, see the map below: