Land-use webinar to focus on municipal stormwater utilities

September 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Establishing municipal stormwater utilities will be the topic of a web-based seminar to be presented by Penn State Extension at noon on Sept. 18.

Featured in the 75-minute webinar will be Adrienne Vicari and Bruce Hulshizer, project engineers with Herbert, Rowland & Grubic Inc., ­ who have helped more than 40 municipalities implement stormwater utilities. They will explain how a well-planned approach to utility implementation has helped many communities develop an equitable approach to sustainable stormwater management.

“Stormwater utilities are common throughout the nation, and they are a growing trend in Pennsylvania in the last few years,” said Vicari. “Establishing a utility has its challenges along with its benefits.”

Roofs, streets, parking lots and other impervious surfaces often limit the amount of stormwater that can naturally soak into the ground, causing pollutants to flow rapidly into nearby streams and overwhelm sewers. Separating sewer systems or otherwise dealing with combined sewer overflows is a huge and costly challenge.

“And with impervious surface cover on the rise in many places, the environmental and economic implications are huge for communities,” Vicari said. “One strategy to address stormwater runoff is a stormwater utility.”

This webinar will help participants understand how a stormwater utility might sustain and enhance their municipalities, including benefits of a stormwater fee and how to proactively address potential challenges. Critical considerations will be introduced in the session, such as stakeholder engagement, budget development, fee structures, public outreach and credit policies.

“Should We Consider a Stormwater Utility to Facilitate Stormwater Management?” is the third webinar in the Penn State Extension Summer/Fall 2019 Land-Use Webinar series that runs monthly from July through November. The series assists municipal elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, interested individuals, farmers and community organizations in becoming informed about land-use issues and decisions in their communities.

Other topics and dates in the webinar series include the following:

— July 17: Complete Streets: Planning and Policy (previously recorded).

— Aug. 21: Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future (previously recorded).

— Oct. 16: Northeast U.S. Agriculture: Why it Matters.

— Nov. 20: Yes, Communities Can Design Out Crime.

All programs in the series are recorded for future viewing.

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification-maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost is also $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits.

In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $65.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at ptw3@psu.edu. To register for the webinars, visit the website.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 11, 2019