Agenda subject to change as speakers are finalized.

September 18

8:00 – 9:00 AM Registration

9:00 Welcome – Paul King, President, PA Environmental Council

Keynote – Senator Edwin Erickson and Representative Robert Freeman (invited) – Overcoming Policy Challenges

10:00 – 11:00 Using Green Infrastructure to meet regulatory requirements

Local governments find it difficult to confidently incorporate green infrastructure projects without more confidence that the regulatory standards will support their investments.

Dominique Lueckenhoff, Associate Director of the Water Protection Division and Director of the Office of State and Watershed Partnerships


11:00 – 12:00 Understanding Stormwater and Impacts to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is blessed with an abundance of streams, rivers and rain fall.  However, too much rain creates problems for many municipalities. This session will provide a primer on stormwater hydrology and set the stage for the multiplicity of impacts excessive stormwater has on combined sewer overflows and flood prone communities.

Curt Schreffler – US Geological Survey

Chris Evans, Public Assistance Officer, Bureau of Recovery & Mitigation, PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)

Dharmendra Kumar – Environmental Engineer, Bureau of Point and Non-point Source Management, PA Department of Environmental Protection

12:00 – 1:15 PM Lunch

1:15 – 2:15 Concurrent Sessions

Track 1 – Green Infrastructure Financing Challenges and Opportunities

This session will provide an overview of public policy strategies to attract commercial lenders and niche financiers to the stormwater retrofit sector, as well as lower the cost of capital for borrowers. These strategies include credit enhancement, facilitating project aggregation, public/private partnerships, offsite mitigation programs, and transparency regarding long-term stormwater fee schedules.  Research shows that any combination of these policies would help attract private investors to the opportunities presented by a stormwater fee structure.

Jeff Odefey, American Rivers

Track 2 – Designing and Retrofitting BMP’s for Low Maintenance and Cost Savings

While it is increasingly common that new development projects are required to incorporate stormwater BMPs, existing development is still responsible for the majority of poor water quality issues. Retrofitting existing development is a critical step in the protection and restoration of water bodies. Historically these areas were typically overlooked in many stormwater management designs.

Dr. Robert Traver – Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership

Jim Pillsbury- Westmoreland County Conservation District

Track 3 – Urban Tree Canopy Assessments and Tools for Local Communities

Trees play an important role in reducing the amount of stormwater and pollutants entering our waterways.  Tree canopy intercepts rain before it reaches the ground.  This session will highlight web based tools communities can use to determine how much tree canopy they have and how much tree canopy they could have.  A case study on how Allegheny County is assisting municipalities through a county wide tree canopy assessment will be discussed.

Christopher Pieffer, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Darla Cravotta, Allegheny County Executives Office

Track 4 – MS4 Permit Manager Software

Since 2009, the PA Environmental Council has been working with  CBI Systems Inc.,  to adapt the MS4 Manager  software tool to the needs of Pennsylvania communities. This tool, allows a municipalities to input all the various elements of their stormwater management program and infrastructure. Using several communities in southeast PA as pilot participants, CBI programmers created a PA-specific template and customized the online interface of the program. This session will demonstrate the software tool.

Ty Garmon, CBI Systems

Josh Karns, PA Environmental Council

2:15 – 2:45 Break

2:45 – 3:45 Concurrent Sessions

Track 1 – Applying a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to Stormwater Green Infrastructure

If a renewable energy portfolio standard can increase deployment of renewable energy, can a green infrastructure portfolio standard increase deployment of green infrastructure to manage stormwater?  This presentation will review research in Milwaukee, WI and Grand Rapids, MI to determine if a green infrastructure portfolio standard is a good mechanism for scaling up green infrastructure practices over time in a structured, predictable, and cost-effective way.

Gary Belan, American Rivers

Track 2 – Street and Highway Considerations

This session will showcase  how the City of Meadville is partnering with PADOT to employ future  structural BMP’s from adjoining properties during road reconstruction and a discuss on the standard language developed jointly by PADEP, PennDOT and the Pa. Turnpike Commission for Act 167 P stormwater standards for PennDOT and PTC roadways and associated facilities.

Andy Walker, Meadville Assistant City Manger

Jeff Mackay, NTM Engineering

Track 3 – Paxton Creek Stormwater Management Project

From 2006 to 2010 the Susquehanna River Basin Commission partnered with the Paxton Creek Watershed and Education Association to develop and implement an innovative stormwater management program for the Paxton Creek communities in Dauphin County. The scope of the project was to develop innovative stormwater management solutions for public, residential, and commercially controlled lands. Management activities have included establishing mechanisms for implementing projects with local funds, evaluating costs and benefits, assessing incentives, monitoring urban stream water quality, and conducting outreach and educational efforts surrounding all project activities. Additionally the project tested management solutions using five demonstration projects. Project results have removed nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment, as well as other pollutants, from storm runoff.

Andrew Gavin, Chief, Restoration and Protection Section, Susquehanna River Basin Commission

Track 4 – Investing in Trees

Responding to an alarming trend of the loss of trees in Pennsylvania’s metropolitan areas, TreeVitalize is a public-private partnership to help restore tree cover, educate citizens about planting trees as an act of caring for our environment, and build capacity among local governments to understand, protect and restore their urban trees.

Christine Ticehurst, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Jeff Bergman, Western PA Conservancy, Pennvest & Treevitalize Partnership

4:00 – 5:00 Panel Discussion – Speakers from the morning sessions will field questions from the audience

5:00 – 6:00 Reception

6:00 Dinner: Sewer Surfing with Brian O’Neill

Brian O’Neill, who was flushed through a storm culvert in a flash flood 32 years ago, will tell his story of why almost dying in a sewer can be a sweet break for a young reporter, and why efficient stormwater systems are more important than even the best engineers may know. Mr. O’Neill has been a newspaper columnist in Pittsburgh for more than 20 years most recently at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

September 19

8 :00 – 9:00 AM Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 Concurrent Sessions

Track 1 – Stormwater BMP Efficiencies

Topics in this session will include BMP performance measures of various structural BMP’s, availability of measurement methods, monitoring issues, and factors that may affect performance such as weather, design and construction quality.

Dr. Robert Traver, Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership

Dr. Robert Berghage – Penn State Green Roof Research Center

Track 2 – Stormwater Basin Retrofits

Existing traditional detention basins can easily be converted to extended detention basins by modifying the outlet structure and increasing vegetation present in the basin. Extended detention basins offer the additional benefit of improved water quality through slight variations in design.

Susan Harris, Montgomery County Conservation District

Jim Blanch, Whitpain Township

Bill Erdman, Keystone Consulting Engineers

Track 3 – Developing a Comprehensive Operation and Maintenance Plan

Like any other infrastructure item, stormwater best management practices require maintenance. How should public entities plan for this maintenance? Is it part of the Public Works Department’s annual work plan or a private endeavor handled by a homeowner’s association? What is the appropriate mechanism to ensure needed maintenance is completed? Is it by ordinance, through covenants or other means? This session will provide ideas on how to tackle these issues to ensure a standard of care, yet allow the flexibility needed for the variety of BMPs.

Kevin Flynn, AKRF, Inc.

Mary Ellen Noonan, Bucks County Conservation District

Track 4 – Understanding TMDL’s and Options of Stormwater Offset  Mitigation

This session will summarize and provide guidance to municipal solicitors regarding currently effective statutory and regulatory requirements relating to TMDLs and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities which may propose off-site discharges of stormwater to areas that are not surface waters. In these cases the permit applicant must have the authority, legal or otherwise, to discharge stormwater onto off-site areas.  An update on the off-site migration program will be provided.

Kevin Garber, Babst,Calland,Clements and Zomnir

Ken Murin, PA Department of Environmental Protection

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:15 Concurrent Sessions

Track 1 – Downspout Disconnection Rebate and Other Citizen Cost Savings

Etna is a small bustling community covering one square mile along the banks of the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh.  The Borough has faced devastating flooding and must address its combined sewer overflow issues.  In order to reduce the financial burden on borough residents while dealing with these issues, Etna has implemented various strategies to cost effectively manage stormwater.

Mary Ellen Ramage, Manager, Etna Borough

Track 2 – Real Estate Covenants for Private Property BMPs

The Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA) is one of the uniform acts drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The act is intended to provide clear rules for perpetual real estate interests – an environmental covenant – to regulate the use of brownfield land when real estate is transferred from one owner to another.  This session will discuss the applicability of applying UECA protocol when stormwater BMP’s are placed on private property and property is transferred to a new owner.

John Walliser and Jack Ubinger, PA Environmental Council

Track 3 – The Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program (HMGP) Acquisition “Flood Plain Buyout” Program

One way to reduce flood damage is to remove any houses or other structures that might be damaged by flood events. The purchase or “buyout” of houses that are flood-prone has proven to be one of the most cost-effective tools in the flood damage reduction toolbox.  This session will discuss how the “buyout” program works and how Shaler Township implemented a program.

Tom Hughes, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Bureau of Recovery & Mitigation, PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)

Tim Rogers, Manager, Shaler Township

Track 4 – Municipal Code and Stormwater Fees

Many communities have funded stormwater management from property taxes paid into their general funds. However, there is great competition for municipal general fund dollars from other worthy municipal programs.  Currently, there is much confusion on other avenues communities can take to fund stormwater management.  This session will focus on clarify options municipalities and authorities have to address stormwater management.

James Wheeler, PA Association of Township Supervisors

John Brosious, PA Municipal Authorities Association

11:30 Closing remarks and next steps

12:00 Adjourn