Bethlehem board hears storm-water update

Unfunded mandate was the recurring theme during the town board's 2008 storm-water update presented by Bethlehem's engineering division.

Paul Penman, P.E., the town's senior civil engineer, explained to the board what is being done about storm-water management and what is being mandated by the county and state during the Wednesday, May 28, meeting.

"Effective Jan. 1, we adopted a storm-water law, and part of that law prohibits people dumping things in the storm waters," Penman told the board. "It's not a new requirement, DEC usually has to regulate it, but we now have the enforcement authority to go after people who dump things into the storm sewer that they're not supposed to."

The town has recently completed mapping all storm drains that end up in streams and tributaries, Penman said, and the town is also required to map completed baseline water quality data to look for elevated levels of phosphorous, ammonia and other "things that shouldn't be there."

The town has initiated a program to monitor illicit discharges coming from developments and residences throughout the town.

"We've got it up and running, we're beginning to do inspections we're focusing on the larger subdivisions that are going in the town. We've completed a 100 percent review of all the projects that are in front of the planning board. We've done a review of their proposed storm-water measures that are included as part of the project."

Construction site runoff control and post-construction storm-water management has been adopted as part of the town's storm-water law, according to Penman.

He said the town now has "the ability to go out and enforce storm-water measures, erosion and sediment-control measures, on active construction sites."

Supervisor Jack Cunningham said the town is doing its best to fund and keep up with the storm-water mandates handed down by Albany County, including the enforcement of "storm-water management ponds," which are used to contain runoff water on site during construction projects.

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