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Chester County Press

Oxford Borough Council receives updates on MS4 requirements

01/03/2024 12:07PM ● By Betsy Brewer Brantner

Oxford Borough Council was presented with an update on MS4 requirements by Beth Uhler from the Center for Watershed Protection. The acronym MS4 actually stands for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Syestem. The Center for Watershed Protection will provide watershed and stormwater management consulting services to Oxford Borough so that the municipality can get the MS4 permit.

This unfunded mandate is wreaking havoc on many municipalities all through the country. It is not specific to Pennsylvania, and it is a federal program that regulates discharges of stormwater on streams. 

There are a variety of components to the MS4 plan, including the following:

  • Construction site runoff control
  • Illicit discharge detection and elimination (IDDE)
  • Pollution prevention/good housekeeping
  • Post-construction runoff control
  • Public education and outreach

The 2020 census actually kicked Oxford into the program. Paying for this program is costly, and coming up with the funding has certainly placed a burden on many municipalities. Currently, at least one municipality in Chester County is being challenged in court for their proposed fee for this program.

Uhler said, “There is a lot of documentation required. The first year of recovery is very costly. Once the permit is approved, they need to be updated annually.”

The MS4 Permit is good for five years.

Uhler plans to work with Oxford Borough Council while writing the required plan, and keep them updated.

“Hopefully, the plan will be approved by DEP and then it’s full speed ahead,” Uhler explained.

In other business at the recent council meeting, Stacey Fuller, the borough’s solicitor, brought fellow solicitor Holly Setzler in to educate council and the public regarding Homeowners Associations and developers’ responsibilities.

Setzler said, “I’m usually on the other side of the table representing the Homeowners Associations. The main thing to know is the developer is for-profit and the Homeowners Association is not. When you have a safety issue, it is imperative that it gets resolved. Specifications change during the building of a development and when dedication is taken by the Borough. It is in the best interest of the HOA to have these issues cleared up by the developer before dedication so the HOA is not responsible for them. At the end of the day, council is looking out for the homeowners’ interest.”

Brendan Patti, a Sycamore Crossing resident said, “We appreciate what you are trying to do. We just wanted a conversation with council. We wanted to voice our opinion.”

Fuller said, “We are hopeful that we will have more information form the developer, Mike Pia, at the second meeting in January. We (Borough) can’t accept dedication until the work is done.”

Council also approved the following at the meeting: 

  • Authorization to resubmit for Act 247 Review an ordinance amending the Code of the Borough of Oxford, Chapter 27, Zoning, Part 2, Definitions, §27-202, Definitions of Terms, to Redefine Terms Related to Signs; and Part 16, Signs, by Deleting and Replacing the Part in Its Entirety.
  • Staffing changes at Borough Hall – part-time water and parking clerk.
  • Staffing changes at Borough Hall – changing part-time Codes Enforcement Officer position to a  full-time position.
  • Resolution #1373 - 2023 to submit a grant-in-aid application to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Strategic Management Planning Program for Phase 2 of the program.