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Issues

Issues for Utilities and Infrastructure

Overlapping Programming

Overlapping state and federal programs regulating infrastructure and utilities make planning difficult. These programs are constantly being revised, are highly technical, and municipalities may not have the staffing and time ability to implement them. Municipalities have a difficult time implementing overlapping programs that regulate infrastructure and utility activity. This is further exasperated by the fact that infrastructure and land use planning are not coordinated.

There are regulatory programs that blanket Chester County, ranging from stormwater to water quality of our streams. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) addresses discharges associated with stormwater, small flow treatment facilities, and others. The Chesapeake Bay Initiatives deal with nutrient loading into the Bay and its tributaries. There are also Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements being developed for all watersheds in the county that will determine waste load allocations for each stream. Pennsylvania Act 167, relating to stormwater management planning and Pennsylvania Act 537, relating to sewage facilities planning, require compliance, and, in some cases, enforcement, from the municipalities of Chester County. Without proper guidance from the respective program's agency, this process can be confusing for municipalities.

Wastewater Facilities

Drinking Water Supply

Solid and Hazardous Waste

Electric, Power and Pipelines

Communications

Communication networks are some of the most rapidly developing technologies in the county and most municipalities have not taken technological advances into consideration in the planning process.

In 1996, the county reviewed ten proposed cellular towers. By 2009, more than 185 exist. The communications infrastructure has become increasingly important over the past ten years as the economy and residents of Chester County continue to rely upon information technology. There are many forms of communications networks reshaping how the county does business. Furthermore, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which deregulated the telecommunications industry, as well as technological advances and changes in the way business performs, all contribute to the potential for growth and the change that has occurred in the past decade.

Stormwater Facilities

Municipalities are not adequately prepared to comprehensively plan for stormwater management, not only as a natural resource issue, but also as an infrastructure issue.

In the past, stormwater was regarded as primarily a natural resource issue. With development continuing throughout the county, the number of community and municipal stormwater systems continues to grow, increasing the amount of infrastructure that must be managed, maintained and eventually be upgraded or replaced. Efforts to implement comprehensive stormwater management at the local level should be consistent with the goals and objectives set forth in Watersheds.