Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) recently announced stormwater regulation updates, largely in favor of developers. Developments within city limits could be impacted by the following changes:

PWD reduced earth disturbance definition in favor of developers.

Should your project reach PWD’s earth disturbance threshold of 15,000 SF, developers are required to comply with its stormwater regulations, adding additional work and approvals to the timeline. However, under the latest updates, street maintenance is no longer considered earth disturbance and in turn, does not count towards the disturbance threshold. This includes right-of-way work like sidewalk replacement, utility lateral connections, sewer extensions, and public street work.

If your project has already received Existing Resources and Site Analysis (ERSA) approval but does not meet the 15,000 SF threshold under PWD’s revised earth disturbance definition, work with your civil engineering consultant to submit a new application to be exempt from the stormwater management requirements.

Newly created streets resulting from development activity must adhere to pollutant-reducing practices.

If a project creates a new street, developers are now required to meet the Water Quality Requirement. While the creation of new streets rarely occurs, the added requirement means developers must adhere to PWD’s standards for implementing acceptable pollutant-reducing practices (e.g., rain gardens, media filters, etc.) to manage the new street.

Questions about these changes and how they impact your project?

Contact Bohler’s Philadelphia team today. Read more about the changes here.