Effective July 1, there are new stormwater management regulations in place to both contain water runoff and ensure it doesn’t negatively impact the city’s sewage plant operations by potentially allowing sewage to mix with water.

“That’s the ill all of these efforts is trying to address,” said Harry Weiss, an environmental lawyer with Ballard Spahr. “No one should underestimate the seriousness of these regulations.”

Prior approval from the Water Department is required for any significant development or redevelopment project in Philadelphia to ensure proper handling of stormwater runoff both during and after construction. Obtaining that approval early in the design process is tantamount to success and avoiding delays or failures, he said.

The new regulations require increased capacity to hold stormwater, slower release of stormwater into the sewer system, and a means to filter out contaminants including oil, grease, and other solids before releasing the water.

“The greening of a city makes it attractive, healthier to live in, and forward thinking,” Weiss said. “It overall makes Philadelphia a better place to live in.”


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Environment and Natural Resources