Chester City, Pennsylvania Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan

The City of Chester, Pennsylvania Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan presents a framework for using green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) solutions to improve the City's stormwater management and enhance community resilience. The plan is designed to help the City address stormwater pollution and flooding risks that will increase with climate change. The plan is intended to influence the investment of $50 million in green infrastructure projects in the City of Chester by the City's Stormwater Authority through a community-based public private partnership (CBP3) with Corvias. Through the CBP3, 350 acres of land will be retrofitted with GSI. The plan is also intended to influence the long-term control plan for the regional water authority to address and eliminate water pollution from combined-sewer overflows in the City. 

The plan includes the following sections:

  • Defining GSI: The plan first defines GSI and describes the multiple benefits that can be delivered by GSI solutions (include improved water quality, reduced flood risk, reduced urban heat, improved air quality, reduced economic costs, and improved quality of life).
  • Regulatory Considerations: A section describes the laws and regulations affecting GSI installations including the federal Clean Water Act, state laws affecting stormwater management and water quality, and local rules for stormwater management found in the City's zoning ordinance.
  • Common GSI techniques: The plan describes common GSI techniques, factors that affect the suitability of a site for implementation, and average estimated costs for each technique. Charts help users compare techniques across environmental, economic, and social benefits. 
  • Potential Sites: The plan then identifies potential sites for GSI installations across city assets (streets and sidewalks, buildings, parks and open space, and vacant lands). Finally, the plan presents potential projects that could be implemented across different sites, including along a main highway thoroughfare, at a local high school, and in local parks. Renderings visualize what green infrastructure installations could look like at each of these sites.
  • Implementation: An implementation chapter provides suggested next steps for advancing work on GSI in the City, including:
    • Leadership, Planning and Funding: Establish a GSI task force; prioritize GSI projects to advance in the city; develop GSI communications materials; create ways to incentivize GSI installation on private lands through funding and permitting incentives; coordinate implementation with City Stormwater Authority; integrate planning with regional water authorities long-term control plan; and develop a vacant lots program.
    • Partnerships and Outreach: Develop framework for public participation in GSI implementation; develop GSI educational materials; host community workshops; create award for exemplary GSI projects; collaborate with upstream communities; and collaborate with private institutions.
    • Design and Build: Implement pilot projects on City-owned lands; integrate GSI into City capital improvement and maintenance plan; review capital projects for possibilities to integrate GSI; adopt GSI construction and design standards; and integrate GSI into ongoing community development initiatives.
    • Data Tracking and Impact Analysis: Set goals and metrics to track to document success; inventory impervious surfaces and potential for GSI; address GSI data needs; develop city-wide project tracking system of public and private GSI projects; develop an adopt-a-lot program to increase opportunities for GSI installations and maintenance; and identify tools and create mechanisms to compare costs and benefits of green and gray infrastructure projects.

The plan was developed by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in collaboration with Pennsylvania Sea Grant, Chester City, Delaware County Planning Department, the Philadelphia Water Department, and the Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative. The plan was developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Interior administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Federation as part of the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program.

 

Publication Date: June 2017

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