Clarks Green holds MS4 hearing, votes to hire DWP worker

First Posted: 10/21/2014

Clarks Green council member and Chair of the Public Works Committee Lynne Earley presented a hearing on MS4 information before the regular Clarks Green Borough Council meeting on Oct. 15.

In her presentation, Earley explained storm water will never be treated at the treatment plant on Northern Boulevard. This includes rain water, snow melts, other water runoff from emptying pools and car washing that flow through the municipal separate storm water system, where the acronym MS4 comes from. According to Earley’s presentation, storm water contains pollutants such as sediment, nutrients, bacteria, chlorides, metals, and much more.

“This water will flow right into local creeks, and eventually into the Lackawanna and Susquehanna rivers, and into the Chesapeake Bay,” Earley said. Therefore, since it is not processed, the federal government is pressing municipalities to limit pollution before it hits the storm outlets.

Earley said the federal government requires municipalities such as Clarks Green to obtain a storm water permit, which requires six parts the borough is working towards to comply with MS4 regulations. These include public education, construction site runoff management, illicit discharge detection and elimination, public involvement, post-construction storm water management, and good housekeeping and pollution prevention by the Department of Public Works (DPW) crew.

The borough has educational materials developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental protection available including the pamphlet, “When It Rains, It Drains” that explain further how storm water can affect the community. Everyone in the borough will receive a copy of the pamphlet.

At the regular council meeting, Chair of the Personnel Committee Keith Williams asked council whether council should consider increasing the rate of pay for the open DWP position in order to acquire more candidates. Williams said there are two candidates currently going through the interview process.

Council debated the fairness of hiring a new laborer at a potentially higher rate than those already working for the borough. “That is a concern I have,” said Williams. And council member Earley said regardless, “I think we need to move forward (with hiring).”

Council did not approve to increase the pay rate for the open position, and voted unanimously to move forward with hiring a full-time maintenance employee by the personnel committee at a pay rate between $14-15 an hour at the personnel committee’s discretion.

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