MS4 Program

East Hanover Township is obligated to fulfill certain stormwater regulatory requirements by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). These regulations are known as Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) requirements. Under this program, East Hanover Township must enact a stormwater ordinance, enforce water quality requirements, and develop a construction plan to clean streams in the Township.

As part of these regulations, certain types of discharges are prohibited in the Township (like dumping of gasoline and paint), construction above certain limits must include stormwater controls, and earth disturbance must be mitigated with controls as well. If you see any violations of these items, please call the Township at 717-469-0833 ext. 201. You can also click here to report an illicit discharge (select "Codes and Zoning Complaints" from the dropdown menu).

Frequently Asked Questions and More Information

What is MS4?
A Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is owned by a municipality, designed or used, to collect or convey stormwater.

What is Stormwater Runoff?
Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground.

Why is Stormwater Runoff a Problem?
Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system or directly into a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water, untreated.

To learn more about Stormwater, follow the links below for external resources:

To learn more about East Hanover Township's Stormwater Management Program explore the links below:

Why Is Public Participation and Involvement Necessary?

The EPA believes that the public can provide valuable input and assistance to a regulated small MS4’s municipal stormwater management program and, therefore, suggests that the public be given opportunities to play an active role in both the development and implementation of the program. An active and involved community is crucial to the success of a stormwater management program because it allows for:

  • Broader public support since citizens who participate in the development and decision making process are partially responsible for the program and, therefore, may be less likely to raise legal challenges to the program and more likely to take an active role in its implementation;
  • Shorter implementation schedules due to fewer obstacles in the form of public and legal challenges and increased sources in the form of citizen volunteers;
  • A broader base of expertise and economic benefits since the community can be a valuable, and free, intellectual resource; and
  • A conduit to other programs as citizens involved in the stormwater program development process provide important cross-connections and relationships with other community and government programs. This benefit is particularly valuable when trying to implement a stormwater program on a watershed basis, as encouraged by EPA.

Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination

What is an Illicit Discharge?
An illicit discharge is an unlawful act of disposing, dumping, spilling, emitting, or other discharge of any substance other than stormwater into the stormwater drainage system. The stormwater drainage system includes streets, ditches, catch basins, yard inlets, lakes, and streams. Illicit discharges cause water pollution by sending pollutants right into creeks, streams, ponds, and lakes. Be sure you know what illicit discharges are so you can help prevent water pollution and keep our streams clean!

Prevent water pollution. Call the Township to report an illicit discharge or any type of water pollution in our streams or stormwater inlets. In case of emergencies, call 911.

Examples of Illicit Discharges

  • Paint being poured into or near the storm drainage system
  • Changing oil or antifreeze over or near a storm structure
  • Washing vehicles where the runoff could drain into the storm drainage system
  • Washing dumpster pads and allowing the runoff to drain into the storm drainage system

What Information Should Be Given When Reporting a Suspected Illicit Discharge?

  • What is your name and best contact information? -- This information is kept confidential and is only used if the Township requires additional information.
  • What time did you see the discharge? -- It is important that illicit discharges are reported immediately so the person(s) responsible can be found and the discharge can be cleaned up and corrected as soon as possible. We want to respond as quickly as possible to prevent pollution to our environment.
  • Where did you see the discharge? -- We'll need an address, intersection, business name, or landmark to help us quickly find the illicit discharge.
  • What do you think the discharge is? -- Was it a paint spill, oil spill, sewer leak, or some another type of illicit discharge?

Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control Program & Post Construction Stormwater Management

Uncontrolled stormwater runoff from construction sites can significantly impact our streams. Sediment in waterbodies from construction sites can reduce the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants, clog fish gills, smother aquatic habitat and spawning areas, and impede navigation.

In partnership with the Dauphin County Conservation District, and in association with our MS4 permit, East Hanover Township has a program to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff to the MS4 for construction sites disturbing one or more acres.

We have developed measures to comply with our permit:

  • An ordinance, East Hanover Township Stormwater Ordinance
  • Requirements to implement erosion and sediment control best management practices (BMPs),
  • Requirements to control other waste at the construction site,
  • Procedures for reviewing construction site plans,
  • Procedures to receive and consider information submitted by the public, and
  • Procedures for inspections and enforcement of stormwater requirements at construction sites.

Most types of construction require local permits, and construction sites disturbing one or more acres of land may require additional permits.

Post Construction
As areas are developed, the amount of paved surfaces increase leading to an increase in stormwater volume and pollutants, which can harm our streams.

The best way to mitigate stormwater impacts from new development is to use practices that treat, store, and infiltrate runoff onsite before it can affect water bodies downstream. Innovative site designs that reduce paved surfaces, or imperviousness, and other green infrastructure practices are excellent ways to reduce flows and improve water quality.

In partnership with the Dauphin County Conservation District, and in association with our MS4 permit, East Hanover Township has a program to address post-construction stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopments that disturb one or more acres.

The program includes:

  • strategies to implement a combination of structural and non-structural BMPs,
  • an ordinance to address post-construction runoff, and
  • a program to ensure adequate long-term operation and maintenance of BMPs.

Pollution Prevention & Good Housekeeping

Preventing pollutants from entering a waterway is less expensive than restoring a waterway after it has been polluted. Therefore, East Hanover Township first focuses on preventing pollution before it happens. BMPs under each of the minimum measures, but especially under this pollution prevention category, focus on preventing pollutants from contacting stormwater. Municipal activities such as winter road maintenance, minor road repairs, and other infrastructure work, automobile fleet maintenance, landscaping and park maintenance, and building maintenance can release pollutants into MS4s that ultimately discharge to nearby waterbodies. Municipal facilities can also be sources of stormwater pollutants if BMPs are not in place to contain spills, manage trash, and handle non-stormwater discharges.

Cleaning storm drains can prevent pollutants from entering nearby waterways. East Hanover Township has staff trained to prevent and reduce stormwater pollution from activities like maintaining MS4 infrastructure and performing daily municipal activities.

This primarily includes:

  • Developing inspection and maintenance procedures and schedules for stormwater BMPs
  • Implementing BMPs to treat pollutants from transportation infrastructure, maintenance areas, storage yards, sand and salt storage areas
  • Establishing procedures for properly disposing of pollutants removed from the MS4
  • Identifying ways to incorporate water quality controls into new and existing flood management projects
  • Developing a training program for all municipal staff involved in activities that could discharge pollutants to the MS4
  • Developing standard operating procedures that incorporate stormwater BMPs for common municipal activities