New PennDOT Policy on Stormwater Drainage Effective

July 2010Newsletters In the Zone

In a letter distributed to PennDOT district offices on June 24, 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation noted it is implementing new standards pertaining to the management of stormwater runoff directed to new or existing drainage facilities in the state highway right-of-way.

PennDOT's intent is to provide a consistent approach in identifying maintenance responsibility for the installation of new drainage facilities and/or modifications to existing drainage facilities under various scenarios encountered during the highway occupancy permitting (HOP) process. The new policy is effective immediately and includes any HOP not yet issued by PennDOT.

The stormwater facility maintenance updates require a local government or a local government and private applicant to be co-applicants for permits involving subsurface stormwater facilities connecting to highway drainage facilities within the state right-of-way. Permits for subsurface facilities not connected to highway drainage facilities can be issued to public or private applicants if they can be defined as a utility facility under Pa Code, Title 67, Chapter 459 and the consent, permission or authorization from the downstream property owner is obtained. Permits related to new land development may be issued to private applicants if for surface stormwater facilities.

It is recommended that every new land development project be designed to retain the site development stormwater runoff or provide a design that does not require stormwater to be directed to the state highway right-of-way. Realistically, however, this is not always possible, and PennDOT is faced with site development stormwater designs that are directing and discharging stormwater drainage toward and within the state highway right-of-way.

The policy changes may affect stormwater management and facilities design of runoff produced by the construction of sidewalks, curbing and other drainage conveyors adjacent to state highways.

For more information, please contact Kimberly A. Freimuth at 215.918.3627 or [email protected].