Most municipalities agree to continue ISC

Ten of the 11 municipalities that comprise the organization responsible for putting into practice increasingly strict stormwater purification rules in the urbanized areas of Blair County have agreed, at least informally, to continue with the group after its current charter expires at the end of the year.

Freedom Township will be the only dropout from the Inter­gov­ernmental Stormwater Committee, as that municipality has received a waiver of its obligation to obtain a new five-year stormwater permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection, ISC coordinator Chelsey Ergler said at a meeting Thursday.

The willingness of the others to re-up shows that their elected officials see the benefits and importance of working together to deal with “this unfunded mandate,” said committee Chairman Tim Brown, Logan Township’s manager.

The committee previously asked the municipalities to let it know their intentions by mid-August, although the formal deadline for re-signing was in early December.

The committee now hopes for a sample draft agreement by its September meeting that it can distribute to committee members, who would take that draft to their respective municipalities for proposed amendments or tentative approvals, according to Brown.

After amendment proposals are received, the committee would seek to resolve any issues, then distribute a proposed final agreement to the municipalities for their elected boards and councils to approve formally, Brown said.

“I don’t foresee us having a problem coming up with an agreement that everybody can live with,” Brown said.

“We hope to have it wrapped up by November.”

The agreement is likely to extend the life of the committee another five years, matching the terms of the municipal permits that collectively spell out the environmental responsibilities of the committee.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.