Residents are encouraged to attend the Feb. 2 West Brandywine Board of Supervisors meeting for two separate but important guest speakers who will be attending. Region 2 Coatesville Area School Board members John Zaleski, Donna Urban and Cynthia Quinn will update residents on the latest school district news. Also, Jane Fava from the Brandywine Valley Association will give a short presentation on the newly state-mandated storm water management program that will need to be implemented township wide.

This quarterly meeting with Region 2 school board members began with the 2004 budget problems. The school board members are available to answer residents' questions. This will be the first time Zaleski will be at a township meeting as school board president. The school district tax rate and Tax Increment Financing or TIF had been hot issues at past township meetings. With TIF settled, other school district issues can now come to the forefront.

The Brandywine Valley Association (BVA) is the township consultant on the storm water management or MS4 regulation educator. Jane Fava, BVA's education consultant, has been at township functions like Community Day educating residents on the importance of clean water and some simple fixes to combat some storm water run off problems.

West Brandywine Township has a number of first order streams, meaning the original smaller streams that feed into the area's public water supply. For that reason alone, it is even more important for township residents to understand what can cause contamination to those streams.

According to the 1996 National Water Quality Inventory, storm water runoff is the leading cause of water pollution. Both the federal and state governments are trying to tackle the problem by requiring local municipalities to focus on storm water problems. According to an MS4 educational web site, MS4's purpose is "designed to educate and reduce the amount of sediment and pollution" caused by storm water runoff.

It requires townships to educate and show community outreach as well as public participation and involvement, find ways to prevent storm water contamination as well as find illicit discharge throughout the township as well as to detect it and eliminate storm water runoff problems. The township must also monitor construction sites and post-construction sites for changes in storm water runoff according to the same web site.

Storm water runoff can change an area's groundwater patterns, speed up stream flows, and destroy aquatic habitats. Since construction and development bring additional impervious surfaces like parking lots, streets, and driveways in addition to the buildings, storm water runoff from those areas can cause oil, metals, salts, litter and other debris can move into and pollute the area's water supply through storm water runoff.

In addition, in agricultural areas, pesticides and fertilizers can leave the intended area during a storm and enter the small streams that lead to drinking water either in the groundwater or move downstream into the public water supply from those primary streams.

With West Brandywine's growing community and its agricultural roots, a number of these factors are coming together simultaneously, making the education of residents a necessary component in the township, state and federal storm water management goal.

The board of supervisors will meet Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the township building on Hibernia and Lafayette roads.

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