Welcome to Valley Forge Trout Unlimited
Our Plea to the DEP to enforce their regulations for the PA Turnpike Widening Project:
The PA Turnpike’s widening project will severely threaten Valley Creek by multiplying the amount of storm water run off directly into our “Exceptional Value” Trout Stream.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Dear Mr. Rocco,
The Valley Forge Chapter, Trout Unlimited is as sure today as it was six and a half years ago that the PA Turnpike is not meeting their obligations under the rules and regulations for managing storm water in the exceptional value watershed of Valley Creek.
For six and a half years we, the public, members of the Design Roundtable and DEP have been provided conflicting information in formats that are impossible to extract real data from and have been assured by the Turnpike that they are exceeding all regulatory requirements. The Turnpike is still claiming to be exceeding DEP requirements though they are no longer saying they are meeting Tredyffrin Township’s stormwater requirements.
Nearly 6 ½ miles of two new travel lanes plus a widened median adds an immense amount of impervious surface to the Valley Creek watershed. With only limited infiltration Best Management Practices (BMPs) the Turnpike cannot meet the regulations for Valley Creek. The cumulative impact of such a large volume of impervious surface generating runoff with only limited infiltration BMPs makes this project as designed not eligible for a receiving a permit from the Department of ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.
We all had great hopes for the project when the Turnpike announced that it was seeking stakeholder input and support through the Design Roundtable. But early on that exercise became flawed as the Turnpike unilaterally decided that they were designing for a 26 foot wide median in lieu of one 12 foot wide. Another decision that limits their ability to meet the regulation was to unilaterally eliminate spray irrigation. Decisions such as these by the Turnpike have expanded the project footprint while limiting options for stormwater management.
We employed the stormwater engineering firm of Meliora Design to do the technical reviews of the Turnpike’s project documents. Their latest memorandum just further exposes the weaknesses of the Turnpike’s plan as well as some of the liberties their engineers have taken with creating support for the plan.
The DEP is being asked to issue a permit by the Turnpike on a project where the post construction stormwater plan will further degrade the Exceptional Value watershed of Valley Creek. The cumulative impacts of this project will only increase the stormwater runoff reaching the stream and extending the duration of discharge especially in our national treasure Valley Forge National Historical Park.
The Turnpike’s request for a permit should be denied on the basis of an inadequate stormwater management plan. The reasons are enumerated in the Meliora Design memorandum and we would like to present these to the Department in detail and by example.
A permit for the construction of this project cannot be issued with the basis being the current stormwater management plan.
President, Valley Forge Chapter Trout Unlimited
Thank you for another great year!
Our 2014-2015 Meeting Year has drawn to a close with many memorable events, informative speakers, notable achievements, and great camaraderie. Thank you to our members for keeping us a strong force in local, state, and national conservation and environmental causes.
Our monthly meetings will commence again in September in a soon to-be-announced location. Once all is settled, you will be notified through our electronic newsletter, Currents, our monthly membership magazine, Banknotes, our Facebook Page and this space. Until then, let’s go fishing!
Please note: You will be able to continue to access Banknotes on this site all summer long.
The Valley Forge Chapter of Trout Unlimited is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring trout habitat throughout Chester County, Pennsylvania. Valley Forge Trout Unlimited is an active chapter effectively working to advance conservation efforts and the sport of fly fishing.
Its 800-plus members and affiliates are engaged in the fight to preserve our precious cold water resources. All similarly inclined persons are invited to join in our efforts.
Valley Forge Trout Unlimited general meetings are open to the public. They are held the second Thursday of each month, with the exception of June, July, and August. Meetings are held at the East Whiteland Township Building, at 209 Conestoga Rd, Malvern 19355, just off of the 401 Exit of Route 202. Meeting time is 7:30 p.m. Click Here for more information
Project Healing Waters
Project Healing Waters is a nationwide program administered through the Veteran’s Administration that introduces fly fishing to veterans. Our chapter began this outreach program in 2012 and it is growing rapidly. Click here for more information how we’re engaging our veterans in this rejuvenating project and how you can take part.
Our primary mission is to protect Chester County’s watersheds – Valley Creek, West Valley Creek and the Brandywine Creek. As a result, our conservation efforts are many and varied. Below are the projects and efforts we’re working on currently.
Keeper of the Stream
Valley Creek bisects much of Chester County’s eastern and most populated area. As such it is most at risk of erosion from storm water run-off and pollution from both point and non-point sources.
Our Keeper of the Stream program offers assigned “beats” to volunteers who inspect the stream and report quarterly to the National Park Service at Valley Forge Historical National Park, where Valley Creek runs through to its confluence with the Schuylkill River.
Wilson Farm Park
Tredyffrin Township’s Wilson Farm Park is a large, mostly cleared public park bordered by Route 202 on its south side and the Chesterbrook development on its remaining three sides. Valley Creek bisects much of the Chesterbrook development before it enters Valley Forge Historical National Park.
Such a large, open expanse of land can do more than it currently does to capture and collect storm water before releasing it into drainage systems that ultimately discharge into Valley Creek exacerbating bank erosion.
Our efforts include partnering with other local, like minded community and conservation groups to increase the park’s capacity to hold water. We have planted trees and have installed and maintain a rain garden to capture storm water and thus replenish the aquifer reducing the amount of water that reaches the storm sewer.