Friday, September 22, 2023

Lycoming County's Clean Water Plan


The Phase 3 WIP is Pennsylvania’s roadmap for meeting its obligations under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010. It specifies the steps Pennsylvania will take through 2025 to meet local water pollution reduction goals in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Phase 3 WIP focuses on local solutions for nutrient and sediment reduction It provides an opportunity to serve residents and businesses by cleaning up waterways, lowering flood risks, and improving the quality of life in local communities.

Using a “Bottom Up” approach based on level of impact to meet its Phase 3 WIP goals, the Commonwealth is working with each county to develop Countywide Action Plans (CAPs) for clean water that are realistic and doable by local communities. County-level planning is the most feasible in terms of size, number, existing data, and ability to organize resources. Pennsylvania’s nitrogen and phosphorus reduction goals are broken down into local planning goals for each of the 43 counties.

The PA counties that participated in the previous two WIP phases were not voluntary. This voluntary CAP is not regulatory, an unfunded mandate, or a plan to increase taxes. While this WIP phase is technically voluntary, there are risks to not participating such as additional regulations and government oversight; higher costs for compliance; EPA withholding or redirecting funding; Missing opportunities to access funding/technical assistance to address local needs

Check out Lycoming County's final CAP documents!

Check out DEP's storymap on how PA is addressing water pollution!

Stay Involved!


Pollution reduction starts with YOU! Learn about the steps we’re taking to clean Lycoming County’s waterways, and how you can help too.

Upcoming Events

  • Nothing for now!

Past Events

Clean Water Goals for 2025


Lycoming County's nitrogen and phosphorus reduction goals, along with other relevant data to help produce an effective plan, can be found in the Lycoming County Technical Toolbox below. With help from the Commonwealth, we will be responsible for reducing a little over 1.2 million lbs/year of nitrogen, and 76,000 lbs/year of phosphorus by 2025.


Lycoming County Technical Toolbox



  • March - Merry Fishmas!      This edition covers Senator Gene Yaw's fertilizer bill, highlights a floodplain restoration project in Schuylkill County, and showcases access points for high-quality trout streams in the County. Additional information on stream status, trout stocking and populations, and access areas can be found on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) website and other interactive maps here!

           *MAP NERDS ONLY* - Click here to learn more about the map's Imhof-inspired cartographic style. 

  • April - Happy Forests, Happy Streams      This edition covers the proposed allocation of $250 million to establish a Clean Streams Fund, highlights cover cropping, and showcases conservation efforts in the Loyalsock Creek Watershed. These efforts include riparian forest buffers, stream bank stablilization, conserved lands, and arboreal enviromental factors that contribute to water quality improvements. Additional information on forests and specific tree stands can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) website and other maps here!     

             *MAP NERDS ONLY* - Click here to learn more about the map's watercolor cartographic style.

  • May - Showing Love to the Snot Otter      This edition covers a streamside buffer located near Geisinger in Danville that was funded by DCNR, PennVEST, and Geisinger. Also showcased are riparian buffers on Sherman Beef Cattle Farm, and this month's map highlights eastern hellbender habitat in relation to PA's River of the Year designations. Learn more about the eastern hellbender here!

  • June - Happy Rivers Month!      This edition covers a tree planting project on a farm in Mifflintown and how Giant grocery has helped make a positive impact on sustainable farming practices. This month's map shows the HUGE size of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and how much of PA is located within its boundaries (hint: it's more than you think)! Learn more about how PA is helping to improve the Bay (by helping itself) here and here. 

              *MAP NERDS ONLY* - Click here to learn more about the Chesapeake Conservancy's land cover data project.

  • July - Happy 65th Anniversary to Lyco Co Conservation District!      This edition provides an overview of rotational grazing and the positive impacts the Conservation District has made in our region. This month's map shows the Robert Porter Allen Natural Area in South Williamsport, and it depicts existing and future amenities, like trails and wetlands. Learn more about the natural area here

  • ​August - Regenerative Agriculture Revival      This edition reports on the progress being done on restoring Plunketts Creek and provides an overview of what regenerative agriculture is, and why it's making a comeback. This month's map depicts the county's impaired waterways and shows what exactly is being impaired. Look deeper into the data (especially you map nerds!) here, and explore DEP's story map on stream impairments here!

*MAP NERDS ONLY* - Click here to learn more about DEP's Integrated Report on stream impairments

  • ​​October is Riparian Buffer MonthOctober is Riparian Buffer Month (article) - Celebrate riparian buffers this October during the first annual Riparian Buffer Month! Riparian buffers, or streamside forests, are one of the best ways to protect and improve our local streams. They prevent erosion, reduce flooding, provide habitat for wildlife in and near the water, create recreational opportunities, and filter pollutants. They deserve to be celebrated, so click here to learn the who, what, when, where, and why of riparian buffers!

Stakeholder Resources


The role of diverse stakeholder groups is imperitive to developing and implementing a successful CAP. Below you will find the tools and resources you will need:

  • To be informed of the CAP process

  • To understand what types BMPs can be included in the CAP, and how BMPs can provide co-benefits

  • To contribute in group discussions and meetings

  • To provide project implementation strategies


Meeting Materials


January 27 - CAP Kickoff Meeting 


March 25 


April 29 




June 24




August 26 - CANCELLED


Peer Group Work Meetings

Stakeholders are branched into smaller Peer Groups to ensure that planning work is efficient and effective. These Peer Group work meetings will be taking place throughout the following 7 months of the planning phase of Lycoming County’s CAP. The purpose of the Peer Group work meetings is to group together stakeholders that perform similar work, have common missions, or share other similarities. The stakeholder groups are broken out as follows:

  • Agriculture – This group would be embedded in our local and regional ag community, and would have expertise in agricultural best management practices (BMPs) that could be applied to our region

  • Watershed – This group would have knowledge of watershed ecosystem services, and could supply projects, policies, and programmatic recommendations that could improve local water quality

  • Policy – This group would be considering intersectional policies, programs, outreach, and resources that could be implemented to improve our local water quality

  • Recreation – This group would have a connection to outdoor recreation and stewardship, and would be able to provide projects, policies, and outreach with this specific outdoor recreation framework

  • Resources – This group would be able to supply knowledge of funding sources, technical assistance, personnel, etc. This group would also consider the resources that would be needed or available for project implementation  THIS PEER GROUP IS CURRENTLY DISSOLVED

  • Municipal – The municipal perspectives that this group would consider would be unique. This group would be providing expertise in potential outreach and education, projects, policies, ordinances, etc.

  • Implementation/Prioritization – This group would be focused on how CAP actions would be implemented and potentially prioritized




CAP Document Templates


Best Management


Practices (BMPs)


Stakeholders will identify what BMPs should be included in the CAP. The amount of pollution reduction from implementing BMPs will be calculated with DEP assistance using the Chesapeake Bay CAST Model.

Some examples of BMPs could include:

  • Forest buffers along creeks and streams provide a natural area that helps to filter polluted stormwater, absorb flood energy and reduce erosion. Forest buffers can also keep water temperatures down, helping fish populations that thrive in cold water.

  • Restoring wetlands can protect water quality because wetlands function as filters that remove pollutants and toxins from water. Wetlands can act as a buffer zone, protecting communities from sea level rise or flooding. Wetlands also provide habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for people.

  • Planting cover crops on agricultural lands helps maintain soil health, reduce erosion and prevent nutrient runoff from fields.

  • Rain gardens can be especially useful BMPs in urban areas because they slow and filter stormwater runoff, while also providing wildlife habitat and aesthetic benefits.

Other BMP examples and helpful BMP information can be found in the resources below.

The CAST website houses several BMP and co-benefit resources for quick reference

Agriculture BMPs

Streamside Buffers

BMP Handout

BMP Reference Guide (large technical document)

Sherman Beef Cattle Farm BMPs


Helpful Links


CAP Storymap

PA's Phase 3 WIP

PA's Phase 3 WIP Newsletter

General WIP Information

Other County CAPs

Nutrient Runoff Information

How Clean is Your Stream? - Interactive Map

River Runner Interactive Map - Visualizes how everyone is connected to an ocean

The Susquehanna River Story: PA's Chronicle Story map

DCNR Story Maps

Arbor Day Foundation Resources:

TreeVitalize Open Tree Map

National Tree Benefit Calculator

Stormwater Management Calculator - Evaluate benefits of green infrastructure to prevent urban flooding

Guidelines for Developing a Tree Ordinance 





Contact Lycoming County's Planning and Community Development Department for questions and additional information   

(570) 329-4761                                                                                                                                                                             


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