Local Strategy

Lancaster County’s local strategy uses a grassroots approach to reflect the local priorities of how Lancaster can achieve the nutrient and sediment reductions that will get us to clean and clear water. It is the result of a significant, collaborative effort from experts, community members, partner organizations, state agencies, and others.

Throughout the writing process, the team kept local water quality as a priority.  We needed to outline how Lancaster County will achieve these reductions by 2025:

  • an 11 million pound nitrogen reduction
  • an approximately 500,000 pound phosphorus reduction

This local strategy contributes to the state’s Watershed Implementation Plan, which is required by the EPA.  Details of work at the state level are available here. (banner photo credit: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

Community events like this one during Ag Week are key to building county-wide support for the local strategy.

Clean and clear water is possible for Lancaster County.

The Best Management Practices and Priority Initiatives outlined in the plan were created as aspirational yet realistic.  With every attempt to stretch for reductions in innovative ways, our final plan achieves:

  • 80% of the nitrogen goal
  • over 100% of the phosphorus goal

The local strategy was written with an understanding that these reductions will require current resources as well as significant new support in various forms.

Partners in Lancaster County are ready, willing, and able to tackle the elements of the plan, yet the plan’s success relies upon a combination of new funding, regulatory flexibility, and political will coming together at the local and state level.

DEP invited county-wide leaders in the 4 pilot counties to develop a plan in late June 2018.  In York County the Planning Commission took the lead while in Franklin and Adams Counties, it was the Conservation District.  Lancaster was in a unique position to bring many voices together for this opportunity, so the Lancaster Clean Water Partners were a good fit for the role.  However, we asked many questions about the true goals, what flexibility would be available, and the way the product might be used before agreeing to take on the role.

Armed with a Toolbox of customized Lancaster data and recognizing the tight timeline we had, a team of local experts gathered every 2 weeks from July – November to start drafting the plan.  A huge thank you for their commitment, creativity, and dedication. Every 2 weeks : Justin Evans, Allyson Ladley Gibson, Brian Gish, Ruth Hocker, Mark Huber, Peter Hughes, Matt Kofroth, Joe Sweeney, Chris Thompson, Joellyn Warren

The many other local experts who are essential to this process: Charity Quinn, Kevin Lutz, Jeff Hill, Jeff Sholly, Jon Beck, Nate Kurtz, members of the Lancaster Clean Water Consortium, the Engineers Roundtable, Lancaster’s buffer team, the Lancaster County Ag Council, the Lancaster Clean Water Partners Action Teams, and many more.

The Partners invited the public to review the draft plan and offer feedback in various ways.  

  • View the draft plan
  • View the presentation we shared at the public event 

After months of public comment, expert analysis, and integration of priority county-wide efforts, the Partners submitted a final plan to DEP in December 2018 and presented it to the state in January 2019.  The state will submit Lancaster’s strategy as its own section of the state’s WIP.

  • View the final version of our local strategy

More details about the Watershed Implementation Plan process are available here.

We still want to hear your feedback about the local strategy!  Send your comments in via this online form.