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The City of Pittsburgh’s Changes to the Stormwater Code Are Now in Effect
PITTSBURGH, PA — The Stormwater Code and Ordinance Review Updates (SCORU) went into effect yesterday, rolling out a revised code, supporting policy and process recommendations and guidance materials aligning with many important City initiatives regarding green stormwater infrastructure, complete streets, and resiliency.
Stormwater management code defines regulations for how stormwater is managed on development and redevelopment sites that meet certain thresholds and criteria. These requirements help to ensure that new development does not contribute to stormwater issues. Development must mitigate stormwater in ways that helps alleviate flooding and basement backups, reduce combined sewer overflows, and reduce pollutant levels in our waterways.
The SCORU Project began in 2020 to consolidate and improve municipal stormwater policies, processes, and codes after the first round of stormwater management requirements were implemented in March 2019. Together, the Department of City Planning, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA), and multiple stakeholder groups conducted comprehensive analyses and community engagement and gathered additional recommendations to encourage consolidation and improvement options across agencies.
“One of our goals in this process was to clarify development requirements for applicants,” said Senior Environmental Planner Martina Battistone. “This partnership allowed us to improve stormwater management City-wide making the code more user-friendly for developers and designers.”
In February 2022, the SCORU Project was awarded the 2021 Civil Engineering Award of Merit from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pittsburgh Section because of its emphasis on the need to change forecasting to account for climate change. It implemented many innovative code practices that require the use of future rainfall projections as part of current stormwater design procedures. The City of Pittsburgh is one of the first cities to require these practices, based on extensive national and international peer-reviewed research, review of global climate trends, and historic rainfall data trends. The SCORU Project demonstrated sensitivity to the community needs, safety, and forward-thinking actions that will provide a vital improvement to current practices.
Visit EngagePGH to review the approved legislation and stay updated on the code rollout: https://engage.pittsburghpa.gov/stormwater-code