PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has sent orders to 85 municipalities in north central and northeast Pennsylvania requiring improvements to their programs for managing stormwater, according to a press release.

EPA issued the orders to augment Pennsylvania’s efforts to ensure effective stormwater management programs are in place to improve water quality in local streams and the Chesapeake Bay, which is downstream of most of the towns cited by EPA, stated the release.

“In this age of changing climate and more frequent and severe weather events, managing urban stormwater is essential for protecting and restoring the waterways in our communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Our objective in issuing these orders is to build on the work being done by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and bridge any gaps in making it clear to the municipalities that they need to do a better job of implementing their programs for controlling stormwater runoff.”

The federal Clean Water Act requires the cited municipalities to develop and implement a program to reduce contamination of stormwater runoff and prevent illegal discharges of stormwater, noted the release.