About the Montour Run Watershed Association
The Montour Run
Watershed is located in the southwest corner of Allegheny
County, approximately 12 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, and
is comprised of portions of five different municipalities.
Current land uses include
Pittsburgh International Airport and military aviation,
commercial and light industrial/office uses, and residential
Historic uses have included
agriculture, heavy industry, railroading, and coal mining.
The hydrologic unit code (HUC) for the
Watershed is 05030101.
The 303(d) Listing established
by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) has identified Montour Run as Stream Code 36684 within
Watershed 20G, which is a Category 1 Priority Watershed.
DEP has listed 26.18 miles of
Montour Run as impaired by two types of sources, with high
priority in both categories:
(AMD) for pH and metals.
The cause of this impairment includes nutrients,
siltation, organic enrichment, and low dissolved oxygen,
some of which stem from discharges of deicing materials
from Pittsburgh International Airport.
The Montour Run Watershed Association
(MRWA) was incorporated as a Pennsylvania not-for-profit
organization in April of 2000.
The Internal Revenue Service
approved 501(c)(3) status for the MRWA in the summer of
The MRWA is intended to be
broad-based and to represent as many as possible of the
various interests found within the 37-square-mile watershed.
To date the membership of the
MRWA has included schoolteachers, engineers, airport and
other agency personnel, members of commercial firms, and
The MRWA was
established to formalize and extend the work of an informal
coalition previously identified as the Montour Valley
Formed in 1995 under the
leadership of the Hollow Oak Land Trust, the Alliance was
concerned with protecting the Montour Run Watershed's
natural values while promoting their related economic
Shortly after its
formation, the Alliance engaged the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers in an in-depth study of water quality in Montour
Run, published in 1997.
The Army Corps study identified
areas of significant water quality impairment and
highlighted opportunities for remediation of many of the
Motivated by the
findings of the water quality study, the Alliance went on to
sponsor the Montour Run Watershed Planning Project, hiring a
team of professional consultants to develop a River
Conservation and Land-Use Plan for the Montour Run
The Watershed Plan, which was
favorably received at a public hearing in May 1999, includes
a set of 61 recommended actions to protect aquatic,
biological, land, cultural, and educational resources.
The MRWA sees
itself as an organization that is acting as a long-term
steward of the Watershed's resources and as a primary force
for enhanced quality of life for the entire Pittsburgh
It seeks ways to implement the
recommendations already identified in the River Conservation
and Land-Use Plan for the Montour Run Watershed, and it is
providing in-kind services and human resources for promoting
and carrying out many of those actions.
It also sees the need to
continue building partnerships of citizens, businesses,
municipalities, and agencies to further broaden
MRWA's goals are stated as follows:
"The Association will address
problems such as water quality, flood control, stream bank
erosion, and abandoned mine drainage in and along the
Montour Run Watershed.
The Association will seek
solutions in cooperation with private landowners, other
organizations, local municipalities, the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, and others with an interest in the Montour Run
The three generic
issues of primary concern to MRWA, broadly stated, are
flooding, erosion, and contamination.
Our current approaches to these
issues are as follows.
Pursue updates to the Act 167
Stormwater Management Plan for the Montour Run Watershed.
Promote the implementation of
Best Management Practices for Developing Areas throughout
the Watershed to increase awareness of new methods for
minimizing stormwater runoff.
Maintain a watch for vulnerable
sections of stream bank.
Continue to sponsor stream bank
stabilization projects as needs arise.
Promote the application of
fluvial geomorphology-based control methods where
Continue to sponsor AMD
remediation projects that implement the findings of the AMD
Cleanup Plan for Montour Run.
Support the improvement of
collection and retention methods for aircraft and runway
deicing materials by the Pittsburgh International Airport.
Encourage proper maintenance of
stormwater runoff retention basins within the Watershed.