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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 20, 2016 09:52 AM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Change to Act 537 (PA Sewage Facilities Act)
In the near future, I plan on re-introducing legislation, Senate Bill 1114 of last session, to amend Act 537, also known as the PA Sewage Facilities Act. At a recent hearing of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, testimony was offered by a variety of organizations who are directly impacted by the Act. The consensus from their testimony was that Act 537 should be amended to allow the use of “alternative systems” for planning purposes throughout the Commonwealth.

Currently, the department only allows for “conventional systems” to be used in site planning. Once the lots are created, “alternative systems” may then be installed. Allowing for “alternative systems” in the planning process would widen the area to which development can take place and save valuable acreage that could otherwise be used for agriculture.

Alternative systems are currently being utilized in other states and are academically tested pursuant to 25 PA Code Section 73.71. I intend to work on a comprehensive re-write of Act 537 in the future, but this surgical change will allow responsible development and still maintain stringent protection of our water supplies without unnecessary delay.

Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB144