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Warriors Mark Township to move forward on wastewater management plan

The issue of wastewater management is just another in a series of matters regarding the current and future development of Warriors Mark Township.
Supervisors in the community of 1,635 decided to take action regarding what is known as an Act 537 plan.
After hearing the recommendations of the engineering firm, Keller Engineers, the supervisors agreed to begin formulating the plan with officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
According to the state’s official Internet site, the act requires that all Commonwealth municipalities develop and implement comprehensive official plans that provide for the resolution of existing sewage disposal problems, provide for the future sewage disposal needs of new land development and provide for the future sewage disposal needs of the municipality. Act 537 planning dates back to the 1960s but not all municipalities have actively initiated a plan.
However, the state’s Internet site indicates Act 537 is a municipal requirement. The state’s position is legal,, all municipalities have an Act 537 Plan, however, some plans are newer and more detailed than others.
When a municipality adopts a plan, the plan is submitted for review and approval by the Department of Environmental Protection. By regulation, the planning process is not final until an Act 537 Plan has been approved by DEP.
In the case of Warriors Mark Township, a plan was acted upon in the 1990s but has not progressed since that time.
“The township received a letter from DEP in December asking them what the status of their Act 537 plan was, said Michael Pratt of Keller Engineers. “The action the DEP had on record was an approved action plan from the early 1990s indicated a 537 plan revision would follow.
“Apparently, the supervisors were advised (by a previous engineering firm) that the revision wasn’t necessary due to the rural nature of the community,” said Pratt. “Now, it is time to update the plan due to the recent flurry of development.
“The first step is to respond to the DEP letter, to give them some indication as to what the mindset of the township is,” said Pratt.
“The next step would be the follow up meeting with DEP and then to development a formal plan of study which would be a renewal of the 1990s plan of study cited by DEP in its letter.
“Once approved, we would identify costs associated with implementing the plan and those costs would be approved by DEP relative to reimbursement of up to 50 percent of its costs,” Pratt told The Daily Herald.
Pratt further explained there is still much more to the process after the initial stages he described.
“There would be various field studies and examinations of existing systems, background studies, archaeological and historical concerns,” said Pratt.
“All of those things would result in a formal plan being offered to DEP and ultimately approving it at which point the supervisors would enact and implement it.”
The vote was unanimous to go forward with the next step of the Act 537, the response letter to DEP and the follow up meeting.
Costs regarding the matter are estimated in the $30,000 to $40,000 range prior to DEP reimbursement.