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Newtown Act 537 Plan Available For Public View

Newtown Township's Act 537 Sanitary Sewer Facilities Plan is now available for public inspection until Nov. 16.

NEWTOWN SQUARE–The long-awaited Newtown Township Act 537 Sanitary Sewer Facilities Plan is now available for public inspection at the municipal building and the Newtown Public Library until Nov. 16. 

Two copies of the 2,000-page plan will be available at the municipal building and one copy at the library. The document includes the plan in its entirety as well as residents' surveys and responses. Residents may be able to purchase a copy of the plan, in which a cost price was not determined at last Tuesday's supervisors meeting.

Mark Kay, a resident on Excalibur Drive, asked the supervisors at the meeting whether the plan would be available online in which Supervisor John Nawn stated that it was not determined if the township's website had enough capacity to store the entire plan on the site.

After much discussion, it was determined that only the plan's 66-page executive summary would be available online and residents would be able to go to the municipal building or library to view the plan in its entirety, should they have further questions or would like more information of the plan's summary.

However once the 30 days are up of public inspection, the plan will be redacted from the site, according to Township Manager Mike Trio. No date was given of when the summary would be available online.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Act 537 was enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1966 and requires that every municipality in the state develop and maintain an up-to-date sewage facilities plan. "The act establishes the requirements for these plans and allows for reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the eligible costs incurred in preparing the plans," according to the DEP.

The main purpose of a municipality’s Sewage Facilities Plan, according to DEP, is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens living in the municipality. "It is the plan for correcting malfunctioning onlot septic systems, overloaded treatment plants or sewer lines, and wildcat sewers. The existence of untreated or improperly treated sewage in surface water, on the surface of the ground, or in the groundwater allows disease organisms to reach people through drinking water, through insects or other animals, and through direct contact," according to DEP.

Patti Wilson October 16, 2012 at 02:25 PM
This is not only a review period, but also a public comment period. Anyone with a question about the plan or a comment about it, can email or send a letter to Township Manager Trio to ask questions about the plan and to comment on it. All residents questions and comments have to be responded to by the township. Then these comments/questions and the township's response have to be sent up to the PA Department of Environmental Protection when the township is finished the plan and has approved the plan with any changes that are made as a result of the public's input. I have found that the DEP takes very seriously the questions and comments provided by residents. I urge all to review this plan and to contact the township manager with questions/comments. I do not see that the summary is on the township page yet--hopefully, it will be there later today.
Charles Lerman October 17, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Ms. Wilson, you wrote on Oct. 16: "I do not see that the summary is on the township page yet--hopefully, it will be there later today." I don't find it today, either, but am I looking in the right place -- http://www.newtowntownship.org/ -- If so, under what heading would it be? Thanks.

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