2009-04-16 / Local & State

DEP Intervenes After Bethel Twp. Fails To Adopt Septic Ordinance

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The Department of Environmental Protection petitioned the Commonwealth Court Monday to enforce an order Bethel Township, Fulton County, has ignored for more than a year.

DEP directed Bethel Township on March 17, 2008, to update its on-lot disposal system maintenance ordinance as set forth in its approved Act 537 plan.

According to the petition, the department "seeks a speedy resolution of this matter to ensure that the unlawful conduct and the resultant threat to the public health and the environment do not continue."

The township's failure to implement the plan, which requires periodic maintenance of on-lot septic systems, has increased the risk of malfunctioning systems and poses a serious health hazard and environmental damage.

The Sewage Facilities Act requires municipalities to 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 municipality's future sewage disposal needs.

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