I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight on the recent controversy surrounding the permitting of new onlot sewage systems in Wayne County (Township officials stand against sewer regs -- Feb 04, 2010).


To the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight on the recent controversy surrounding the permitting of new onlot sewage systems in Wayne County (Township officials stand against sewer regs -- Feb 04, 2010).
The Department of Environmental Protection has not simply made an arbitrary decision to enact new regulations with the intent of halting development in Wayne County.
To the contrary, this department has worked hard to improve the business climate in Wayne County, partnering with the building industry and County Conservation Districts to remove bureaucratic roadblocks and streamline an erosion and sediment control permitting process that had brought new development in parts of Pennsylvania to a virtual standstill. Our efforts have encouraged development to proceed while keeping in place safeguards to ensure that Wayne County’s natural resources are protected.
The decisions made by this department surrounding onlot sewage systems is a direct result of a recent court decision stating that longstanding department policies of permitting onlot sewage systems are violating federal law.
DEP does not have the authority to pick and choose which laws to enforce and is required to comply with the Environmental Hearing Board’s decision. DEP is continuing to work with all interested parties to implement this required process in a way that minimizes costs while meeting the requirements of the laws that insure water quality.
Sincerely,
John Hanger
Secretary
PA Department of Environmental Protection