Land-use webinar to focus on sewage facilities planning

July 15, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The impact of Pennsylvania’s Sewage Facilities Planning Act on municipal growth and development will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar from noon to 1:15 p.m. on July 20 will be Tom Flanagan, sewage planning specialist supervisor with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and William Campbell, director of operations for the Marshall Township Municipal Sanitary Authority.

"Where It All Goes and Why You Need to Know: Act 537 Sewage Facilities Planning Requirements" will explain how the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act protects the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens through the development and implementation of plans for the sanitary disposal of sewage waste by Pennsylvania's local townships, boroughs and cities.

"Act 537 requirements are often thought of as primarily technical in nature and generally not within the purview of land-use planning," said Flanagan. "However, Act 537 sets a course for growth and development in a municipality for years to come and affects how land can be used, developed, subdivided and conveyed based on the capacity to provide proper wastewater disposal."  

Other important considerations, Flanagan noted, include what should be determined before a lot layout is finalized where no public sewers are available, as well as what must be shown on the subdivision record plan and what happens when a plan is recorded and the applicable requirements pertaining to Act 537 haven’t been met."

"Act 537 impacts land-use planning with regard to the municipal comprehensive plan by analyzing and forecasting future land-use development, monitoring land development and sewage facilities planning modules. It also integrates sanitary sewage planning into zoning ordinances as well.

This webinar is part of Penn State Extension's Summer/Fall 2016 Land-Use Webinar Series. Other topics and dates in the webinar series include:

--Aug. 17: "Creating Cool Roof Zones: City Greening and Urban Agriculture for Heat Island Mitigation"

--Sept. 21: " Pennsylvania Demographics: Sources and Trends"

--Oct. 19: "Who Invited the Pennsylvania PUC to the Planning Party?"

--Nov. 16: " Safe Streets for Everyone: Lancaster County’s Complete Streets Program and Complete Streets in Southwest Pennsylvania."

All webinars will be offered from noon to 1:15 p.m. either Eastern Standard Time or Eastern Daylight Savings Time. To register, visit Penn State Extension's Economic and Community Development Team website. All of these programs will be recorded and available for viewing later.

The cost of the webinar series is $40 for all five and $75 for all five for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association as well as Professional Engineers needing PDH credits. In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $45.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at To register for the webinars, visit the website.

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Last Updated July 15, 2016