Following the enactment of Act 34 of 2020 (formerly SB1030), PA DEP issued two “All-SEO Letters” in 2021 (to date) providing information on how the Department views the new law and its interpretation of how to implement it.

The February 3, 2021 All-SEO Letter covers a variety of important topics and can be viewed HERE.  It provided preliminary information regarding on the implementation of Act 34.  More importantly, the Department provide an overview presentation to members of the PA Sewage Advisory Committee on February 23, 2021 outlining its plans.  You van view the presentation HERE.  Of particular concern was the proposed treatment of Shallow Limiting Zone systems.  Namely, that Shallow limiting zone systems will only be for repairs.

In a post-SAC meeting follow-up, PADEP issued a second All-SEO Letter on March 2, 2021 an can be viewed HERE.  It states in part:

“[T]he Department wants to clarify our expectation of what municipalities should do with proposals for new land development that they have already received and that were submitted based on the draft Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act Program Guidance; Site Suitability and Alternatives Analysis Guidelines for New Land Development Proposing On‑lot Sewage Disposal (385-2207-001) (Planning Guidance) that was developed in response to Act 26 of 2017. The following contains important deadlines for sewage planning proposals:

• If a municipality has received or receives a sewage planning proposal for a subdivision that proposes lots that rely on on-lot sewage disposal and that sewage planning proposal is consistent with the draft Planning Guidance, the municipality may base their decision for action based on whether the proposal is consistent with the sewage planning requirements in the draft Planning Guidance if the site investigation was completed and attested to by the local agency SEO between September 18, 2017 (effective date of Act 26 of 2017) and February 23, 2021 (Sewage Advisory Committee meeting).

• Any new plan revision using the site investigation completed between September 18, 2017 and February 23, 2021 must be submitted to the municipality by June 1, 2021 (90 days from date of this letter). Any new plan revision received after June 1, 2021 should be consistent with the SFA as amended by Act 34 of 2020 regardless of when the site investigation work was completed; guidance on this will be forthcoming. If the plan revision is withdrawn or denied, any subsequent submittal should follow the forthcoming guidance.

• Any sewage planning proposal with site investigation completed and attested to by the local agency SEO after February 23, 2021, should be consistent with the SFA as amended by Act 34 of 2020.”