The Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 537) requires that all Commonwealth municipalities 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 future sewage disposal needs of the municipality. These municipal plans are known by various names, such as Act 537 Official Plan, Official Plan, Base Plan, or simply Act 537 Plan. They address whole municipalities or groups of municipalities working together.
Once a municipality adopts a municipal-wide plan, future changes to this plan can either occur for the entire municipality (called an update revision) or a portion thereof (called a minor update revision). When a municipality adopts a plan, the plan is submitted for review and approval by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). By regulation, the planning process is not final until an Act 537 Plan has been approved by DEP. Act 537 planning has been a municipal requirement since July 1, 1967. Legally, all municipalities have an Act 537 Plan. However, some plans are newer and more detailed than others.
Act 537 Official Plan aging maps and related data provided here represent a tabulation of Official Plans, update revisions, and minor update revisions from across the Commonwealth, and are color coded by the relative age of the plans. The maps are updated periodically with the date of the most recent update.
For greater detail, a table follows each sectional map. This table provides an alphabetical listing of the municipalities in that portion of the Commonwealth, the county in which that municipality is located, the most recent plan approval date (DEP Approval), and the relative age of the plan.
Because of the age of the Act 537 program (45+ years), plan approval dates used to compile these maps and tables originate from a variety of sources. Dates are selected by the following criteria:
- DEP plan approval dates are considered the most definitive and have been compiled either from Pennsylvania’s Environment Facility Application Compliance Tracking System (eFACTS) or from the dates on DEP approval letters.
- Data published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin may be used for approximate new dates of DEP approval until copies of approval letters can be verified.
- In lieu of better documentation, planning grant award dates are used if the award was after January 1, 1987. Earlier grants were made prior to planning approval. Therefore grant information prior to January 1, 1987, is only an indication that a sewage facilities planning grant was made.
- While all municipalities have Act 537 plans, supporting records have not been retained in all cases. Due to this, dates earlier than January 1, 1987, may be based on the approval dates of countywide Act 537 plans.
- Where definitive documentation has been discarded from file, lost or destroyed, approval dates for plans may also be estimated.
This mapping is updated using multiple sources within DEP. If information presented here is in error, municipalities are invited to submit corrected data. A copy of an approval letter for an Act 537 plan, update revision, or special study from DEP or its predecessors may be submitted to:
DEP, Division of Municipal Facilities
RCSOB - 11th Floor
P.O. Box 8774
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8774.
To contact the Division of Municipal Facilities by phone, call 717-787-5017.