Appeal from the Order of the Environmental Hearing Board in case of In Re: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources v. Monroe Township, No. 73-177.
Richard C. Snelbaker, with him Martson and Snelbaker, for appellant.
Dennis J. Harnish, Special Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Blatt. Judge Mencer did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 580]
The Township of Monroe (appellant) appeals from an adjudication of the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) affirming a May 16, 1973, Department of Environmental Resources' (DER) order directed to appellant. Part of this order required appellant to "negotiate and enter into an agreement" with the Sewer Authority of the Borough of Mechanicsburg for the use of its excess sewerage treatment facility capacity.
This controversy has its genesis in an April 16, 1973, Consent Order of this Court in another proceedings (Commonwealth v. Municipal Authority of the Borough of Mechanicsburg, No. 290 C.D. 1973), which Consent Order, among other things, required that Authority to enter into such agreements with adjacent municipalities as necessary to facilitate construction of an expansion and upgrading of the Authority's existing sewerage
[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 581]
treatment facilities. This Consent Order further provided that should the Authority fail to enter into agreements with the requisite adjacent municipalities, DER "shall promptly petition this Court to use any procedure available to it in order to achieve such an agreement." Appellant is a municipality adjacent to the area served by the Authority.
Action taken by appellant pursuant to another environmental statute also bears directly upon the present controversy. Pursuant to Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act, Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 788, as amended, 35 P.S. § 6005 (Supp. 1974-1975), appellant on March 31, 1971, adopted, with certain reservations, a Tri-County Regional Planning Commission's Sewerage Facilities Plan as applicable to Sewer District No. 1, which includes appellant, the content of which will be discussed hereinafter.
Apparently being of the view that it could not reach appellant, which was not a party to the proceedings leading to the Consent Order against the Authority, supra, DER issued its order of May 16, 1973, against appellant, requiring appellant, within thirty days, to enter into an agreement with the Authority. It is from this order that appellant took an appeal to EHB and from its affirmance of the DER order has taken this appeal.
Appellant is a sparsely inhabited rural and agriculturally oriented township, wherein privately installed and maintained septic systems are exclusively utilized in disposal of sewerage wastes. In its adjudication, EHB found as a fact that at present time appellant is not polluting nor causing pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth as prohibited by The Clean ...