Appeal from the Order of the Environmental Hearing Board in the case of Maxwell Swartwood and Concerned Citizens of Falls Township and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources, No. 79-068-W.
Gerald C. Grimaud, for petitioners.
Peter Shelley, Assistant Attorney General, for respondents.
Ralph E. Kates, III, Griffith, Aponick & Musto, for intervenors.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers, Blatt, Craig, MacPhail and Williams, Jr. Judge Mencer did not participate. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.
[ 56 Pa. Commw. Page 299]
This is an appeal from an adjudication of the Environmental Hearing Board (Board) affirming the decision of the Department of Environmental Resources (Department) which affirmed the decision of the Falls Township Board of Supervisors (Supervisors) to supplement the Official Sewage Facilities Plan (Official Plan) of Falls Township (Township) pursuant to the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act), Act of January 24, 1966, P.L. (1965) 1535, as amended, 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq., and the regulations promulgated thereunder.
Petitioners, citizens who live in the project area, advance a multitude of arguments in this case; however, the substance of the appeal involves the
[ 56 Pa. Commw. Page 300]
question of whether the Supervisors, the Department and the Board should have required the submission of a "revision", instead of a "supplement", to the Township's Official Plan. The distinction between these two procedures is that a "revision" would necessitate review by local planning agencies, whereas a "supplement" involves review by only the Township Sewage Enforcement Officer and the Supervisors.
The findings of the Board, which we find to be supported by substantial evidence in the record, are as follows. The public housing project at issue is sponsored by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) and the Wyoming County Housing Authority (Housing Authority). The project is known as a "turnkey" project which provides for the developer, The Milnes Company (Milnes), Intervenor herein, to select and purchase the sites at which to locate the project within the Township. The developer is responsible for preparing a proposal which satisfies all the requirements of the Housing Authority and H.U.D.
The Supervisors entered into a cooperation agreement with the Housing Authority regarding this project. The Supervisors also passed a resolution authorizing the submission of an application for public housing to H.U.D. by the Housing Authority. Before ultimate approval will be given by H.U.D., the developer must have received all necessary local permits from the Township. Here, the "supplementing" of the Official Plan is a preliminary step taken by the developer in order to obtain the required Township sewage permits.
Petitioners submitted a lengthy statement of objections to these "supplements", asking the Department to either disapprove the "supplements", or to require "revisions", thereby necessitating review by both the ...