West Penn Township's Sewer Committee and area specialist Sean McElroy from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continued Tuesday evening creating a plan to bring public sewage facilities to five communities in the area: South Tamaqua, Clamtown, Reynolds in Walker Township, Andreas and Snyders.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the reviewing agency for this project. McElroy said the municipalities "must comply with Act 537," which is part of the Clean Streams Law created to regulate sewage and other pollutants that go into the waters of Pennsylvania. The committee is currently working on the most efficient and cost effective plan in order to bring these communities sewer facilities.

Because the municipalities currently have no public facilities, residents don't pay any fees; however, committee member Ronald B. Madison, PE said that once constructed "they'll have to have both upfront and ongoing fees."

Madison said, "Sometime this fall, we will be in a position to submit a completed plan to DEP for their review and hopefully their approval; they are reviewing it against the current regulatory laws."

He added, "We have to find ways to implement the plan, including financing and permits," but a plan must first be in place before the committee can seek the funding needed to move the project forward.

They will continue working on the plan next West Penn Township planning commission meeting on Jul 26 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.