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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 97-187


[25 PA. CODE CH. 171]


[27 Pa.B. 735]

   The Environmental Quality Board (Board) proposes to delete Chapter 171 (relating to schools), ending the Department's responsibility to inspect private and public schools for basic sanitation. This action is proposed to eliminate redundancy that currently exists with other State programs that provide for adequate sewage disposal, safe water supplies and food protection. The Department's administration of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (35 P. S. §§ 750.1--750.20); The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. §§ 691.1--691.1001); the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (35 P. S. §§ 721.1--721.17); the Solid Waste Management Act (35 P. S. §§ 6018.101--6018.1003); and the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act (35 P. S. §§ 6020.101--6020.2105) ensures basic sanitation standards and public health standards are met at schools.

   This proposal was adopted by the Board at its meeting of December 17, 1996.

A.  Effective Date

   This proposal will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin as final rulemaking.

B.  Contact Persons

   For further information contact Glenn Maurer, Director, Bureau of Water Supply and Community Health, P. O. Box 8467, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8467 (717) 787-9035 or Pamela Bishop, Assistant Counsel, Bureau of Regulatory Counsel, P. O. Box 8464, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, PA, 17105-8464 (717) 787-7060. Information regarding submitting comments on this proposal appears in Section J of this Preamble. Persons with a disability may use the AT&T Relay Service by calling (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users). This proposal is available electronically through the Department of Environmental Protection's (Department) Web site (

C.  Statutory Authority

   The proposed rulemaking is being made under the authority of section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 510-20) which delegates to the Board rulemaking authority.

D.  Background and Purpose

   The deletion of Chapter 171 would end the Department's inspection of sanitary conditions at private and public school buildings and grounds. The school program has significantly changed in the past 10 years. Specific statutorily mandated State regulatory programs now require adequate sewage disposal, safe drinking water, solid waste disposal, safe food preparation and safe bathing places. To eliminate the overlapping of inspectional activities carried out by other State environmental health programs, the Department proposes to eliminate this duplicative program. The Department ensures basic sanitation standards and public health standards are met at schools through its administration of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, The Clean Streams Law, the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act, the Solid Waste Management Act and the Pennsylvania Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act.

E.  Summary of Regulatory Changes

   The existing regulations were identified as redundant and obsolete during a recent review of the Department's regulations. The review was directed by the Department's Regulatory Basic Initiative and Executive Order 1996-1 concerning Regulatory Review and Promulgation. This proposed rulemaking eliminates the regulatory author- ity to require compliance with basic environmental sanitation standards that are now addressed by more recent regulatory programs. This action eliminates redundant authority to regulate sewage disposal, safe drinking water, food protection, solid waste disposal and safe bathing places.

F.  Benefits and Costs

   Executive Order 1996-1 requires a cost/benefit analysis of the proposed deletion. Public and private schools will benefit from the deletion of these regulations. The elimination of the Department's school program reduces an unnecessary and redundant review and approval procedure of planned construction. There may be an undetermined costs savings associated with preparation and submission of school plans for the Department's review and approval. There are no compliance costs associated with this proposal.

G.  Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), the Department submitted a copy of the proposed rulemaking on January 29, 1997, to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the Chairpersons of the Senate and House Environmental Resources and Energy Committees. In addition to submitting the proposed deletion, the Department has provided IRRC and the Committees with a copy of a detailed regulatory analysis form prepared by the Department. A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.

   If IRRC has objections to any portion of the proposed deletion, it will notify the Department within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The notification shall specify the regulatory review criteria which have not been met by that portion. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review by the Department, the Governor and the General Assembly before final publication of a regulation.

H.  Public Comments

   Written comments. Interested persons are invited to submit comments, suggestions or objections regarding the proposed deletion to the Environmental Quality Board, P. O. Box 8477, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8477 (express mail: Rachel Carson State Office Building, 15th Floor 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101-2301.) Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, suggestions or objections must be received by the Board by March 10, 1997 (within 30 days of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin). Interested persons may also submit a summary of their comments to the Board. The summary may not exceed one page in length and must also be received by March 10, 1997. The one page summary will be provided to each member of the Board in the agenda packet distributed prior to the meeting at which the final regulation will be considered.

   Electronic comments. Comments may be submitted electronically to the Board at and must also be received by the Board by March 10, 1997 (within 30 days of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin). A subject heading of the proposal and a return name and address must be included in each transmission. If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt.


   Fiscal Note: 7-305. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption. The deletion of Chapter 171 will end the Department's redundant and duplicative activities associated with the inspection and oversight of basic sanitation in schools. These activities are funded through the Environmental Program Management Appropriation. The De-partment will experience a reduction in administrative workload as a result of this deletion. Staff time saved as a result of this repeal will be redirected to other program activities funded by the Environmental Program Management Appropriation.

Annex A




ARTICLE II.  (Reserved)

CHAPTER 171.  (Reserved)

§§ 171.1--171.16. (Reserved).

   (Editor's Note: Chapter 171 is proposed to be deleted in its entirety. The current text of Chapter 171 appears at 25 Pa. Code pages 171-1 to 171-5, serial page numbers (219293) to (219294) and (217373) to (217375).)

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 97-187. Filed for public inspection February 7, 1997, 9:00 a.m.]

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