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§ 721.5. Powers and duties of department

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 35 P.S. Health and Safety

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 5. Water and Sewage (Refs & Annos)
Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (Refs & Annos)
35 P.S. § 721.5
§ 721.5. Powers and duties of department
(a) State to assume primary enforcement.--The department shall adopt and implement a public water supply program which includes, but is not limited to, those program elements necessary to assume State primary enforcement responsibility under the Federal act. The public water supply program shall include, but not be limited to, maximum contaminant levels or treatment technique requirements establishing drinking water quality standards, monitoring, reporting, recordkeeping and analytical requirements, requirements for public notification, standards for construction, operation and modifications to public water systems, emergency procedures, standards for laboratory certification, and compliance and enforcement procedures.
(b) Department to establish compliance procedures.--The department shall develop and implement procedures as may be necessary and appropriate in order to obtain compliance with this act or the rules and regulations promulgated, or permits issued hereunder. Such procedures shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) Monitoring and inspection.
(2) Maintaining an inventory of public water systems in the Commonwealth.
(3) A systematic program for conducting sanitary surveys of public water systems throughout the Commonwealth.
(4) The establishment and maintenance of a program for the certification of laboratories conducting analytical measurements of drinking water contaminants specified in the drinking water standards; and the assurance of the availability to the department of laboratory facilities certified by the administrator and capable of performing analytical measurements of all contaminants specified in the drinking water standards.
(5) The establishment and maintenance of a permit program concerning plans and specifications for the design and construction of new or substantially modified public water systems, which program:
(i) Requires all such plans and specifications, or either, to be first approved by the department before any work thereunder shall be commenced.
(ii) Requires that all such projects are designed to comply with any rules and regulations of the department concerning their construction and operation; and once completed will be capable of compliance with the drinking water standards; and will deliver water with sufficient volume and pressure to the users of such systems.
(c) Department to enforce drinking water standards.--The department shall have the power and its duties shall be to issue such orders and initiate such proceedings as may be necessary and appropriate for the enforcement of drinking water standards, any other provision of law notwithstanding. These actions shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) To institute in a court of competent jurisdiction, proceedings against any person to compel compliance with the provisions of this act, or the drinking water standards or conditions of permits issued hereunder.
(2) To initiate criminal prosecutions, including issuance of summary citations by agents of the department.
(3) To do any and all things and actions not inconsistent with any provision of this act for the effective enforcement of this act, rules and regulations or permits issued hereunder.
(d) Department to keep records.--The department shall keep such records and make such reports as may be required by regulations established by the administrator pursuant to the Federal act.
(e) Department may require information from public water systems.--The department may require any public water system to install, use and maintain such monitoring equipment and methods to perform such sampling, to maintain and retain such records of information from monitoring and sampling activities, to submit such reports of monitoring and sampling results and to provide such other information as may be required to determine compliance or noncompliance with this act or with regulations promulgated pursuant to this act.
(f) Department has right to enter premises.--The department and its agents shall have the right to enter any premise under the control of the public water system upon presentation of appropriate credentials at any reasonable time in order to determine compliance with this act, and to that end may test, inspect or sample any feature of a public water system and inspect, copy or photograph any monitoring equipment or other feature of a public water system, or records required to be kept under provisions of this act.
(g) Search warrants.--An agent or employee of the department may apply for a search warrant to any Commonwealth official authorized to issue a search warrant for the purposes of inspecting or examining any property, building, premise, place, book, record or other physical evidence, of conducting tests or taking samples. Such warrant shall be issued upon probable cause. It shall be sufficient probable cause to show any of the following:
(1) the inspection, examination, test or sampling is pursuant to a general administrative plan to determine compliance with this act;
(2) the agent or employee has reason to believe that a violation of this act has occurred or may occur; or
(3) the agent or employee has been refused access to the property, building, premise, place, book, record or physical evidence, or has been prevented from conducting tests or taking samples.
(h) Delegation of functions and fiscal matters.--The department is authorized to:
(1) Enter into agreements, contracts or cooperative arrangements under such terms and conditions as may be deemed appropriate with other State agencies, Federal agencies, interstate compact agencies, political subdivisions or other persons, including agreements with local health departments to delegate one or more of its regulatory functions to inspect, monitor and enforce the act and drinking water standards. The department shall monitor and supervise activities of each local health department conducted pursuant to such an agreement, for consistency with the department's rules, regulations and policies. A local health department, where it exists in each of the counties of the Commonwealth, may elect to administer and enforce any of the provisions of this act together with the department in accordance with the established policies, procedures, guidelines, standards and rules and regulations of the department. Local health departments electing to administer and enforce the provisions of this act shall be funded through contractual agreements within the department whenever program activity exceeds the minimum program requirements established under the former act of April 22, 1905 (P.L. 260, No. 182), entitled “An act to preserve the purity of the waters of the State, for the protection of the public health,”1 adopted by the Advisory Health Board under the provisions of the act of August 24, 1951 (P.L. 1304, No. 315), known as the Local Health Administration Law.2 The department is authorized to provide funds to local health departments entering into an agreement to contract pursuant to this paragraph which shall be considered to be agents of the department for the purpose of enforcement of this act.
(2) Notwithstanding the grant of powers in paragraph (1), in any case where administration and enforcement of this act by a local health department shall conflict with administration and enforcement by the department, the department shall so notify the local health department of the conflict and administration and enforcement by the department shall take precedence over administration and enforcement by a local health department.
(3) Receive financial and technical assistance from the Federal Government and other public or private agencies where appropriate.
(4) Establish fiscal controls and accounting procedures.
(5) Establish and collect fees for conducting inspections, laboratory analyses and certifications as may be necessary.


1984, May 1, P.L. 206, No. 43, § 5, subsecs. (a) and (b) effective immediately, subsecs. (c) to (h) effective Dec. 8, 1984.


35 P.S. §§ 711 to 716 (repealed).
16 P.S. § 12001 et seq.
35 P.S. § 721.5, PA ST 35 P.S. § 721.5
Current through Act 13 of the 2024 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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