Sunday, March 5, 2017

West Penn residents appeal zoning permit for agricultural water extraction that Jay Land's Ringgold Acquisition Group II LLC is attempting to convert to commercial use

West Penn residents have filed an appeal to have this permit for "water harvesting" revoked
A hearing before the West Penn Zoning Hearing Board has not yet been scheduled

Background
In January 2015, Jay Land's Ringgold Acquisition Group II LLC was granted a permit to locate what the West Penn Township zoning officer called a "Water Harvesting" use on the leased Knoedler property on Fort Franklin Road.  Land stated multiple times that his use was agricultural only, and for delivery to lands he personally owned or leased.  He estimated at one point that he was not taking more than 1000 gallons a day.  There is no such use of "water extraction" in the West Penn zoning ordinance for the site in question.

Meanwhile, two miles away, Land's MC Resource Pine Valley Springs operation on the leased Hower property is embroiled in a lawsuit with the DEP, being heard before the PA Environmental Hearing Board.  The issues are DEP suspended Land's permit because he is running a commercial water extraction operation and not fulfilling the terms of the permit - he is not monitoring bypass flow to ensure a spring maintains minimum flow, and he is not treating the water extracted with UV light as required.  If he treats the water, then he has to maintain records which has an expense, and he can be held accountable if the metrics aren't met.  To put it succinctly, Land is trying to operate the Pine Valley operation without satisfying DEP permitting requirements.  His appeal before the Environmental Hearing Board is grinding along, and it has become common knowledge that once the Pine Valley lease expires (in the next year), Land intends to shift production to the Fort Franklin location.  He's biding his time at Pine Valley to run out the clock, but the resolution of the issues at Pine Valley may affect future Fort Franklin operations.  If you read the docket (linked to above) unfortunately you will find the DEP is dragging its ass, and Land has been having his way with them for years.  It is not dissimilar to the circle-jerk with the West Penn Supervisors, as will be seen below.  Land has gotten his way until now, and apparently only legal action by concerned citizens will stop him because West Penn Supervisors are doing anything and everything to be deaf, dumb and blind.  More about that is below as well.  Let's get the party started.

Increase in activities at Fort Franklin in October 2016, destruction of guardrail and reckless and dangerous tanker movements
Back at Fort Franklin, Land is up to his usual tricks.  In October 2016, he quickly ramped up production to approximately 100,000 gallons of water extracted daily - and remember this water is allegedly being used for irrigation.  This is a magic number, because at over 100,000 gallons, additional DRBC (Delaware River Basin Commission) and DEP permits and regulations kick in.  Land's ultimate production is planned to be over 500,000 gallons a day.  Now, Land never met the requirements of the January 2015 water harvesting permit he was issued, and received a violation notice in March 2015 that he had not filed a land development plan.  He did not respond to this notice and today has still not filed one.

50-ton tanker that requires special permitting from both PADOT and West Penn Township (but has neither) loading at Fort Franklin site in October 2016.  A 2015 Road Study found that the road from this site should be posted at 15 tons, and will require improvements to even withstand that loading.

Truck traffic associated with the October increase in activity at Fort Franklin was disruptive and extremely dangerous to residents along the route, and furthermore the extraction of 100,000 gallons of water daily was associated with at least one nearby resident's well water turning brown and becoming laden with sediment.  When the trucks leaving the Fort Franklin site make the turn from Blue Mountain Drive onto Route 309 South, they engage in extremely reckless and unsafe maneuvers which involve crossing the center line of Blue Mountain Drive, crossing the center line of Route 309 and both lanes of oncoming 50 mph traffic, or both.  Some of the tankers leaving the Fort Franklin site in October and November were 50-ton units, which require a permit from both the state of Pennsylvania and West Penn; these tankers are believed to have neither.  The guardrail along Blue Mountain Drive at Route 309 was destroyed by water tankers making the turn too tightly.  It was hit at least three times from October through November 2016.  West Penn supervisors have not and will not discuss why they have not issued a cease and desist order to Land for the Fort Franklin operation.

Guardrail destroyed by water tanker at Blue Mountain Dr/Rt 309 intersection in October 2016 making extremely dangerous and reckless turn onto Route 309.  All lanes of traffic in both directions on Route 309 must be blocked to make this turn with a slowly moving water tanker, starting from a stop.  What could go wrong?

Residents' legal actions against Jay Land's operations begin piling up
On January 13, 2016, a group of West Penn residents filed a lawsuit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against Jay Land, MC Resource Development Company, Pine Valley landowner Larry Hower, Hower's company Snow Green Acres, Ringgold Acquisition Group II LLC and Fort Franklin landowner David Knoedler, arguing nuisance and negligence due to truck traffic, degradation of wells, etc.  In September 2016, Hower filed a cross-claim against MC Resource, confirming that Mr. Hower and Mr. Land's futures in cahoots is short-lived.

On August 29 2016, residents preserved their right to file a lawsuit against West Penn Township in relation to Land's water extraction operations by filing a Writ of Summons against WPT in the Schuykill County Court of Common Pleas. To date, the residents have not exercised the right preserved by the Writ.

West Penn residents put township on notice on August 29, 2016 that they intend to sue its ass over inaction on water extraction

Land's Fort Franklin site supplies Niagra Bottling non-permitted sediment-laden water for one month, causing failure of Niagra's filtration equipment and pollution of resident's water
From mid-October to mid-November approximately fifteen 40 to 50 ton tankers daily traveled from Fort Franklin to Niagra Bottling.  A bottler is supposed to accept untreated (raw) water only if the bottler owns the extraction operation.  Niagra does not.  It is rumored that Land's non-permitted and unregulated raw water fouled Niagra filters and caused $30,000 of damage.  Resident Jim Hehn near the Fort Franklin site reported his water went from clean to brown and heavily laden with sediment.  Production at Fort Franklin was suspended.  In November, Land had two new wells drilled at Fort Franklin - he's trying to get deep enough to get clean water.  Not "spring water", mind you - that is closer to the surface.

West Penn Supervisors fail to act on Bonding and Posting of roads to protect township residents health, safety and welfare
In November 2015 the West Penn Supervisors received the results of a study of the roads Jay Land's operations are and were anticipated to use, including Blue Mountain Drive.  The study found that Blue Mountain Drive (and other roads) should be posted with a 15-ton maximum gross weight limit, and that even at this limit Blue Mountain Drive requires upgrading to a thicker surface. This would preclude the 40 to 50 ton tankers that Land uses.  The supervisors then proceeded to ignore the results of this study.  Under pressure from residents to get off their asses (legal pressure through lawsuits - the only kind these look-the-other-way do-nothings appear to understand), a workshop on Bonding and Posting is scheduled in West Penn Township on March 27, 2017 from 8am to 12pm.

West Penn Supervisors fail to file cease and desist order for violation of Land's permit requirements
The letter below was sent multiple times to Ringgold Acquisition Group II LLC, to notify them that the lack of filing a Land Development Plan was in violation of the January 2015 permit.  However, a cease and desist was never filed.  What part of "not doing your jobs" do you not understand, supervisors?  For whom are you working?

 Zoning Officer Anders, the same genius who issued the Jan 2015 use permit for a non-listed use
filed this notice of violation on March 18, 2015, as well as followup letters.  They were not responded to, and no further action has been taken by West Penn Township.  Fail.

Residents stage protests against water extraction
West Penn residents want action, not willful ignorance

West Penn residents staged peaceful protests against water extraction on January 3, 2017 and on February 6, 2017.  Each of these protests was held prior to a Board of Supervisors meeting.  West Penn Supervisors have dragged their feet, giving residents virtually no support at all.  This blogger heard a recording of Supervisor James Dean on July 2, 2016 stating that the West Penn Zoning Officer was drafting a cease and desist order for Land's Fort Franklin operation due to failure to file a Land Development Plan.  Rest assured we're doing all we can to protect our citizens health, and safety and welfare.  Bull shit, Mr. Dean.  The cease and desist was never filed.  Talk and no action - disgraceful.  How much is it worth for supervisors to ignore their residents' health, safety and welfare on behalf of one unscrupulous operator?

Appeal of January 2015 permit for "water harvesting" - hearing date TBD
On February 28, 2017, West Penn residents filed an appeal with the West Penn Zoning Hearing Board, demanding that the permit for "water harvesting" issued to Ringgold Acquisition Group II LLC be revoked.  Their argument is:
  • The permit was issued in error, because "water harvesting" is not a use in the zoning district(s) where the Fort Franklin site is located.
  • The permit expired on January 17, 2017, because multiple requirements associated with the permit were not completed/satisfied.

West Penn residents appeal of water extraction permit issued using argument that water extraction is similar to an agricultural use

The legal opinion referenced in the residents' appeal is below.  It is significant, in that the Commonwealth Court found that water extraction is a more intense use than agriculture, and more similar to mineral extraction.  West Penn's Zoning Officer, its solicitor and certain BOS members have stated water extraction is similar to an agricultural use.


Commonwealth Court finds that bulk loading of water is not similar to an agricultural use
It is more similar to a mining operation in intensity (see Page 10)


Protest scheduled for March 6, 2017 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm @ WPT Municipal Building
prior to regular Board of Supervisors meeting

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Former Eldred Township Zoning Officer who botched Nestle Waters application review and cost residents $90K rumored to run for Supervisor

In Eldred Township, Nestle Waters submitted a fatally-flawed application in December 2015 to cite a water extraction operation next to the Buckwha Creek.

Eldred's Zoning Officer at the time, Ellerslie "Bub" Helm, gave Nestle's application his seal of approval.  This first came in the form of a few sentences, which he didn't even bother to sign.  A month later, he wrote a paragraph in which he now stated there "might be an issue" with multiple uses, and signed it.  The township's engineer was paid over $10,000 (well spent, since "Bub" fucked up) to locate the serious and obvious issues with Nestle's plan that Helm missed.

Helm missed:
  • The fact that Nestle's operation would close a county-mapped through access road that existed on the property for 80+ years, to multiple land-locked parcels off-site.
  • That Nestle's proposal located bulk storage tanks in an area disallowed by the ordnance.
  • That Nestle's operation could not be co-located with the other uses on the proposed site and satisfy the zoning ordinance.
If Helm had flagged these issues, he would have issued a ruling that at least one variance was needed by Nestle.  This is critical, because Nestle could not prove the hardships needed to justify a variance.

Helm was sacked at the June 2016 Eldred BOS meeting.  This pathetic sack is rumored to have an interest in running for Eldred Township Supervisor.  He must be suffering from dementia or something.
Ellerslie "Bub" Helm at age 21

This blogger had the extreme displeasure to encounter or witness Helm on multiple occasions in his former official capacity.  The first time was in his office, when the request was made to inspect the Eldred zoning ordinance.  Although Helm had spent the previous 15 minutes shooting the breeze about how wonderful the walking trail on the old railroad bed is and it goes all the way to Little Gap (turns out the trail doesn't go all the way to Little Gap, and due to Helm's incompetence and lack of attention, the trial was heavily damaged by irresponsible tree harvesting at the Kunkletown Rod and Gun Club), he suddenly announced he was far too busy to hand me the zoning ordinance.

The Zoning Officer is the first line of defense when a business seeks to develop a site in town.  Helm informed me there was plenty of water on the site that Nestle was considering, and he had no problem with their proposal.  It was clear that when Nestle submitted a Site Plan, Helm would give it the green flag - which is not his job.

In nearby Plainfield Township, Zoning Officer John Lezoche similarly gave Synagro his gold seal approval in November 2016, when they applied to locate a human crap bakery in town.  Only when it was shoved in his face that Synagro needed not one but two use variances, did he reverse course and issue a new ruling that Synagro would need zoning relief.  Similar to Nestle, Synagro can't meet the criteria to achieve a use variance.  Cost to Eldred taxpayers to successfully fight off Nestle, since "Bub" fucked up?  $89,500.  Cost to Plainfield Township taxpayers?  $0, but only because people intervened and bitch-slapped the Zoning Officer.

Mr. Helm was useless.  Despite being asked numerous times to address annoying burning of trash, Helm shit the bed in his ordinance interpretation and enforcement.  First, he argued that the resident could burn egg cartons because they don't contain petroleum products (bullshit).  Next, he took glossy 8x10" date-stamped color photographs (at taxpayer expense) of the resident dumping paper, cardboard and plastic wrappers onto a fire, to "prove" they were not burning trash.  Only problem is, plastic wrappers are trash, and the county has an ordinance that states recyclables must be recycled county-wide.  So Helm proved the resident was breaking the law, but took the photos to prove they were abiding by it.

Dumb asses like this shouldn't be allowed to breathe the same air as the rest of us.  Helm will be doing competitors a favor by running - so they can bring up his performance as Zoning Officer.  Go ahead and run, Bub.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Synagro application for crap processing plant in Plainfield Township tabled until April


Apparently, no new application materials were received by Plainfield Township by today - the deadline for February's planning commission meeting.  Therefore, the only options that leaves are Synagro would attempt to move forward with an unworkable site plan (the one currently submitted but tabled), or it will remain tabled, grant an extension and not appear at the February meeting.

EDIT 2/1 3:30pm  Synagro has annouunced that it is tabling its application until the April planning commission meeting, and has extended deadlines for township rulings on planning and zoning matters until May 31, 2017.

This blogger's money is that Synagro is furiously working to attempt to relocate its proposed plant in the Solid Waste district, where it is a permitted use and multiple uses are allowed.  The same property as the land fill.  The challenge is, the land fill consumes virtually all the easily developed and accessed land in the SW district.  Also, the DEP may have to be solicited for its input, since a site chosen could be in an already DEP-permitted area for the land fill.  Stay tuned for more definitive information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What to expect next in Synagro's application to locate a biosolids plant in Plainfield Township on Waste Management property

To understand how Synagro's application may move forward, we first must review how we got here.

Synagro files special exception application
Synagro's October 31, 2016 Site Plan application was for a special exception use in the Commercial Industrial zoning district.  A special exception is a permitted use that is given extra scrutiny and allowed reasonable conditions to be placed on an Applicant to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

Amended Zoning Officer review results in first use variance for multiple uses
The application was reviewed by the planning commission on November 21, and a few days later the Zoning Officer informed Synagro verbally that they needed a variance for multiple principal uses on a site that allows only one.  Synagro was given a few days relief from the normal deadline of 21 days prior to a planning commission meeting to submit new materials, and on December 5, 2016 an amended Site Plan application for a special exception was submitted, along with a variance application.

A special exception must be reviewed by both the planning commission and zoning hearing board.  Variances are also reviewed by both the planning commission and zoning hearing board.

Subsequent Zoning Officer review results in second use variance for non-permitted use
On December 15, 2016, the Zoning Officer issued a new ruling that Synagro needs a second variance, for a non-permitted use of Material Separation Facility.  A Material Separation Facility is permitted only in the Solid Waste zoning district, and for a 400 ton capacity the ordinance requires a 5 acre area.  This likely means that in the highly unlikely event Synagro obtains a variance to place a solid waste use in the commercial industrial district, Synagro's use would no longer be a special exception under the ordinance - it is now a permitted use, but not permitted where proposed.  Synagro would have to obtain a variance from the zoning hearing board for multiple uses AND a variance for a non-permitted use.  In their current Site Plan, the area defined is only 3.5 acres, so they would also require a third variance if no change is made that increases the area to the required 5 acres.

Synagro's application has been stalled since the determination Synagro's use is not permitted
Synagro tabled its application for the December and January planning commission meetings and is next expected to appear on February 21.  The deadline for filing new materials for February's meeting is January 31.

Synagro has submitted no new application materials since December 5, and it is not known how they plan to proceed.  During information sessions on January 9 and January 10, some attendees were told that Syangro is attempting to find a site within the Solid Waste district, where its use is permitted as are multiple uses.

Possibilities of how Synagro may proceed
Here are some options Synagro has:
  1. Continue to pursue the site depicted on current site plan, in the Commercial Industrial district
  2. Change to a site within the Solid Waste district
  3. Petition to expand the Solid Waste district, and develop a site in the expanded area
  4. Withdrawal application and walk away

For each of the numbered possibilities above, here are suboptions/observations:

1.) Continue to pursue current site
  • Proceed with the current Site Plan and one variance request that have been filed.
  • Submit a variance request for a non-permitted use, and proceed with the current Site Plan and current variance request.
  • Submit a new Site Plan with a 5 acre site defined, or submit a variance application due to not meeting the 5 acre requirement.
  • The probability of obtaining the two use variances needed is 0.  Variances are not precedential, so the variance issued in 2014 to add a gas pump to the property has no bearing on a new application.  Furthermore, there is a second variance for a non-permitted use - the most difficult variance there is, and no hardship to justify granting in this case.  Bullshit alert - this blogger was told by someone "Joe Schmo said this is a done deal, because there was a variance previously granted on this site."  Tell Joe he doesn't know WTF he's talking about, and you read it on a blog somewhere.  If this was a "done deal", Synagro would not have tabled its application in December and January.  Besides, they also need a second variance for a non-permitted use.  Come on, Joe, everyone has an ass - don't use it for talking because shit is coming out.
2.) Change to a site in the SW District
  • Submit a Site Plan for a location within the Solid Waste district, along with a variance request if a 5 acre area can not be found.
  • There are steep slopes on much of the undeveloped portions of the Solid Waste district.  A special exception is triggered if the target site is between a 15 and 20% slope, or within 100 feet of such a slope.
3.) Petition to expand the SW district and move to a site in the expanded area
  • The most obvious area of expansion, on the southeast portion of the existing district, is far away from the Green Knight Energy Center's waste heat source, a stream for wastewater, and natural gas as a backup heat source.
  • The probability of the Board of Supervisors approving expansion of the Solid Waste District is slim.
Looking over the possibilities, #1 is a dead end - there is no way in hell Synagro can justify these two variances.

#3, expansion of the Solid Waste district is highly unlikely.

That leaves #2 and #4.  Are Waste Management and Synagro going to walk away from what they believe is a perfect site for a human waste processing plant and big juicy profits?  Doubtful.  Waste Management can virtually go sky is the limit on rent - where else is Synagro going to find a place for this pile of crap?  This blogger's money is on door #2 - find a way to chisel a 5 acre site out of the Solid Waste district.  This is not as easy as it sounds, even with a site of 345 acres, because the dump covers much of the area.  The low lying area of this lot on the western edge is known as Grand Central Woods, and would present interesting environmental and drainage challenges if Synagro sets its sights there to locate its crap bakery.

Note that #2 may lead back to a special exception application, if steep slopes are involved.

A look at the SW district and lot outlines
In the left diagram below, the three lots that Waste Management owns are shown on top of the zoning map.  Synagro applied for use on E8 11 8, but their use in only permitted in the SW district.  Lot E8 12 1A is 4.35 acres and hosts the energy center, so the only possibility is to locate Synagro's plant on lot E8 12 1 - the parcel with the land fill.  It is important to note that Plainfield Township owns the old railroad bed that runs the entire length of the boundary of lots E8 11 8 and E8 12 1 and E8 12 1A.  There is a recorded agreement that until Waste Management "no longer needs use" of it, that the northern half of this right of way (where the Trail veers to the left in the diagram) may be used by Waste Management, including building improvements on it.

Note the diagonal lines - these denote an area of steep slopes.  The blue lines are water courses.  The lower right corner of lot E8 12 1 is currently zoned Farm and Forest (FF), and this is the location of the houses Waste Management has recently purchased.  The land is relatively flat here.  Could Synagro be planning to petition to change the zoning of this portion of lot E8 12 1 to Solid Waste?  Only time will tell.  There is probably a shit-flavored surprise of the month in store for Slate Belt residents.

Location of Waste Management's land fill-related parcels on zoning map

Here is the easement agreement that grants Waste Management to use a portion of Plainfield Township's property that separates lots E8 11 8 and E8 12 1 and E8 12 1A:



That's a lot of possibilities - when will we know something?
The day following the filing deadline for the Planning Commission is the best time to find out what has been filed for review the following month, and if the Applicant plans to appear.  The next filing deadline is January 31.  Note that Synagro may not be ready to do anything in February, and could table its application once again.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Curse of the Golden Turd - Greed, Synagro, Waste Management and Green Knight Economic Development Corporation


A group of conspirators mesmerized by a turd out of greed - sound familiar?


In the past week, the Golden Turd Award was bestowed on this blog to Green Knight Economic Development Corporation, Synagro and Waste Management, in recognition of their attempt to locate a crap bakery where it isn't permitted, without the notice to the public that their own public relations document represented would take place so that concerned citizens could take part in hearings.  It was only seven weeks after their site plan was reviewed that they held a public event - structured in a manner that only one on one interaction was possible.

Golden Turd awards piling up for Synagro and its partners
Lisa Perin, granddaughter of the founder of the land fill that became the shitpile known as Waste Management's Pen Argyl facility, has stated her opposition to Synagro's crap bakery proposed for Plainfield Township, and is promoting a petition in opposition to it.

Click to see petition that Lisa Perin signed

John Reinhart, resident of Pen Argyl and Superintendent of the Easton Area School District, wrote a guest column in the Express Times yesterday, expressing his opinion that Synagro, Waste Management, and Green Knight's proposal is passe - we don't need any more collections of shit in the Slate Belt under the guise of "economic development".  Mr. Reinhart thinks that this proposal is a horrible idea that conjures up memories of tire heaps, stump grinding, and fly ash, and this blogger agrees.  He calls out Green Knight specifically for having shit the bed in presenting as economic development this nonsense that will line the pockets of Waste Management and Synagro at the expense of the quality of life and decreased property values of residents of the Slate Belt.

Click to read Reinhart's column

Greed - a ride on a toll road that may be a dead end
Greed can do bad things to good people.  For example, they might tell you that you will be invited to participate in public hearings, and then proceed to not invite you.  They might say that their project is a permitted use, even though it isn't.
Gem and emerald-encrusted shit - fuel on the road to riches or the road to hell?

Here's are examples of how a quest for the wealth associated with possession of a golden turd may lead to disaster.  Beware the golden turd - mess you up!







Saturday, January 14, 2017

Waste Management buys another residential property in Plainfield Township, while partner Synagro searches for new site for biosolids plant

On January 9, 2017, a deed was filed transferring another residential property in Plainfield Township to Grand Central Sanitary Landfill (Waste Management).  Waste Management paid $325,000 for this property.  The address is 1863 Delabole Road, right next door to a house the landfill bought just two months ago for $350,000.  These are princely sums, considering the location.  Both are in Farm and Forest zoning - which does not permit solid waste operations.  The most recently purchased property is shown in yellow shading in the following diagram:

Waste Management is buying houses in Plainfield Township PA in an agricultural preservation/residential zoned area next to its landfill - could this be related to a planned expansion?


Jan 9, 2017 recorded transfer of one acre residential property from Tommy Messinger to Grand Central (Waste Management)


Possible reasons a trash dump is buying residential properties

Plainfield Township's Solid Waste Processing and Disposal (SW) district was created to host the landfill.  There are only three tax parcels in the SW district.  One is Evergreen Cemetery, one is a 4.35 acre site that is owned by the landfill and leased to Green Knight Energy Center, and the last and by far largest is the landfill.  The parcel with the landfill extends into the Farm and Forest zoning district, and that portion is adjacent to the houses the landfill recently purchased.
Plainfield Township's Solid Waste Zoning District - landfill parcel spans two zoning districts - click lower right corner to see full screen

There are three possible reasons that Waste Management is scooping up houses in this area.  
  1. Reduce complaints by and liability to homeowners against a perceived bad neighbor.  What if the incidence of throat cancer is inordinately high, for example?
  2. Expand the landfill (!).  Note that Perins own adjacent farmland to the east.
  3. Reduce the number of neighbors to a property you own contiguous with the landfill that could host the Synagro crap bakery.
The second and third require that the SW district be enlarged.  The landfill has already expanded to its boundaries, with the exception of steep and wooded areas along its western border with the Plainfield Township Recreational Trail.

Plainfield Township Zoning Map
For reference, here is the Zoning Map for Plainfield Township:

Synagro is reportedly considering sites within the SW district for biosolids plant
At the "information sessions" held this past week, multiple attendees report that they were told Synagro is considering sites within the SW district - they they haven't chosen a site yet.  The latter part of this is not true - Synagro has a Site Plan before the Plainfield Township Planning Commission, that they quietly submitted and had reviewed without notifying the public they were in town (even though their PR materials claim the public would participate in reviews):


Synagro Site Plan for solid waste processing plant in commercial industrial zoning district

Syangro's proposal to construct a biosolids plant that will process 400 tons of crap a day is for a site in the Commercial Industrial (CI) district to the northwest of the energy center - where it is not permitted, and a variance can not be granted for it.  Therefore, they will have to find a location within the SW district to locate the plant.  It is submitted that the only possible places to do this would be either in a low lying area along the Little Bushkill Creek on the left edge of the SW district, or in the field shown at the bottom right of the picture above, assuming the zoning of that area is changed to SW.  Another reason to buy houses is to reduce objections from homeowners to having zoning changed.  Waste Management isn't going to object to itself expanding the area for solid waste operations.

Waste Management and its predecessors are used to getting what they want in Plainfield Township, but residents are fed up with the odors from next door to miles away, reduced property values and reduced quality of life and are looking forward to the dump being closed.  Little wonder that the possibility of hosting a crap processing plant for decades after the dump closes is not acceptable.  Hosting a dump turns out to have its downside - go figure.  Money doesn't talk like it did prior to the elevation of the dump rising to compete with that of Blue Mountain.

It is rumored that more properties in the same area as those just purchased are under contract to Waste Management.  This story isn't over - these greedy people haven't shown all their cards yet.

Golden Turd awarded to Synagro, Green Knight Economic Development Corporation and Waste Management for deceit and misrepresentation

In its October 31, 2016 Site Plan submission, Synagro included a public relations document in which it boasted that the public would be notified of and take part in hearings.  The only one of these hearings thus far - not advertised to the public, was on November 21, 2016, when the Plainfield Township Planning Commission reviewed the Site Plan.  What happened to public participation?   Synagro issued a press release on November 22, 2016 informing the public of the meeting that happened the evening prior.  Lying and deceitful are words that come to mind.  That evening, Planning Commission Vice Chairman Robert Cornman Jr, who is also the Vice President of Green Knight Economic Development Corporation, suggested four times that Synagro's application could be forwarded with conditional approval.  Now it is known that Synagro's use is not even permitted where proposed in that site plan, and their pending application is a steaming pile of crap.   In recognition of his shameless and unsuccessful effort to push this nonsense through despite fellow members' reservations, Mr. Cornman was voted off the planning commission by a vote of 3-2 at the Plainfield BOS January 2017 reorganization meeting.  He earned it.

Talking shit - Joint public relations document submitted October 31 misrepresents that the proposed project meets zoning requirements and that the public will be notified of and participate in hearings

The public was not notified of the most important first review before the planning commission, at which a member with a conflict of interest attempted to move the application forward - a member who should have known the Site Plan violated the zoning ordinance.  Does this in any manner represent a cooperative and open partnership or dialog with the community?

For their stunning lack of public transparency and proposing a project that does not come close to satisfying zoning requirements, Synagro, Green Knight, and Waste Management have jointly earned the Golden Turd Award.  Congratulations - it looks smart on you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Synagro dog and pony show is typical nonsense - media concentrates on wrong aspect of biosolids plant in Plainfield Township

Talking shit

Synagro, Waste Management and Green Knight Economic Development held "information sessions" on January 9 and January 10 in Plainfield Township and Pen Argyl.  They met expectations - a few stations here and there, with samples of dried shit, processed shit, green shit.  Smiling representatives of shit with pretty name tags on their shirts.  "Look, our shit is so safe you can eat it."

Reporters were there from the dailies.  One veteran walked out after 20 minutes, looking very unimpressed and like he was wondering why he was there.  Some of them had no clue.  Said one, "Synagro told me they have aren't sure where they are putting the plant."  This is bull shit.  The reporter had done no investigation into Synagro's plan - if they had, they would know that Synagro has a Site Plan currently under review, to locate its crap bakery where it requires two use variances.

The reporting on this project is lacking, to be kind.  BFD Ron Angle was interviewed by WFMZ - guess what he had to say?  Crap is safe to spread on fields.  Years ago, Angle was an ardent opponent to spreading sludge on fields.  The winds have shifted for Ron, but who the hell cares?  Interviewing Angle puts the cart before the horse - Synagro's plant is not permitted where they plan to put it.  The first question is where are you putting it, and is it permitted there?
Synagro Site Plan submitted December 5, 2016 - a reporter allowed Synagro to say they haven't chosen a site yet - clearly they have

This plant is not going to be permitted or denied on public sentiment.  Whether it obtains a permit or not is going to hinge on zoning.   Stay tuned for real reporting on this project, not the tip of the waves economic development fluff that sells newspapers.  A shit factory is coming, and it will smell and provide a couple of jobs.  Fill a two minute slot on the 5pm news.  Ron's a very smart guy who rubs some people the wrong way, and if you've heard him speak you know he can talk shit like nobody's business, but his opinions on sludge have no bearing on this project's approval.