Friday, December 30, 2016

Synagro tables plan to proceed with biosolids plant Site Plan review in Plainfield Township - will not appear at January planning commission meeting

Synagro has withdrawn its request to appear at the Monday January 16, 2017 Plainfield Township Planning Commission meeting, and has granted an extension of deadlines for Site Plan recommendation and Zoning Hearing Board review until the end of March.

This comes as no surprise, because Synagro's Site Plan sucks ass at this point - they are a non-permitted use as well as an additional principal use on a lot already heavily used that is only zoned for one principal use.

Synagro intends to continue to hold public information meetings in January as shown on the right margin of this blog.  Residents should ask Synagro, Waste Management and Green Knight Economic Development representatives at these meetings:
Must-ask question: Why the hell are you even here, if the zoning doesn't permit you to be?
  1. Why didn't you have a conversation with the Zoning Officer before filing your application, to have him generate a ruling on whether your use was permitted?  Filing a Zoning Permit Application would have resulted in this.
  2. Why did you apply to locate your solid waste use not in the Solid Waste Processing and Disposal district, but in the Commercial Industrial district?
  3. Did you not hire a professional engineer, to review your application and determine where your use is permitted?
  4. Don't you understand that the proposed site is in an area zoned to provide a buffer from the Solid Waste district, not extend it towards Route 512?
  5. Why don't you withdrawal your application since your use is not permitted by right, and go find a site where it is permitted?
  6. Waste Management - why are you seeking to visit more of a nuisance on the community than you already present?
  7. Waste Management - is your current business profitable?  Isn't it greedy to attempt to use your lot twice over, when the Zoning Ordinance limits lot owners to one principal use per lot?  What possible hardship do you have that prevents you from making use of your property?
  8. Green Knight - you are supposed to be helping poor and needy citizens of the Pen Argyl Area School district.  How exactly would this project do that, other than provide a handful of low quality jobs?  What about the negative impact on thousands of people near the facility and living near farms where the product of this plant would be spread?
  9. Green Knight - how much monthly income do you anticipate from selling waste heat to Synagro, and how exactly will that be returned to the residents you are chartered to assist?  Your grants have been greatly reduced in the past 5 years - why are you stockpiling money and not distributing it to causes in the community?
  10. Green Knight - you knew when you built the energy center in 2001 that you would have waste heat, and planned to sell it to one or more businesses located on the TechoBloc site.  TechoBloc has no use for your waste heat, and TechoBloc consumed all three lots you had targeted as "energy consumers" of yours.  Why are you continuing to pursue this idea, when there is no viable permitted business to be a such waste heat consumer on an adjacent lot that is not already in use?
19.3 acre Slate Belt Industrial Center was planned to have three developed lots, which Green Knight had hoped to sell both electricity and waste heat to.  Neither happened.  Now in a Hail Mary by the Queen of Shit, Green Knight is trying to sell its waste heat to an additional company proposing a non-permitted use on Waste Management's own property - fail.
Up in Smoke II - Techo Bloc, much ballyhooed as an achievement of Green Knight, bought all three SBIC parcels and combined them and has no use for Green Knight's waste heat.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A public message from the Christmas Poo to Synagro and Waste Management re: biosolids plant proposed for Plainfield Township

"I've seen your future, and it doesn't work"

Seasons Greetings to you, Synagro and Waste Management.  The Citizens of Wind Gap, Pen Argyl and Plainfield Township would like to point out that we are aware you attempted to slither silently into town over the Thansgiving and Christmas holidays, while we focused on loved ones and thoughts of a better 2017.

We don't appreciate you sullying our holiday season with the non-permitted crap bakery you would like to force on us under the guise that it is "green", and we're putting you on notice we'll do everything in our power to climb up your asses, and send you on your merry way with stockings full of a slurry of coal and shit.  Your property is permitted one use, Waste Management, and you're making undeniably reasonable use of it - $20m in revenue each year, give or take.  It is only greed that could cloud your vision into believing you deserve even more profit from one piece of land, at the expense of neighbors and residents of our community,

We also don't appreciate having to spend our time, personal savings and tax dollars to defend ourselves, but we must because the consequences of not doing so are far too great.  So "Merry Fucking Christmas, and Happy New Year" to you.  See you in January, with plenty of Citizens and well prepared lawyers to greet you when we next meet.

"Why don't you just leave, Jerry?  Nobody wants you here.  NOBODY!"

Friday, December 23, 2016

Synagro biolsolids plant review before Plainfield Township Planning Commission MOVED to new date

The Planfield Township planning commission has changed its regular January meeting from the 17th to Monday the 16th, for two reasons.  One is to accommodate all of its members' schedules.  It was discovered that for years the January meeting had been held on Tuesday because MLK day was Monday, even though the township does not observe MLK day.  So this change also moves the meeting to the day it should be held.  It will be at 7pm, and is expected to be held at the Plainfield Township Fire Company, due to community interest expected.

End of business on Tuesday December 27 is the deadline to submit new materials for the planning commission to review in January, and it is unknown if Synagro will submit a new site plan, an additional variance application, etc.  It is possible they could proceed with the current site plan review - it simply can't be known at this point.
Edit 12/29 - Synagro did not update its site plan or submit any new materials by Dec 27, so it appears they will move forward with the previously submitted site plan at the January review.

So make a note - the meeting previously announced for Jan 17 has been moved up to Jan 16.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Synagro conceals Plainfield Township biosolids plant review from public, after stating it will be advertised for public participation

Blank page included in Synagro's application falsely leads holder to believe they can't release public information

On October 31, 2016, Synagro submitted a Special Exception Site Plan application to Plainfield Township, on the deadline for appearance at November's planning commission meeting.  A township official reports there was no prior contact by Synagro with the Zoning Officer.  Contacting the Zoning Officer prior to submitting an application is typical, because an Applicant usually wants to get approval of the their use prior to proceeding with an expensive Site Plan and preparation.  In the case of a $20m plant, you would want to get it right.

The submission of an application requires the planning commission to place a review on its agenda, and the Site Plan to be submitted to the township engineer for comment prior to the review.  There is only one conclusion one can draw, who is familiar with the process and the modus operandi of business applicants.  Those who file on the deadline invariably do not want the public to know about their application, and/or know that their use is not allowed and/or associated variances are not merited.  In this case, it is likely all of the above.

Let's look at a piece of evidence.  In the package that Synagro submitted, there is 6 pages of public relations fluff that is not necessary to the application and serves no purpose other than possibly to sway the planners to believe Synagro's use is "green" and a great idea.  Actually it is 5 pages of text, plus the blank page at the top of this post.  As you read continue reading below, consider why that blank page may have been submitted.

The first thing to notice is that on each page, diagonally there are the faint words "DO NOT COPY".  Interestingly, if you copy or fax this document, those words disappear.  The facsimile attached is from photos.  Now, why would those words be there?  Once submitted, that document is public information, and would have to be released in a Right to Know Request, IF THE PUBLIC KNEW TO REQUEST IT.  But there was no requirement for the township to notify the residents, and Synagro knew this.  Those words are there to falsely lead the recipients of it to believe they can't copy it.  How nice that the words evaporate if someone does inadvertently copy it.  Give the person who came up with this a raise.

This document contains the following statement at the bottom of page 4: "Public notifications and hearings will be advertised to provide public participation in the process by making available project information and the opportunity to offer comments and address questions."

Advertising fluff in Synagro's application, with false claim that public will be notified
of public review meeting and "DO NOT COPY" plastered across it

Unlike what Synagro represented in this document, they did NOT notify the public of the Nov 21, 2016 meeting.  The reason is crystal clear - they wanted a recommendation from the planners that night, with no warning to residents.  Robert Cornman, Jr., Vice Chairman, tried on multiple occasions that night to move the application forward, despite having recused himself from motions (!) due to his position as vice president of Green Knight Economic Development Corporation.  By the time the public knew Synagro's plans, they would already have a recommendation from the planning commission.  That is how the game works, and the intent is to DECEIVE the public, and not involve them.  DISGRACEFUL.

What Synagro did do, is publish this document (without "DO NOT COPY") on their website the following day, Nov 22, 2016, along with a press release dated Nov 22, 2016 for the "Slate Belt Heat Recovery Center".  Public opportunity to participate and offer comments and questions my ass.

Plainfield Planning Commission member Robert Cornman, Jr.'s Green Knights announces to public that Synagro is in town the day AFTER his planning commission holds public meeting to review application.  Thanks for the heads up to the community you're supposed to be benefiting, Green Knights!  This is a crock of shit.

Green Knight is supposed to be helping the community - like letting it know there will be a public meeting to discuss plans to locate a 400-ton per day crap processing plant in town.  Fail.

You may ask "why isn't is called the 'Synagro Biosolids Plant'?"  Good question.  Green Knight's plan to recover heat from its Energy Center's turbines died on the vine in 2003 when Techo Bloc bought all three parcels that were to be the "Slate Belt Industrial Center".  Without a manufacturer that could consume Green Knight's waste heat on a nearby site, the plan died.  Until resurrected recently, that is, by placing the consumer where it can't be placed, on Waste Managment's lot that is already being used.  There seems to be a fascination of Waste Management and its nonprofit arm GKEDC with prefacing everything in the area with "Slate Belt".  Placing "Green Knight" in the name of the nonprofit makes everyone think of the school's mascot, but what has Green Knight done for the school recently?  Contribute to the band, the athletic department?  Simply put, the name "Slate Belt Heat Recovery Center" resurrects and idea from Green Knight's infancy - an idea that died shortly after the Energy Center opened.

The substance of the PR document above is as one would expect, and won't be covered in this post.  One thing to note is it states that the source of the shit is the "Tri-State area," yet in a recent Morning Call article Synagro Project Manager Jim Hecht states shit will come from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.  Mr. Hecht, please get your story straight.  We know that Pennsylvania is not in the Tri-State area, but Connecticut is.  There isn't lipstick made thick enough to cover this pig.

Now that the solid waste has hit the fan, and Plainfield Township's BOS and residents from Wind Gap and Pen Argyl are yelling "no mas shit!", Synagro has announced they will hold "public information" sessions on Jan 9 at the Plainfield Twp Fire Company and Jan 10 and Weona Park.  You have to ask why they didn't hold such sessions prior to November 21.  Or do you?  Green Knight should be questioned heavily at these meetings what the hell they are doing partnering with Synagro, since their mission is to "benefit poor and distressed local citizens".  How exactly is this proposal in line with their mission?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Is Synagro and Waste Management partner Green Knight Economic Development Corporation really "broke"?

Various sources report that Green Knight members have told them in confidence "we have no money" and "we're broke".  Since the landfill has recovered from the downturn in the economy in the late 2000's, this doesn't make sense if Green Knight has its expenses under control.  The landfill is producing plenty of methane - there is more than Green Knight needs because it is being flared off by Waste Management.

Green Knight files IRS form 990 as a 501(c)(3)
Green Knight Economic Development Corporation is required to file form 990 with the IRS as a non-profit.  At the bottom of this post are the 990s for 2013-2015, and the first thing noticed is that Peter Albanese, treasurer, lists 45 N. Lehigh Ave in Wind Gap as his address under "Name and Address of Principal Officer". Wind Gap, Pen Argyl and Plainfield Township were each to have three residents representing their interests on the GKEDC board.  Peter is not domiciled at 45 N. Lehigh Ave.  His residence is in Plainfield Township, on Rudolph Road (which has a Pen Argyl zip code).  Green Knight modified its own charter to accommodate wishing to have Mr. Albanese on its board, even though he does not reside in the municipality he is supposed to represent.  If you examine the IRS instructions for Form 990, the "principal officer" is the big cheese, regardless of title.  So "treasurer" inadequately describes Mr. Albanese's responsibilities and authority.

Another thing to notice is Green Knight's mission: "provide economic relief for poor & distressed local citizens."

Land clerk's record for 45 N. Lehigh Ave Wind Gap

Green Knight forms 990 show stockpiling of cash and slashed return to community
An examination of GKEDC's 990s shows that while it cleared roughly $600,000 to $800,000 ( revenue - expenses ) in each of the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, the amount of grants to the community has only been $20,000 to $25,000.  These went to the YMCA (2013) and to Families First and Blue Mountain Community Library (2014 and 2015).

Specifically, here are those amounts:
  • 2013 Revenue less expenses: $780,867  Community Grants: $24,568 (3.2% of net)
  • 2014 Revenue less expenses: $719,915  Community Grants: $20,000 (2.8% of net)
  • 2015 Revenue less expenses: $585,138  Community Grants: $20,000 (3.4% of net)
Gross revenue is steady at about $1.8 to $1.9 million in the past three years, and Green Knight has reported a bank savings account of roughly $4,000,000.

Green Knight Economic Development Corporation FY2015 EOY savings balance $3,993,803

Can Green Knight be "broke"?  Is a 3% community benefit on net income reasonable?
Given that Green Knight's mission as reported on its form 990 is to provide economic relief for poor and distressed local citizens, it begs the question of what they are doing sitting on $4 million, and should they be returning more than 3% of their net income to the needy citizens of the community?  Up until five or six years ago, community grants from Green Knight were more like $120,000 per year - six times what they are now - and distributed to several more than two entities.

Where is the evidence to support rumors and alleged reports that Green Knight is in dire financial straits?  Is is not seen in the 990s.

What is Green Knight currently doing?  They are involved in preparing the Beers site in Plainfield/Wind Gap to be developed, but they are only preparing the site - at a cost of perhaps $400,000.  With $4 million in the bank, how in heaven's name can they be "broke"?  Something is badly amiss here.

Here is an odd thought.  Is it possible that someone is spreading a rumor that Green Knight is broke to justify why they have to sell their waste heat?  Stranger things have happened.  Perhaps at the dog and pony shows that have been arranged for early January at Wenona Park and the Plainfield Twp Fire Company, officials of Green Knight can explain their financial position during Q&A.

Will the residents in the Pen Argyl Area School District see a significant economic benefit from Synagro?
Green Knight is promoting the Synagro project because it allegedly realizes a 17-year long goal to recover energy from its waste heat.  A closer look has revealed that goal had a low probability of realization from the start, because it relied on the waste heat being delivered to a manufacturer located on the current Techo Bloc property at 852 Pennsylvania Ave   That did not happen.  It could not have been planned to locate the waste heat consumer where Synagro proposes, because the zoning never permitted more than one principal use on that lot.

But assuming they could sell their waste heat to Synagro, it is a fair question what the particulars are - what monthly income does GKEDC expect for delivery of its waste energy?  It has been represented that Synagro is supplying the heat exchange equipment on the energy center's turbines - who will pay for the maintenance of said equipment?  What will be the gross economic benefit to the needy and distressed citizens of Plainfield Township, Wind Gap, and Pen Argyl?  We know there will be jobs in the range of $35K to $100K, which means one person making $100K, and everyone else making $35K to $50K.  16 jobs (advertised).  If you're needy and/or distressed, Synagro has a few jobs to enable you to pull up your bootstraps, pull on your protective gear, and escape your unfortunate circumstances - moving poop around in a closed building you will experience the freedom of the soul that accompanies the opportunity to achieve higher and higher goals.  Synagro's storage silos are 52.5' tall.  It will be good for the entire community - especially the thousands living within a few miles of the plant and adjacent to farms in the Lehigh Valley.  We made that!

The proposed project will doubtlessly be lucrative to investors in Synagro and Waste Management, But will there be an increase in Green Knight community grants due to the added income from Synagro?  It is inexplicable why grants suddenly decreased 85%+ around 2011 and have remained depressed, even though net income is healthy.  Reports that GKEDC itself may be "needy and distressed" seem suspicious both by the evidence as well as the timing..  Unless Uncle Billy dropped a bundle of cash down a hole and nobody knows yet.  It is possible that the added income from Synagro will not influence the bottom line to the community at all?

Winners and Losers
Clearly the big winner is Waste Management.  They lease their land, and may get a per ton or some other volume-based fee.  There is big money here - Synagro would receive about $32,000 per day for the 400 tons of crap it hauls in - $80 per ton is typical for hauling Class B sludge out of waste treatment plants.

Next in line is Synagro.  They would not be doing this if it were not profitable.  They plan to win.

Last is Green Knight, and the needy and distressed citizens this non-profit is to benefit.  Given their recent track record of decreased grants and the lack of transparency as to their plans, should they not specifically inform the community what impact this will have on grants they pledge to provide to the community?  As for jobs - please.  We're already faced with the risk of our children settling for driving forklifts.  Do we really want them ending up as floor-flushing poop-pushers?

Alternate poop-less plan for Green Knight and Waste Management that would benefit the community
Let's do something positive for the community, not something to make it worse

Several citizens have asked why there is so much flaring of methane from the landfill, given that this is wasted energy that Green Knight could be converting into electricity and selling.  There is so much flaring that some are even claiming that Waste Management is "burning sludge", because they smell shit and see the flares.  WM accepts 400 tons a day of sludge according to manager Scott Perin, but it is not burning it.  It is being put in the landfill.

Waste Management could expand the piping system in place that currently supplies methane to the Energy Center, to extend to additional parts of the landfill.  If Green Knight is at capacity, use some of the $4m to add a turbine.  Or take out a loan.  This isn't rocket science.  Put your thinking caps on.

Click here for 2013 Green Knight Form 990
Click here for 2014 Green Knight Form 990

Green Knight Economic Development Corporation IRS Form 990 for FY2015, showing $20K in community grants on... on Scribd
Green Knight Economic Development Corporation FY 2015 IRS form 990

Waste Management and Green Knight intended to sell waste heat offsite - Synagro biosolids plant on WM parcel in Plainfield Township is plan B (owel movement)

In 2001, the Green Knight Energy Center opened on land leased from Waste Management.  This operation burns methane from the landfill and converts the energy into electricity that is sold.  The first plan was for Waste Management to sell electricity to local customers, including on 19 acres that Waste Management donated to create the Slate Belt Industrial Center, which was three contiguous parcels at 850, 852 and 854 Pennsylvania Avenue, but the PUC does not allow you to sell electricity to your neighbor.

To sell energy to the grid, Waste Management had to create the "nonprofit" Green Knight Economic Development Corporation.  What could go wrong with big business creating a nonprofit?  The advertised mission of the Green Knights was to benefit the communities in the Pen Argyl School District - Wind Gap, Pen Argyl, and Plainfield Township.  Today, it is to "provide economic relief for poor and distressed citizens."  To effect equal representation, the Charter dictated that three members residing in each community be board members..  When it was later discovered that current member Peter Albanese was posing as a Wind Gap resident, but was actually residing in Plainfield Township, Green Knight simply modified its charter, instead of finding a third legitimate representative of Wind Gap.  Peter owns a business in Wind Gap - that's how he qualifies as a resident.  You just could not make this shit up.  Every rule can be changed.  This is not the kind of representation the founders of the country envisioned.

Green Knight's mission statement is ironic, given that they partnered with Synagro and Waste Management.  It's easy to see who would reap the economic benefits, and who would be distressed if this project were built.  Here is a link to more on the Green Knight Economic Development Corporation and what they are actually doing for the community.

The Slate Belt Industrial Center turned out to be a political fiasco, which can be verified using the internet.  Eventually, Techo Bloc moved into the property, and remains today.  The three parcels were merged into one.
Waste Management's dream of selling electricity and waste heat to manufacturing neighbors was flawed from inception.  16 years later it turns into nightmare for Wind Gap, Pen Argyl and Plainfield Twp residents - the precise entities Green Knight is supposed to benefit.

An article in Waste 360 dated April 1, 2001 contains some revealing facts about the intentions of Waste Management and its "nonprofit" arm Green Knights:
  • The 19-acre parcel ("industrial park") and Green Knight Energy Center were sold as a "green" project - Green Knight would sell electricity and waste heat to one or more tenants in the industrial center only a "few hundred" feet away.
  • Waste Management considered the selling of electricity to be the primary goal, and selling waste heat from the energy center would be "gravy".
 Click this text to read artice
Click Image to read article

The Land Development Plan for the energy center, also reveals some interesting facts:

Note the location of a "future" heat recovery option, and the fact that the topography of the parcel in SW and ownership by Plainfield Township of the old railroad ROW that separates the landfill's parcels are complications the landfill was well aware of when they allowed the energy center to be built in 2001.  It's important to note that the intent was not to make use of the waste heat in the manner as Synagro proposes (onsite), but rather to ship it to a nearby standalone permitted use.  The proposed project is double dipping by Waste Management.  We'd all like to use our properties 10 times what we do, but it isn't allowed.

Waste Management intended during the design stages of the energy center to recover waste heat from the energy center, for use on lands not owned by Waste Management.  But the desperate effort to find a tenant for the "Industrial Center" resulted in a tenant that could use neither Green Knight's electricity nor it's heat.  Flash forward 16 years, and someone decides to go rogue and see if Plainfield won't notice more than one principal use on the lot, as well as the new use not being permitted.  And they're using the same story they did 16 years ago - this project will be "green".  We'll take a look at the PR lipstick they smeared on this pig in another post.

"Morris came back here with the same lies.  The same silly phrases.
Well, he came to the wrong house.  And he came twice.  I shall see that he doesn't come a third time."

One may also conclude that Waste Management is making full use of its parcel currently - and lacks a hardship that prevents reasonable use of the property.  The only "green" here is an even more generous income for Waste Management and Synagro.  A Use variance can't be financially justified  - the state Supreme Court has ruled on this.

Can Synagro move its operation into the SW district, where it belongs?
As noted in the article, the purpose of the parcels in the CI district in this area are to buffer the landfill from uses along Pennsylvania Avenue.  That's smart land use planning.  If Synagro were to be granted the use variances it needs, that buffer would be destroyed.  Let's take a quick look at if it can move into SW, where multiple uses are permitted and crap bakery is a permitted use by right.

In examining the diagram above, note that Plainfield Township retains ownership of the old railroad bed that was developed as a Recreational Trail, which separates the two Grand Central parcels, located in the SW and C/I zoning districts.  That presents an issue, because Synagro has announced plans to continue operations after the landfill closes, and Plainfield's agreement with Waste Management is that the currently closed Recreational Trail will return to use by the township.  Synagro's 20 ton trucks would be crossing the trail.  There is another more major issue.  There simply is not the room needed for Synagro's plant to be placed in SW in this area due to the mountain of trash, wetlands and the Little Bushkill Creek.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sludge Free Upper Mount Bethel Township to hold forum tonight on sludge in Plainfield Township - Synagro proposal

The review of Synagro's application to site a biosolids/sludge processing plant in Plainfield Township was supposed to resume before the Planning Commission at its regular meeting tonight at 7pm at the Plainfield Township Fire Company on Sullivan Trail.  However, due to the Zoning Officer issuing a ruling late last week that affects Synagro's application, they will not reappear before January's Planning Commission meeting (or possibly they will next appear at the zoning hearing board if they go directly towards needed variances).

Sludge Free UMBT will however be holding an information session tonight at the same place and time as the Planning Commission's meeting, in a separate room of the fire company.  A video will be shown, as well as discussion.  Please be respectful of others in the building - the Planning Commission will be hearing two other applications by businesses who plan so locate in the township - businesses with a far better reputation than Synagro.  If you have a gripe or dispute, the Planning Commission's meeting tonight is not the appropriate forum for it, unless you want to stay until the agenda is complete and make public comments at that time.

It is reported that there will be an officer on duty to rough up your ass if you decide to cause trouble, so let's be civil while informing ourselves and expressing our opinions and concerns.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Synagro biosolids plant review in Plainfield Township tabled until January 2017

The Synagro special exception application to site a 400-ton per day crap bakery in Plainfield Township, which has morphed into a non-permitted use application requiring two major variances, has been tabled until the planning commission's Tuesday January 17, 2017 meeting.

Excerpt of Zoning Officer's "Dear John" review letter dated December 15, 2016

While Synagro's application has been removed from the planning commission agenda for December 19, Sludge Free UMBT (Upper Mount Bethel Township) will be at the Plainfield Township Fire Hall on this evening to hold an information session and present a video on sludge.

It isn't clear how the planning commission will be able to review an application for a permit in a zoning district where something is not allowed to be.   Attempting to obtain the variances seems like the logical place to start.  More will become known in the next few weeks.

Note: January 16 is the third Monday, but it is a holiday.  The planning commission's regular meeting will be Tuesday, Jan 17.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Synagro biosolids plant determined to not be a permitted use by Plainfield Township Zoning Officer

Today, the Plainfield Township Zoning Officer made an official determination that Synagro's proposed use on the Grand Central Sanitary/Waste Management site is not permitted.  Therefore, a Use Variance is needed.  This is the second Use Variance Synagro needs, since a week ago it was determined they are adding a principal use and only one per lot is allowed by right.

This variance is even more substantial than the first one, because zoning is based on land use, and determining where each kind of use should be allowed.  It was determined when the district was designed to allow thermal processing of sludge in the SW (Solid Waste Processing and Disposal) zoning district only, since it is a solid waste processing use, but the proposed site is in the C/I (Commercial Industrial) zoning district.  Simply put, a use that is defined in one or more districts is only permitted in those districts.  A variance to put a use in a zoning district where it is not permitted is the hardest variance to obtain.  Synagro's ridiculous argument in its application for a variance to have multiple principal uses can't prevail; it will be interesting if they fashion an even more fantastic argument to be granted this variance.

Excerpt of Plainfield Township Zoning Map
Poorly selected location of solid waste processing facility - outside of Solid Waste district

"I know - we'll put the solid waste processing plant NEXT to the lot that permits it"

The Zoning Officer initially ruled that Synagro's proposed use is similar to a Recycling Facility, which the zoning ordinance defines as the reprocessing of manufactured goods such as glass, cardboard, aluminum containers, etc for use elsewhere.  The Zoning Officer either did not consider or for some reason did not choose a perfect match in the ordinance of "Materials Separation Facility" - which is defined as treating solid waste by means including thermally, for use elsewhere.  This use is only permitted in the SW district.  He corrected this error in his ruling today.
Plainfield Township Zoning Ordinance Definitions and SW district purpose and permitted uses

What were the Green Knights and Waste Management thinking?
The Green Knight Economic Development Corporation (GKEDC) is a nonprofit that is supposed to be acting in positive manner to benefit Plainfield Township, Wind Gap and Pen Argyl.  Waste Management is a huge for-profit company.  How it is possible that Green Knights and Waste Management did not realize their error, when they agreed to partner with Synagro to place a sludge processing plant in the C/I district, is beyond belief.  These organizations are the sole tenants next door in the SW zoning district, and they may have been involved in shaping the regulations of the district, since it was designed to host the landfill.  Surely they must have realized that Synagro's use is specifically permitted in the district they have a monopoly on, but is not permitted next door in C/I.  The advertising literature indicates those involved spent a year researching and designing this project.  How did they screw the pooch figuring out where it is allowed?  Throw a dart blindfolded and you could do a better job picking a site.  The SW district also allows for multiple uses (see 318.B above - "combination of principal uses") - this is where Synagro's use is permitted by right, and you can have multiple uses to boot.  This isn't rocket science.  Why didn't they put it in SW?  They can't fit it because there is too much shit there already.  Literally.  That doesn't mean you have cause to put shit elsewhere.

Why didn't Bob Cornman of both GKEDC and the planning commission participate in questions of the principal use at the November 21, 2016 review?
When companies decide to develop a lot, they scour the zoning ordinance to see if they comply.  GKEDC Vice President Robert Cornman, Jr was the long time Chairman of the Plainfield Township Planning Commission, is now its Vice Chairman, and holds himself out as an authority on zoning.  He is named as the GKEDC spokesperson for this project.  How did he not see that what they were proposing was not allowed by the ordinance?  GKEDC advertising indicates they have patiently been waiting years for the "right project" to come along to capture and use their waste heat.  Really?  You should have waited longer.

Determining if your use is permitted is critical.
If not, the rest is masturbation and costly

At the November planning commission review, Plainfield Township Manager Tom Petrucci questioned why Synagro's proposal did not violate the ordinance, which limits principal uses in the CI district to one.  Mr. Cornman did not participate in the inane discussion on this point that ensued, in which the Zoning Officer incorrectly stated that this lot can have multiple principal uses "because of its history".  This Zoning Officer required a variance on this same lot just two years ago for multiple principal uses to add a simple retail gas pump, and variances do not set precedent.  Waste Management representative Scott Perin suggested that because the lot is "200 acres", they shouldn't have a problem adding uses.  Did Mr. Cornman advise Mr. Perin on this point over the last year, because that statement is nonsense.  Come on, you know there were multiple meetings in the posh Green Knights Board Room, which is said to have high-backed chairs and portraits of its own board members (!) on the wall.  "Let's talk about the most important thing before we start - is this use allowed?" doesn't seem to have occurred to matter to them.  The Zoning officer didn't agree with what Green Knight, Synagro and Waste Management originally came up with after their diligent work - the application stated they were permitted as an agricultural use.  The Zoning Officer quickly rejected this, since crap and field crops are not the same thing.  The problem is the Zoning Officer turned around and "matched" the use using an equally sucks-ass interpretation of recycling facility.  Crap is not the same as cardboard, paper and glass.

Oh shit

Mr. Cornman could not restrain himself from suggesting in every way he could think of to see that the planning commission approve Synagro's site plan at the Nov 21 review, yet he was totally silent on why Synagro doesn't need a variance for multiple principal uses.  He also didn't point out that Synagro's use is not even permitted on this lot,  but it is next door where GKEDC and the landfill are located.  The Zoning Officer has since ruled that Synagro needs a Use Variance for each of these violations of the ordinance.

This leaves open what the course of action now becomes for the December 19 planning commission meeting, since Synagro's application is no longer a special exception - which has a prescribed review procedure.  Now, Synagro has a non permitted use, so it begs the question of how it can even be reviewed for compliance with the ordinance.  Logically, the first step would be to (attempt to) get the variances required from the Zoning Hearing Board.

Edit 12/16 - The Synagro application has been tabled until the Tuesday Jan 17, 2017 Planning Commission meeting
Edit 12/29 - The Jan 17 planning commission meeting has been moved to Monday January 16.

The Zoning Officer's Dec 15 opinion:
Letter From Plainfield Township Zoning Officer to Synagro, finding Synagro's use is not permitted on Scribd

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Amid controversial Synagro proposal, Grand Central Sanitary Landfill snaps up residential properties in Plainfield Township

In Plainfield Township, there is a shit storm in progress.  Synagro has an application under review to place a 400 ton per day sewage-baking plant on Grand Central property in Plainfield Township.  As reported here, there is already one use variance required of the Applicant, and another may be on the way.

Grand Central bought the house at 905 Grand Central Rd on Nov. 1, 2016 for $350,000.  It already owns the one at 1859 Delabole Rd.  There are rumors that Grand Central has agreements in place to purchase even more residential properties in this immediate area.  What is this about?
Grand Central expands its footprint in Plainfield Township - and is rumored to be planning to do it again soon

Plainfield Township BOS votes 4-0-1 to send Solicitor and hire expert to fight Synagro at Zoning Hearing Board

David announces he's taking on Goliath

At tonight's Plainfield Township Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board voted to hire an expert in crap, and to send the expert and the township solicitor to the Zoning Hearing Board review of Synagro's special exception application and variance appeal.  Supervisors expressed a desire to defend the township against the risks associated with processing 400 tons of crap than already occurs at the Waste Management/Grand Central Sanitary Landfill.  The initial budget approved for the expert was $15,000, and amount which will be revisited as the matter progresses.  The next Planning Commission review of the proposal will be on Dec 19, and the Zoning Hearing Board hearing will likely be mid to late January 2017.

A tale of two Green Knight Economic Development members and conflict of interest
Prior to recusing himself once the motion was made, Supervisor Steve Hurmi (a member of the Green Knight Economic Development Corporation which would sell energy to Synagro for its operation) expressed a concern to protect residents's interests.  Mr. Hurni said that while the Zoning Officer was still to render another review, that supervisors should consider this night if action was needed, and to not wait.  This is laudable, given that one might expect Mr. Hurni to lean a certain direction due to a conflict of interest.  What this blogger observed was the opposite - Mr. Hurni put the citizens first, and there was no hint of favoring Green Knights.  That's ethical behavior, folks.

Two residents in attendance reported that Mr. Robert Cornman, Jr, Vice President of Green Knight and also Vice Chairman of the Planning Commission, acted in a less unbiased manner during the Nov. 21, 2016 review of Synagro's application - that he appeared to want the planners to "push" the application forward with a conditional approval that night.  Mr. Cornman:

  • Recused himself from making motions or voting, but requested without objection to participate in discussion.
  • Suggested that rather than the Planning Commission discuss 18 Site Plan deficiencies cited in Hanover Engineering's review letter, that the Planning Commission could make a conditional recommendation to the Zoning Hearing Board with a request that the Applicant make changes to address the engineer's concerns.
  • Stated that the deficiencies were "mostly clerical and drafting items".  (Refuted by member Bob Simpson, who pointed out what he felt 3 were not clerical and were very important, and member Terry Kleintop, who felt 5 were important)
  • Then suggested that Hanover Engineering be asked to go over changes by Synagro before the Site Plan was forwarded to the Zoning Hearing Board (Solicitor Backenstoe pushed back and stated that if the Planning Commission has concerns, they should be addressed there)
  • Then stated that Synagro had completed a Site Plan that meets all of the requirements, and that a future Land Development Plan would cover all these items.
  • Finally he stated he didn't see why the Planning Commission had to "hold up" the Site Plan (to which Solicitor Backenstoe replied the Planning Commission has an absolute right to review the Site Plan)
Clearly Mr. Cornman should not have participated in the discussion, because he repeatedly tried everything possible to try to get the Site Plan approved at the Nov 21, 2016 meeting, despite fellow members insisting there were deficiencies they felt needed to be addressed prior to recommendation.  As it turns out, the Site Plan has a few gross and possibly fatal deficiencies - Synagro's use appears to be not be permitted, as well as already having been found to require a variance for multiple principal uses on a lot.  Ethics score: Mr. Hurni 10, Mr. Cornman 0.

Discussion and vote to send Solicitor Backenstoe and an expert to the Zoning Hearing Board hearing
During discussion on the motion, resident Don Moore presented the Board, Township Manager Petrucci and Solicitor Backenstoe with a handout in support of his belief that the Zoning Officer had made an error in determining the principal use that Synagro was permitted under.  Here is a copy of that handout:

Zoning Officer erred in determining Synagro's use is not defined in the ordinance - it is

Mr. Moore first stated that in his opinion, the Zoning Officer erred in determining that Synagro's use is similar to recycling, as defined in the ordinance; that recycling is of manufactured products (glass, cardboard, etc) and does not include biological products of the human body (ie crap).

Mr. Moore then demonstrated that in his belief there is a use in the Plainfield ordinance that matches Synagro's use - "Material Separation Facility" - a facility that thermally treats solid waste to create a product that is used off site.   The Zoning Officer's Nov. 17, 2016 letter states that Synagro's use is "not specifically permitted in the ordinance," which Mr. Moore argued is also in error since their use is a Material Separation Facility.  This use is only permitted in the Solid Waste Processing and Disposal district, which is not the zoning district of the targeted site.

Resident Joe Barbaras rose, and stated he is 2 miles from the current Waste Management site, but his life is made miserable already by odors from the dump.  He stated that if Synagro's use is approved, Plainfield Township will be the dump headquarters of the East Coast.  Mr. Barbaras expressed disappointment that he only received notice of this project in the last three days, when he received a mailer from Sludge Free Upper Mount Bethel Township.  Perhaps Mr. Barbaras was expressing frustration that Plainfield Township did not notify its own residents of Synagro's application.

Ralph Hahn spoke, and announced that he farms 400 acres, and residents can count on him to not spread Synagro's product on his farm ' "I won't use the stuff!"  Bob Krobath, also a resident and farmer, spoke at length against the use of sludge, and described the impact it has on the earth and environment.  He farms between 1500 and 2000 acres in Plainfield Township, and also said he won't be using sludge.  Mr. Krobath stated that he felt that at the planning review Mr. Cornman was interfering with other planning commission members being able to review the application fully, and it was inappropriate.

A few residents thanked the Supervisors for putting forward the resources to fight Synagro.  There was an attorney representing Synagro present, furiously taking notes, who abruptly left when the meeting adjourned.  He couldn't have been happy - it was a crappy night for Synagro.  The Plainfield Township Zoning Officer is due to issue a review of supplemental materials in Synagro's application tomorrow Dec.15, and if he finds that Synagro's use is permitted in another district but not the one Synagro plans, it will require another variance in addition to the one that Synagro already faces for muliple uses on the lot.  In this observer's opinion, there is chance between slim and none that Synagro will ultimately obtain these variances. Even if the Zoning Hearing Board waves the green flag, there is no justification for them.  A win in court would be child's play.

Given that the Supervisors are showing that they intend to enforce the ordinance, and Synagro deserves no relief to add a Use that is not permitted on a lot already used to the capacity prescribed by the Ordinance, Synagro would be wise to withdraw its application.  If this happens, it will eliminate the need to expend funds on a crap expert - the fight would be won on zoning, not health risks - the latter is a tougher slog through shitsville and would be a waste of time and money in this observer's opinion.

Edit 12/15 8:30pm Today, the Zoning Officer issued an updated opinion that Synagro's use is in fact not permitted on the proposed site, so an additional Use Variance will be needed.

Edit 12/16 6:45pm Synagro's application before the Planning Commission has been tabled until Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017.  Therefore, Synagro is believed to not be appearing on Dec 19, 2016 for the Commission's December meeting.

Edit 1/17 Synagro ultimately tabled its application for January, and is currently scheduled to appear next at the Feb 21, 201 Planning Commission meeting.  However, their plans may change - it should be known by January 23rd if a new plan will be reviewed, the tabled one will be reviewed, or if they table the application again.
The PR packet whimsically refers to Synagro's proposed facility as the
"Slate Belt Heat Recovery Center" - how "green"!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Synagro biosolids plant in Plainfield Township requires two use variances, and doesn't merit being granted either one

As reported here, Synagro was notified after the Nov 21 2016 Planning Commission meeting that they would need a Use Variance for another principal use on the target lot.  Their variance application shows that they are desperate to try to make a square peg fit a round hole, as they argued a variance is merited because there are and historically been several principal uses on the lot, which is crazy talk.  Only recently was a gas pump added, for which a variance was obtained, so there are currently two principal uses on the lot.  Variances do not set a precedent.

Next up, let's examine another Use Variance that is needed that has not yet been flagged.  When a new Use is proposed, the Zoning Officer is to go through the ordinance and see if that use is permitted, and where.  In this case, there is a use in the Solid Waste Processing and Disposal District - SW that matches Synagro's use, called "Material Separation Facility".  This is defined as:
Furthermore, "solid waste" is defined as:

A Material Separation Facility is permitted in only one zoning district - SW.  Since Synagro's use is provided for in Plainfield's ordinance, the Zoning Officer can't use a general "kitchen sink" section of the ordinance to allow it in another district, which is what happened here.  He allowed this use in the CI district, as a use "similar" to a recycling facility.  Here is the definition of that:
There is no similarity between processing crap and the processing of cardboard, paper, glass and metal waste.  But the critical problem is the Use is the same as Material Processing Facility, a use only permitted in the SW district.  This is to be expected - the SW district was designed with processing crap in mind:

Look for the phrase "although the proposed use is not specifically defined in the ordinance..." in the Zoning Officer's interpretation below.  This is not an accurate statement - thermal processing of solid waste is specifically provided for in the ordinance, as seen in the definition of Material Separation Facility shown above.

Plainfield Township Zoning Officer Review of Synagro Application for Biosolids Plant

Since the Use is provided for in the Ordinance in the SW district, placing it in another zoning district (CI) constitutes a Use Variance.  The criteria for a use variance are strict, and you must prove a hardship.  A hardship would be the lot can't otherwise be used, there are unusual characteristics of the lot, the hardship is not self created.  The lot is one of the most productive lots in Plainfield Township, and there is nothing unusual about the topography.  It is self created.  There is no hardship, so there is no chance for Synagro to obtain the needed use variances.
Stick a fork in 'er - she's done

Friday, December 9, 2016

Synagro proposes crap recycling plant in Plainfield Township on lot which is already full of crap

Blogger's note: There is a saying - don't shit in your own backyard.  This story concerns someone else shitting in my backyard, and is a departure from the water extraction topic normally reported on here.

Holy Crap!
On the heals of a lengthy battle in Upper Mount Bethel Township over the distribution of sludge (crap) on agricultural fields, which includes the recent filing of a lawsuit on behalf of UMBT residents (filed by none other than Bethlehem attorney John Kotsatos, who attended several Nestle hearings in Kunkletown and is representing West Penn Township residents in their battle against Jay Land's water extraction operations), comes a new threat - Synagro proposes to site a sludge/biosolids (crap) recylcing plant in Plainfield Township.

The plant would be located on same site as all of the support operations of the Pen Argyl Waste Management/Grand Central Sanitary Landfill.

How much crap can residents take?
Evidently someone believes quite a bit.  At the first review of this proposal, the Nov. 21 planning commission meeting, it was revealed that Synagro would be taking in 400 tons of crap a day and baking it. Yum.  They actually call the product "cake".

Here's the scary part.  Someone asked Grand Central manager Scott Perin, who was in attendance, "how much crap do you accept at the landfill each day," and his answer was "about the same."  That's right, folks, the landfill in Pen Argyl is depositing 400+ tons of shit in the ground, each day.  Does the DEP know?  There is a call in to find out.  So, this site would have a lot of shit going on, and it has a lot of shit going on already.  No wonder it smells like shit in the area.  800 tons a day - whoa daddy, shit storm!

Location of proposed Synagro operation on lot already being used

Plainflield Township Zoning Ordinance Permits One Principal Use Per Lot
On the lot in question, which is tax parcel E8 11 8, Grand Central Sanitary Landfill has all the support services for its landfill - a business office, the truck terminal, wash station, recycling.  These are all accessory uses related to the same business.  Pick one as the principal use - the county uses truck terminal.  The others are accessory to it.  In 2014, the Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board in its infinite wisdom granted a use variance to add a second principal use to this lot - a retail natural gas terminal.  When they did this, they failed to determine that the criteria for the variance were not met, because they did not address the criteria in their deliberations.  Instead, everyone on the board and the board's solicitor glad-handed and kept telling each other how great it was that the township would have a natural gas terminal.  This proceeding was a sham and handled in the manner of a "kangaroo court," though a zoning hearing board is a quasi-judicial body whose decisions may be appealed to courts of common pleas.  This proceeding looked more like a political event.  No one appealed this decision.

Sham decision to grant a variance for a second principal use on site targeted by Synagro

The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code has uniform objective criteria to grant a variance, and a use variance is the hardest to justify.  Here are the criteria that the Zoning Hearing Board has an obligation to evaluate one by one, but did not in granting the 2014 variance:

Uniform criteria in Pennsylvania MPC Sec 910.2 to grant a variance
Synagro can't meet the first three, and all must be met

Sludge Free UMBT Alleges Township Review Process is "Rubber Stamp"
Is the Cake Already Baked?  
The same Zoning Officer who required Grand Central to obtain the variance in 2014 for the additional principal use of a retail gas pump on the targeted lot in 2016 failed to require a variance to the same Ordinance article for Synagro, to add the much more significant principal use of crap recycling plant - which will cost $20m.  Hanover Engineering (substituting for Ott Consulting) failed to flag the principal use issue - which they should have done.  Instead, they simply accepted the zoning officer's comments that the use is permitted, reprinting them in their review letter.  Members of the organization Sludge Free Upper Mount Bethel Township attended the Nov. 21, 2016 planning commission meeting, witnessed the discussion about principal uses and member Robert Cornman's encouragement to recommend approval that night, and drew the conclusion that the review process is no more than a "rubber stamp".  They may be correct - how can the zoning officer have not realized a Use Variance is needed?  Attendees report that the zoning officer, when questioned in the meeting, said "it was decided years ago there can be multiple uses on this lot.  It's not even an issue."  By the zoning officer's "rationale", the granting by the Zoning Hearing Board of the variance he required in 2014, with not even addressing the criteria, gives Grand Central carte blanche to now add as many principal uses as they wish.  Movie theater, car wash, auto parts store - the sky is the limit.  This is the person whose responsibility it is to see that the zoning ordinance is met.  No wonder spectators thought they were witnessing a rubber stamp.  Push er through, we'll work out the "details" later.

Mr. Cornman is Vice President of Green Knight Economic Development Corporation (GKEDC), which runs the Green Knight Energy Center on the adjacent site. Synagro's application claims that the bulk of the heat to bake their cake (fry the shit) will be supplied from the Green Knight Energy Center, yet the Site Plan does not show this.  This will be covered in a separate post.  Steve Hurni is a Plainfield supervisor and also a member of GKEDC.  Sludge Free UMBT reportedly distributed a flyer by mail today detailing Mr. Cornman and Mr. Hurni's associations.  Although Mr. Cornman recused himself from voting or making motions, witnesses state he proposed the planning commission sending the application to the Zoning Hearing Board that night, with conditions for deficiencies.  These deficiencies were significant, such as Synagro would not specify if its waste water would be routed to the Waltz or Little Bushkill Creek, which are both high quality cold water fisheries (HQ-CWF).  4/5 of planning commission members sit on the township EAC, so why they would send an application on that has environmental uncertainties and lack of definition defies logic.  Was Mr. Cornman having his cake and eating it too this evening?   Not make a motion but make a motion?

Zoning Officer fails to require a variance to Sec 401 - crap recycling is a third principal use

Hanover Engineering Review Parrots Zoning Officer's Comments on Use,
Failing to Flag Need For Use Variance

Synagro Argues That Crap Recycling is Merely One Principal Use On Lot That has Several
On Nov. 22, 2016, the Plainfield Township Zoning Officer belatedly verbally informed Synagro that a variance would in fact be needed to Sec 401 for multiple principal uses, following a discussion at the Nov. 21 planning commission meeting.  Synagro filed a variance application on Dec 5, 2016, with the wild claim that this lot has historically had several principal uses, in justification of why a variance to Sec 401 should be granted.  They claim that slate processing and mineral extraction are "present uses", though they were abandoned many years ago.  Synagro's own site plan depicts "Former Slate Mill Quarry Building (Abandoned)" - see below - so let's cut the crap.  They list all the accessory uses to the landfill, as if each is a principal use but they are accessory and not principal uses.  These comprise one principal use.  Last, they list the gas pump, which is a legitimate second principal use.
Slate Mill shows as "abandoned" on Synagro Site Plan, but "Present Use" in Variance Application (seen below)

Synagro "gilds the lily" by claiming there are numerous existing principal uses

Cummon, Synagro, a Polished Turd is Still a Turd

What's next?  Tex-Mex, Electricity and Shit
The Planning Commission meets on December 19, 2016 at 7pm to next consider the Synagro application.  Here is the agenda for the night:
  1. Taco Bell Special Exception Application for demolition of Wind Gap Professional Center and construction of fastfoodery with drive through @ 6695 Sullivan Trail and Rt 512
  2. Metrotek Electrical Services Site Plan for Speck Plastics location
  3. Synagro Special Exception Application (continued)
Synagro's project may not get the floor until 9:30pm, since there are two new applicants before it on the agenda.  That is how it works - new business first.

The Zoning Hearing has not been scheduled, but will likely be in January or February.  Each meeting is important to attend, if you are concerned about the proposed project.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Niagra Bottling reportedly stops accepting deliveries of water from West Penn Fort Franklin Road site due to poor quality

In early November, residents of West Penn Township near Jay Land's company Ringgold Acquisition Group's water extraction site on Fort Franklin Road had their water quality go to hell. It turned brown, developed extreme sediment, and a foul odor. It became unsafe and unusable. This was after water extraction at the Fort Franklin Road site was increased quickly to 100,000 gallons a day, falling just under a DEP permit trigger quantity. Both investigators and residents had documented that 15 tankers a day were hauling water from the site to Niagra Bottling in Allentown.


As of November 2, the last tanker truck reportedly left the Fort Franklin Road site. Reports are that the water from Fort Franklin had prematurely ruined 10's of thousands of dollars of filters. In short, the water was poor quality.  On November 9, Mr. Land had two new wells drilled a the Fort Franklin Road site.

What goes around comes around.
Niagra says no mas!

Jay Land claims trucks hauling water from West Penn Fort Franklin site are safe, despite crossing into oncoming traffic and continuing accidents

Title 75 of the PA Code, Title 75 Sec 3745 covers leaving the scene of an accident in which there is damage to another vehicle or property.

On at least three occasions in October and November, the guardrail on the corner of Route 309 and Blue Mountain Drive was struck and damaged, according to residents.  The first incident was reported to the police as a water tanker striking it, and the property owner of the Fort Franklin water extraction site was reportedly seen inspecting the damage the following day.

Also, video and still pictures taken during this time show that loaded tankers leaving Blue Mountain Drive and turning onto Route 309 South are crossing totally over the double line on Blue Mountain Drive, and sit stopped while waiting to turn.  This creates a hazard for anyone travelling 50+ mph and turning quickly onto Blue Mountain Drive.  Also, tankers are pulling across all 4 lanes of Route 309, blocking all traffic that is travelling 50+ mph in both directions.

At the December 5, 2016 spoke publicly about issues involving the Fort Franklin site, including questions about the safety of tankers travelling to and from the site.  Incredibly, Mr. Land stated that the road is safe and trucks are not making the road unsafe.  Take your pick of blocking Blue Mountain Drive, blocking Route 309 and destroying the guardrail - which one(s) don't decrease safety?  Did anyone in the room believe him?  Do they have a barf bag dispenser at the entrance to the meeting room, like the poop bags for dogs on walking trails?

Here is a picture of the guardrail after the first incident, taken on October 7, 2016:

Here is a picture taken November 21, 2016:

And finally November 30, 2016:

Here is a video showing what Mr. Land apparently considers "safe" operation of water tankers leaving his site - note the car and tractor trailer that have a close call steaming up Route 309: