Thursday, July 13, 2017

Synagro once again delays review of controversial biosolids plant (Slate Belt Heat Recovery Center) in Plainfield Township - will not appear July 24

On June 12, 2017, Plainfield Township's Zoning Officer sent a lengthy letter to Synagro, finding multiple deficiencies in its application for a Zoning Permit to locate a crap bakery in the township.  Also in that letter were determinations of the Zoning Officer that Synagro's proposed plant requires eight specific variances.

Boat slip access will be possible at Synagro's State of the Fart facility

Later on June 12, at the planning commission meeting to review Synagro's site plan, Synagro counsel Matthew Goodrich addressed the commission and took the position that Synagro's application requires no variances, and thus Synagro must be granted a permit since its use is permitted.  The latter part no one can deny - Synagro's use is permitted on the site proposed.  However, the former is clearly in dispute - Synagro is attempting to build a $20m+ state of the art crap processing plant in a pond.  That's going to be a problem, and its current proposed project does not come close to complying with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.

For all of Synagro's bluster that it has a right to a permit, they are apparently in no rush to prove they deserve one.  They have not appealed the Zoning Officer's June 12 determination, and have not responded to address other deficiencies in their site plan enumerated in the June 12 correspondence.  Here is a sample:

  • Synagro has not proven that the naturally occurring slopes on the site where development is proposed were less than 15%.
  • Synagro has not presented proof of equitable ownership (eg a lease agreement)
  • Synagro has not stated its operating hours on the site plan, as required
  • Synagro's site plan does not show the adjacent land parcels as required (including the critical parcel that Plainfield Township owns, which Synagro plans to use as an access drive/street.
During discussion at the June 12 meeting, Synagro could not even opine on the amount of waste water it will generate, which will be discharged into either the Little Bushkill or Waltz Creek.  This is non-trivial - on a suggestion from a planning commission member, it was agreed that it will be in excess of 80,000 gallons per day.  Synagro appears to have a great plan in mind, but no attention to the details needed for it to be approved.  Most importantly, they appear to believe for some unknown reason that they require no variances.  If this is true, why haven't they appealed the Zoning Officer's June 12 decision to the Zoning Hearing Board?

A new development is that Synagro has tabled its plan for July, and will not appear before the Planning Commission for continuation of the review, as scheduled on July 24.  There is no further information available at this time regarding the delay.  Stay tuned...

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