Monday, October 16, 2017

Syangro files new application for biosolids plant in Plainfield Township - similar to previous proposal

Synagro has withdrawn the two site plans that were tabled at the Plainfield Township Planning Commission.  Both of these site plans would have required multiple zoning variances.  The last communication from Synagro to the township was that it was going to apply to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and PA DEP for a approval to dump approximately 300 tons of waste water per day into a tributary of the Walz or Little Bushkill Creek.  Both creeks are high quality cold water fisheries, and it is questionable whether either of the low-flow tributaries involved would be approved to have 56 gallons per minute of waste water disposed in it.  There are limits on the percentage of stream flow that a new source can add to the existing flow.

Site plans from October 2017 sketch plan submission

In this regard, Synagro has submitted a sketch plan application that removes the potential waste water issue; the new proposal is to collect waste water from baking the shit, and to haul it back to the source.  This is an interesting proposal, because Synagro has stated the source of the shit will be the "Tri-State" area.  They are actually going to ship waste water all the way back to Connecticut, New Jersey and New York?  This must be an extremely lucrative business.  It's obvious that Synagro and Waste Management want this very badly - all of the surrounding communities as well as Plainfield Township opposes sighting a biosolids plant on the target property.  Trucking waste water away won't change much in the community.

The sketch plan that Synagro submitted contains site plans that are virtually identical to those submitted in May.  The location of the plant, layout and traffic pattern is identical.  Note - a sketch plan requires no approval of the Planning Commission, versus a site plan submission, which does.  Although the current application contains site plans within it, it is not being submitted for site plan approval.  A sketch plan allows an applicant to have an informal discussion and discuss issues.  In examining Synagro's submission, it appears to this observer that the intent is the site plans included represent a finished product, and could possibly be taken to the DEP following a discussion at the Planning Commission - providing the basis for an application to the DEP and/or DRBC.
Asinine traffic pattern persists in new proposal
(this diagram is from the May application)

The new proposal's site plans contain two primary differences from the previous.  The first is a cul de sac is shown, as an entrance road to the existing Green Knight Energy Center.  This is unrelated to the Synagro site, and may be designed to bring the Green Knight lot into compliance with its development plan.  The second is that the "WWTP" (waste water treatment plant) has been relabeled "Waste Water Management Area".  It is unclear whether waste water from cleaning equipment and trucks will be trucked off site, or disposed of in the Walz or Little Bushkill Creek, or as a third option the local Municipal Authority waste system.

 Narrative that is contained in the October sketch plan application

The hauling of the crap bakery waste water from the site does not affect any of the Zoning Variances previously identified by the township.  Synagro has addressed its position on several if not all of these variances in the narrative included in the submission.  In light of the removal of the need to have approval of the creek disposal of bulk portion of its waste water approved, the chief obstacle for Synagro will be the Zoning Variances.  A potential legal battle is shaping up over these variances.  It is expected that a meeting will be held in mid to late November, for the planning commission to review and discuss the Synagro sketch plan.