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Linglestown Gazette: Citizen group working to prevent watershed pollution

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Citizen group working to prevent watershed pollution

Updated 09.19.08 at 4:02 pm ...

Government watchdog group SWAN (Stray Wind Area Neighbors) has requested that state environmental officials conduct soil tests at the site of a former asphalt company on McIntosh Road in Lower Paxton Twp.

The group is concerned that the Paxton Creek and land adjacent to the Baltimore Tar hazardous waste site could be contaminated with benzene, which the federal Environmental Protection Agency has classified as a known human carcinogen.

“It is difficult to imagine that decades worth of hazardous waste activity on a site that slopes into the Paxton Creek would not infect the watershed,” said SWAN chairman Eric Epstein in a letter to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The cleanup plan being backed by DEP would not remove pollution to a level good enough for residential uses.

SWAN disagrees with DEP's plan because the waste site is located on the Stray Winds Farm tract that has been approved for a housing development with over 400 dwelling units.

On Sept. 19, SWAN chairman Eric Epstein sent me a response to an anonymous comment filed under this post.



At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having first hand experience at the site, the old site was used for a chip and tar operation. Its like saying that having an asphalt road near your house is a toxic waste dump. The benzene soil identified at the site has been removed, per DEP requirements and the site now conforms to non-residential standards. This would be a great redevelopment opportunity. Instead of building McMansions (like the one Epstein lives in) on farm land. You could build office space/restaurants/commercial buildings. The only other option (since remediation is a voluntary program in PA)is to let it sit and rot. Lets not be ridiculous here.....we can save farmland and help create jobs at the same time.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger  said...

I appreciate you weighing in on the issue. However, your comments would carry more weight if you identified yourself. This kind of pointed comment would never show up in a newspaper because an editor would not be able to validate it. Anonymous comments are a bane to the Internet.
RE: Its like saying that having an asphalt road near your house is a toxic waste dump.

This is not an apples-to-apples comparison. Road paving projects result in minimal amounts of toxic chemicals being directly dumped onto soils.


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