DORRANCE TWP. – William Higgs, an attorney who serves as counsel to a township resident who is an objector to the expansion of the Pennsy Supply Corp. quarry on Small Mountain Road, tried Thursday night to challenge claims by officials of Hydro Geological Services that the planned operation will have no impact on wetlands adjoining the 120-acre site.
Higgs, who represents Kevin Casey, a resident of Small Mountain Road, attempted to introduce charts that contradict statements by Hydro Geological reflecting that a projected draw-down on water on daily basis will not have an adverse impact on the wetlands in spite of what Hydro Geological representatives say.
Higgs said even the company's official report, which was submitted to the supervisors at the outset of hearings in July, contradict these statements
One of those representatives is James Rumbaugh, who described himself as a geologist who assisted in formulating ground water models for the quarry. He contended there will be enough water recharge to support the existing water table and the wetlands as well.
Furthermore, at one point, under questioning by George Asimos, counsel for Pennsy Supply, Rumbaugh said he projects that the quarry will not get below the existing water table until the end of the quarry life.
At present the quarry is anticipated to operate for 20 years.
Rumbaugh also said research has determined that Balliet Run, which traverses the site, flows at an average rate of 2,000 gallons per minute and because Pennsy is projecting to possibly draw water from the stream at a rate of 80 gallons per minute, there would be no problem.
Higgs, however, said he has determined that the wetlands are classified by the state Department of Environmental Protection as exceptional w2etlands, and as such, DEP has decreed that no adverse impact is permitted. He said statistics documented by Hydro Geological Services reflect that there, indeed, will be an adverse impact.
In conjunction with his challenge, Higgs said that, at Casey's request, he has filed an objection to a DEP permit which was approved for Pennsy on March 23, 2012. He said Casey wants the permit revoked.
In the overall, the decision by DEP was preliminary to Pennsy making a filing with the township supervisors for a conditional use permit. The supervisors have been conducting a series of public hearings on this request.
Another session has been scheduled on Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m., at which time the supervisors will field questions from the public on a list of conditions which Patrick Bartorillo, president of the north region for Pennsy, presented on Thursday.
Bartorillo documented projected hours of operation as well as several other concessions the company said it will abide by in the interest of being a good neighbor. It is a 20-point plan, which basically stipulates that hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. He outlined further that the primary crusher will not be utilized on holidays and blasting will only occur according to zoning ordinances of Dorrance.
Bartorillo also said design features will be incorporated to reduce noise levels and policies will be imposed to protect ground water supplies, including providing free testing, if necessary, for those residents within 1,000 feet of the quarry.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Royce Engler, chairman, said the supervisors will make available to the public Bartorillo's list of conditions. He asked that any questions or comment resulting from this policy statement be directed in writing to the supervisors prior to their Dec. 6 session. Engler said copies of the 20-point proposal can be obtained at the township municipal building.