Rep. Harhart hosts meeting with Lehigh Township officials
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Front row: Jay Howes, House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee; Rep. Julie Harhart; Supervisor Dell Grove; Township Manager Alice Rehrig; Joel Rotz, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau; Lamonte Garber, Chesapeake Bay Foundation; and Betsy Huber Pennsylvania State Grange. Back row: Township Solicitor David Backenstoe; Supervisor Chairman Darryl Snover; Chris Herr, Penn Ag Industries Association; and Doug Goodlander, State Conservation Commission.
HARRISBURG - Lehigh Township officials were in Harrisburg Thursday at the invitation of Rep. Julie Harhart (R-Northampton/Lehigh) to discuss ongoing concerns with Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in the township.
Supervisors Darryl Snover and Dell Grove and Township Manager Alice Rehrig met with representatives of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Penn Ag Industries Association, Pennsylvania State Grange, State House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and State Conservation Commission to discuss their concerns about how CAFOs are regulated at the state level.
"I have met with Lehigh Township officials about this issue several times and understand their concerns and the concerns of their citizens regarding these large-scale farming operations and their limited abilities under state law to regulate them," Harhart said. "Thursday's meeting allowed us to share those concerns with the statewide agriculture and environmental protection organizations that help develop the policy."
Snover, Chairman of the Township Board of Supervisors, said the meeting was productive.
"Our residents have been raising their concerns over a hog farm proposal in the township, and we are doing our best to do right by those citizens," Snover said. "We came away from the meeting with some good ideas and a better understanding of all the issues involved in regulating these operations."
Solicitor David M. Backenstoe agreed. "It was a very positive meeting, and I look forward to continued communication with all the parties to help our townships."
Lehigh Township residents have expressed concern about water contamination, odor and the concentration of particulates in the air should a CAFO be permitted to operate in their area.