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Wetlands study for Act 537 plan delayed by supervisors

Published October 10. 2013 05:00PM

Lower Towamensing Township plans to hold off on a wetlands delineation study in conjunction with its Act 537 Plan.

By a unanimous measure, the township's board of supervisors agreed on Tuesday to table the Official Sewage Facilities (Act 537) Plan Wetlands Delineation/Bog Turtle Phase 1 study.

Supervisors Chairman Brent Green stated that the township received three estimates for the study to be done so that the township can send it to the state Department of Environmental Protection for approval.

The estimates were submitted by Environmental Consultation Services, Inc., of Pen Argyl ($13,300); Wildlife Specialists, LLC, of Wellsboro, Tioga County ($20,000); and Liberty Environmental, Inc. of Reading, Berks County ($48,785).

Supervisor Ron Walbert said he believes the study needs to be conducted.

"I think it has to be done," Walbert said. "I think we should go with the lowest bid."

However, it was noted that a proposal from Aqua-Terra Environmental, Ltd, of Reading, Berks County, has yet to be received.

Township solicitor Jim Nanovic said the study is being done in tandem with the township's efforts to bid a project to sewage its wastewater treatment plant.

Last month, supervisors agreed to advertise to bid the wastewater treatment plant project, at which time Nanovic said the township was looking for a "single entity to provide sewage treatment to the township."

Nanovic also said at that time that it would not be a township plant, but, rather, a private plant, and that Blue Mountain Ski Area was eligible to bid on the project.

In July, the Delaware River Basin Commission granted Blue Mountain permission to expand its wastewater treatment plant.

At that time, the DRBC approved the application submitted by Keystone Consulting Engineers, on behalf of Tuthill Corporation, for the renewal of an existing discharge from the ski area wastewater treatment plant.

That approval came as Blue Mountain began preliminary work on its new Summit Splash Water Park, which should be open by May of 2015, and could yield about 40 new full-time jobs.

The approval means the ski area can now expand the facility from being able to treat and discharge 0.06 million gallons per day to 0.28 million gallons per day. The expanded plant will now consist of three communitors/bar screens, a surge tank, five aeration tanks, five clarifiers, four sludge storage tanks, two chlorine contact tanks, and two post aeration tanks.

The wastewater treatment plant will continue to discharge treated effluent to the Aquashicola Creek at River Mile 183.66-36.32-5.73 (Delaware River, Lehigh River, Aquashicola Creek) via Outfall No. 001, within the drainage area of the section of the nontidal Delaware River known as the Lower Delaware, which is classified as Special Protection Waters, in Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon County.

The project facilities are not located in the 100-year floodplain. Waste sludge will continued to be hauled off-site by a licensed hauler for disposal at a state-approved facility.

The overall cost of Blue Mountain's project is estimated to be $1,224,180.

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