Residents get water project info
JUDY DOLGAS-KRAMER/TIMES NEWS Deer Park traffic consultants explain the findings of the traffic impact study to an Eldred Township resident.
Eldred Township residents learned Wednesday what impact a water extraction business would have on traffic.
"We have had an office in town for a while now and our hydrogeologist, Eric Andreus, has been available to answer questions and help residents to understand the process Deer Park goes through in picking and testing a site," said Sonia Holman, a government affairs consultant for Nestle at an information session at the Kunkletown Volunteer Fire Company.
The room at the firehouse was set up with a number of different stations, each addressing a specific concern.
One of the most popular stations was dedicated to the traffic study that Nestle had performed.
According to the study as many as 30 trucks per day would come and go from the site and that other than Chestnut Ridge Drive, the trucks would travel exclusively on state roads.
The study showed that the trucks to and from the site would cause the traffic on Chestnut Ridge Drive to increase by 8 percent.
Traffic on the more heavily traveled Kunkletown and Silver Spring Boulevard, would increase by 3 percent and Interchange Road and Little Gap Road would see an increase of 1 percent.
Another station that drew a lot of attention was dedicated to the question of residential well protection.
Andreus explained to the residents how Deer Park would make sure that their operation would not impact the area wells.
Andreus displayed a map of the area surrounding the proposed extraction site. The map included about 10 or 11 monitoring wells between the extraction site and the residential sites.
"We would monitor the test wells on a regular basis. That information would be used to determine if the water levels were dropping for some reason, we could then adjust our extraction accordingly," Andreus said.
"These are the sorts of things we could expect to be included in the permits."
Karrin Garripoli, a consultant with Community First, was there to discuss community involvement and ways that Nestle has put their "good faith, good neighbor" policy into action in other communities.
"We gather information from members of the community and see how they believe that we as a company can re-invest in the community," said Garripoli. "Sometimes there is a consensus, and sometimes there are a series of smaller projects that might need support. We have a number of ways that we can lend support."
Holman and Andreus both stressed that this project is still in the early stages.
"We still have additional testing to complete and we will have additional community outreach before we decide to proceed with the project," Holman said.
There was a fairly light turnout for the information session, which worked out for some of those who attended because it gave them the time to take in all of the information that was available and to spend time conversing with the Nestle employees, consultants and experts.
"I was aware of the project," said longtime Smith Gap resident Ilene Eckhart. "I was interested in finding out about the impact on the Buckwha Creek and I got a qualified answer as to the amount projected to be less than 2 percent."
Eckhart seemed pleased with the response she received.
"I wish every project coming into town would do the same type of session, it is nice to get answers to your questions."