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Eldred Township protests Palmerton project renewal

Eldred Township supervisors have voiced concerns about a Palmerton mine reclamation project.

Supervisors sent a letter to the Department of Environmental Protection outlining the township’s concerns with a permit application for a five- to 10-year contract to haul “clean fill” from New York City into Palmerton for a mine reclamation project off Golf Road.

The Northface project is bringing in fill for the former New Jersey Zinc Company land.

The developer hopes to turn the land into an industrial park.

Township resident Doug Borger has been dealing with the nuisance caused by the current project.

“These trucks are only supposed to use Kunkletown Road when empty,” Borger said. “But some days these trucks are speeding past my house at 3 or 4 in the morning and they are so loaded that the tires are almost flat.”

Residents and officials of both Eldred and Polk townships have expressed concern with loaded dump trucks avoiding the prescribed routes, which are state roads, and taking township roads to shorten the trip from Route 33 to Palmerton.

Eldred supervisors agreed to forward the letter to DEP which asks the agency to demand a predetermined route of travel, requests that the permit holder place bonds to cover road repairs, and sets a predetermined frequency schedule for trips — limiting travel to Monday through Friday during daylight hours only.

The letter, at the suggestion of the regional planning commission also requests that the agency sets a method for enforcing the terms of the permit, including fines and the right to impound vehicles that violate the terms of the permit.