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Protecting Today... Preserving Tomorrow

Help save 5,800 wild acres of forest habitat in the central Pennsylvania Wilds from being turned into the largest dump east of the Mississippi. Let the people in power know this area, noted for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities, is not compatible with a landfill-incinerator-industrial park complex!


A TIMELINE OF EVENTS

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SHOW UNITY

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THE PROPOSED LANDFILL-INCINERATOR-INDUSTRIAL PARK FOR CENTRE COUNTY:
A Brief History (continued)

MARCH 2008

  • At the March Rush Township meeting it was announced that Ed Abel, President of Resource Recovery, LLC (RRLLC), will attend the April 7th Rush Township Planning Commission meeting to present a Land Development Plan for the landfill and the I-80 interchange. This land development scheme may have been submitted to the Rush Township Planning Commission, but any decision regarding this plan will affect citizens far beyond the borders of Rush Township because of the potential impact on the landfill and I-80 interchange approval process.
     
  • RRLLC makes another appearance at the March meeting of the Philipsburg-Osceola School Board. Excerpt from the March 26, 2008 Progress article:
    The board heard from Troy Abel of Resource Recovery, who gave an update on the project progress. Mr. Abel said the group already has signed a municipal agreement with Rush Township and a cooperation agreement with Snow Shoe Township. Several geological, geophysical and environmental evaluations have been completed. The Rush Township Planning Commission also supports the group 100 percent. Mr. Selfridge questioned the amount of revenue that the project will bring to the district. It was reported that the project would provide approximately $3,653,942 to the district each year.

APRIL 2008

  • Resource Recovery and their consultants, Rettew and Associates, have removed themselves from the agenda of the Rush Township Planning Commission meeting. Perhaps it had something to do with the seven pages of errors, inaccuracies, and deficiencies identified by the Centre County Planning Office when they reviewed the plan using Rush Township’s own Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance as a guide.
     
  • Numerous municipalities in Centre and Clearfield County receive notice from the Surface Transportation Board in Washington, DC that the R.J. Corman Railroad Company plans to pursue reactivation of the rail line to the Resource Recovery landfill.
     

MAY 2008

  • R.J. Corman Railroad Company files a series of notices with the Surface Transportation Board including a notice to vacate the Certificate of Interim Trail Use for the section that encompasses the Snow Shoe Rail-Trail. This means 9.3 miles of the Snow Shoe Rail Trail, including the Peale Tunnel and the Viaduct Bridge, will be no longer be available for rail trail use if we cannot stop this proposal.
     
    Visit our STB reading room to review these documents from May.
     
  • After four years and five purchase options, Resource Recovery, LLC purchases the CLOG parcel for $3.4 million. It is very important to note that ownership of the property does not affect the DEP landfill permitting process. The landfill permit application is still on hold due to many deficiencies that the developer has yet to address.
     
  • PPC receives a letter from Secretary McGinty in response to their rebuttal of RRLLC’s February 2008 letter requesting her support of their project. Secretary McGinty confirms that the RRLLC landfill permit application will remain suspended until transportation issues are resolved.
     
  • Resource Recovery, LLC signs a five-year lease with R.E. Gas Development, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company with an address at 1975 Waddle Road, State College, PA 16803, for the purpose of exploring, drilling, operating for and producing oil and/or gas from any strata and any depth on the CLOG parcel.
     

JUNE 2008

  • A new company, Central Pennsylvania Water Treatment, LLC, created June 4, 2008, is proposing to site a wastewater treatment plant on the Rush portion of the CLOG parcel to discharge 500,000 gallons per day of treated brine water from gas well activities into the Moshannon Creek.
     
  • In an effort to slow down the rail reactivation process and make the Surface Transportation Board (STB) aware of the opposition and issues surrounding the Resource Recovery landfill, and to request that all projects targeted for the CLOG parcel be reviewed as a single and complete project, PPC files a Petition to Hold Proceedings in Abeyance. PPC hired Kathryn Pett of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, a STB-seasoned attorney, to file this Petition on our behalf.

JULY 2008

AUGUST 2008

  • Another delay for RRLLC! The Surface Transportation Board has decided it needs more time to review the various filings of the R.J. Corman Railroad Company with respect to their request to reactivate the rail line to the Resource Recovery landfill. They have found the issue to be extremely complex. It could take up to nine months for them to decide how they want to proceed with the various filings relative to this case.

NOVEMBER 2008

  • Headwaters Charitable Trust (HCT), the organization that leases the 9.3 mile section of the Snow Shoe Rail Trail that includes the Peale Tunnel and Viaduct Bridge to the Snow Shoe Rails to Trails Association (SSTRA), filed a statement with the Surface Transportation Board requesting the STB consider the financial investment they have in the Trail as well as the potential agreement they have with Resource Recovery. (Very interesting reading.)

DECEMBER 2008

  • The Surface Transportation Board issues a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement with regards to the R.J. Corman Railroad Company and Resource Recovery, LLC railroad reactivation proposal.

  • Snow Shoe Township sues RRLLC for violating the 2006 Cooperation Agreement. RRLLC has stopped paying the $500 monthly host fee and is trying to get approval for land plans from both Rush Township and Centre County that include using a Snow Shoe Township road to access the proposed landfill site.

FEBRUARY 2009

  • RRLLC submitted a Highway Occupancy Permit (HOP) to PennDOT to construct a road from State Route 53 in Moshannon (Snow Shoe Township) to access the proposed landfill site. PennDOT returned the HOP for lack of adequate information.

  • The Surface Transportation Board held a scoping meeting February 10, 2009 at the Philipsburg-Osceola School to solicit comments regarding the R.J. Corman Railroad Company construction/reactivation of the rail line to the Resource Recovery Landfill.

  • PPC submitted comments regarding the railroad issue. Special thanks to our attorney, Robert McKinstry of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP; Darryl Farber, Assistant Professor in the Science, Technology, and Society Program in the College of Engineering at Penn State University; Chris Plum, President of Carbon Trap Technologies; and Penn State student, Jamie P. DeVries, for their invaluable assistance.

APRIL 2009

  • “A preliminary subdivision plan for Resource Recovery LLC caused something of a stir last night, as Pat Couturiaux, vice chairman of the Rush Township Board of Supervisors, and Supervisor Steve Knowles engaged in some back-and-forth after Mr. Knowles declined to second Mr. Couturiaux’s motion to accept the plan as presented.” —The Progress, April 10, 2009

  • The R.J. Corman Railroad attorney rebuts PPC’s comments to the Surface Transportation Board and offers letters of support for the rail line from Rex Energy, Robindale Energy Services, Inc., and A.W. Long Coal. Mr. Long suggested an alternate alignment for the rail reactivation that would take the trash train right into Philipsburg.

MAY 2009

  • Resource Recovery LLC filed a suit against Centre County for failing to approve their plan to subdivide their 5,800-acre property in Rush and Snow Shoe townships. In January, the county Planning and Community Development Office returned this subdivision plan to RRLLC, saying it was incomplete. County planners questioned how RRLLC could say the land use is “unknown” when RRLLC had already submitted applications to various agencies to build a municipal waste landfill and I-80 interchange on the Rush portion of the property. A quarry had been permitted for the Rush portion of the property in December 2008.

JUNE 2009

  • Ballard Spahr submits additional comments on behalf of PPC (attachments available in the STB Reading Room) supporting their request to have the rail line construction/reactivation and landfill, quarry, industrial park reviewed as a single project (connected action) for the Environmental Impact Statement in response to the R.J. Corman Railroad letter arguing against including the proposed projects being reviewed as connected actions.

JULY 2009

  • The Surface Transportation Board (STB), the regulatory agency charged with reviewing rail line construction and operation requests, issued two Decisions with regards to the R. J. Corman Railroad/Resource Recovery, LLC request to reactivate the rail line to the proposed Resource Recovery Landfill.
    The first Decision (July 27, 2009) basically states that R. J. Corman Railroad does not need STB authority to reactivate the rail-banked section, that is, the 9.3 miles of the Snow Shoe Rail Trail can be used for Trash Trains; however, this section will be included in the environmental review. R.J. Corman Railroad had requested this section be exempt from the environmental review which would have excluded impacts from the landfill and to the Snow Shoe Rail Trail.
    The second Decision (July 31, 2009) is for the Final Scope of Study for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The STB determined that, “expanding the scope of the ESI to include the landfill development as a connected action is not warranted.” No explanation was provided. We all know — without the proposed landfill, there is no need for this rail line. In fact, Resource Recovery will fund most of the construction cost for this rail line!

AUGUST 2009

  • According to Mr. John DeHaas, Moshannon District Office Surface Mine Conservation Inspector, the Hawbaker Quarry, permitted in December 2008, and claimed as a significant customer of the proposed R. J. Corman rail line, has closed. The stone was of poor quality.
     
  • PPC sent two letters protesting the STB’s July 31, 2009 Decision to review the rail line as a single action rather than a connected to include the landfill. One letter was sent to the STB requesting they reconsider this Decision, and the other letter was sent to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) asking them to intervene in this issue. USFWS has consistently stated, the landfill, industrial park, quarry, interchange, and rail spur should be considered as a single, complete project.
     
  • The Nittany Valley Running Club and 20+ local businesses and organizations joined together to sponsor a 2009 Peale Race/Walk fundraiser for People Protecting Communities on August 29th. We had runners ages 12 to 68 and from Clarence, to Ashville, NC! We had 65 runners and 23 walkers complete the 5-mile course. The following organizations were supporting sponsors for this race:

SEPTEMBER 2009

  • Rush Township Supervisors approved a subdivision plan for Resource Recovery’s 5,800-acre landfill site. Rush’s new environmental land-use attorney, Charles E. Zaleski, of Carlisle, recommended approval of the final plan, but with a list of conditions, including final approval from Snow Shoe Township or a final unappealed court decision in Resource Recovery’s favor on that portion of the property, as well as future improvements to accommodate increased traffic, should the development occur, and that all future development be in keeping with Rush’s subdivision and land development ordinance.


People Protecting Communities • PO Box 38 • Clarence, PA 16829 • contact.ppc01@gmail.com

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