December 22, 1997 |
The supervisors are expected to vote tonight on a plan to build 102 single-family homes on a 78-acre tract near Bradford Heights Elementary School. Realen Homes has an option to buy the Romig Road property, which is owned by Wayne DiFrancesco and leased by BFI, a commercial waste hauler. BFI has a state permit to use the site for the agricultural application of sludge, or treated human waste. Realen's proposed Stonegate development would be the first approved under a new township zoning ordinance that allows developers to build more homes on less land - in exchange for maintaining other choice land as open space.
November 11, 1997 |
While the judge decides, the sludge will flow. That was the gist of a temporary order handed down late Friday by an administrative law judge who is hearing an appeal of a state penalty against Montgomery County-based J.P. Mascaro & Sons. In an action praised by Mascaro's attorney, Administrative Judge Michelle A. Coleman temporarily lifted an order by the state Department of Environmental Protection cutting in half the volume of sludge allowed at a Lancaster County plant operated by a Mascaro affiliate.
September 15, 1997 |
A dozen regional environmental projects - including a demonstration home in Souderton and a groundwater study in the Brandywine watershed - have gotten a boost from $1.5 million that a sewage-disposal company is paying for violating the Clean Water Act. Also receiving money are groups that want to clean up vacant properties in Chester and Philadelphia, restore eroded streambanks and teach environmental education to teachers. The payment stems from a federal grand jury indictment handed up in November 1996 alleging that the West Chester branch of BFI Services mixed and blended sewage sludge to make it appear to be raw sewage, then dumped it at several area sewage treatment plants and falsified records to cover up the acts.
September 1, 1997 |
It was late in the afternoon when the tug Katherine pushed a mud-laden barge out of Newark Bay and into the Atlantic - headed for a landmark moment. The barge was piled with dredge material, enough to fill 400 six-wheel dump trucks. It took four hours to get to the spot six miles offshore. And then, at 9:21 p.m., the bottom of the barge split open and 4,000 cubic yards of history-making muck slid out in a thick cloud and sank to the bottom. That mud was the last contaminated sediment to be deposited legally off the coast of New Jersey.
May 6, 1997 |
A former Browning-Ferris executive yesterday was fined $25,000 by a federal judge for negligently failing to detect the illegal disposal of sewage sludge by company managers in the Philadelphia area. Robert Atkinson, 55, former president of BFI Services Group, a Browning-Ferris subsidiary, also was placed on two years' probation by U.S. District Judge Robert F. Kelly and ordered to donate 200 hours to community service in his hometown of Maui, Hawaii. "This is a sad day for me, personally," said Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act. Atkinson told the judge that while he accepts responsibility for the criminal acts of subordinates, he was in Houston and had no idea the illegal disposals were taking place.
May 6, 1997 |
Ah, spring on the farm: Cows grazing in new-green fields. Streams sparkling in the sun. Tractors tilling the rich soil. Large tank trucks spewing smelly, black sewage. On agricultural land across much of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, treated waste - human, household and industrial - has become a common fertilizer. At least half of all the sewage generated in both states - about two million tons a year - is spread on fields where grains, feed corn and grasses are grown. Barred from ocean dumping, driven by the need to find someplace for all that waste, federal regulators and state environmental officials have promoted its use on farmland for more than two decades.
November 28, 1996 |
In the quiet just before today's holiday, the Burlington County freeholders took action on three issues facing the county this fall: the county landfill, parking lots and the bridge commission. The freeholder board announced the start of construction on a sewer sludge treatment facility at the landfill, voted to buy a 70-space parking lot for county courts' jury parking, and reappointed County Bridge Commissioner Robert E. Renshaw, a Democrat. Terminal Construction Co., of Woodbridge, a subcontractor for Wheelabrator Water Technologies Inc., is constructing the $36.9 million co-composting facility, county officials said at their meeting yesterday.
November 23, 1996 |
Someday, the rock-and-roll world will appreciate what a jewel it has in Soundgarden. The Seattle quartet, whose Down on the Upside quietly came and went earlier this year, has just about perfected its intricate, post-grunge take on heavy rock. Balancing pure guitar muscle with agile syncopations, the band achieves both power and grace with a precision that should be the envy of every arena band. Its songs are operatic in scope, yet articulate personal anguish and universal fears without feeling sanctimonious or distant.
November 22, 1996 |
Several enterprising Browning-Ferris managers allegedly cooked up a scheme to make extra money for their company by mixing together millions of gallons of raw sewage, grease and treated wastewater sludge. The result has tarnished the reputation of the nation's second largest waste-disposal firm. A federal grand jury in Philadelphia yesterday indicted BFI Services Group, a Browning-Ferris subsidiary based in Houston, and six former or current employees in an alleged $1.3 million fraud.
November 22, 1996 |
A Philadelphia-area subsidiary of Browning Ferris Industries Inc. and six executives were charged yesterday with defrauding area sewage treatment plants of $1.3 million by illegally dumping doctored sewage sludge. The charges were contained in a 23-count federal grand jury indictment alleging that the West Chester branch of BFI Services Group Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Houston-based BFI, disguised sewage sludges and grease as raw sewage and dumped them at plants in Philadelphia, Hatfield, Aston, Bridgeport and New Castle, Del., from 1989 to 1992.