June 21, 2006 |
A week after a contaminant was released into the Wissahickon Creek, killing more than 1,000 fish, malfunctions at the Ambler sewage treatment plant Monday night sent 55,000 gallons of raw sewage into the waterway. No additional fish were killed, but "obviously, from a water-quality standpoint, this is adding insult to injury," said Dan Tredinnick, spokesman for the state Fish and Boat Commission. Meanwhile, a state Department of Environmental Protection lab has detected cyanide compounds in water samples taken last week from the Wissahickon after the fish kill was reported downstream of the Upper Gwynedd Township Wastewater Treatment Plant.
June 18, 2006 |
It was a gorgeous day for racing on the Schuylkill yesterday, with the sun shining and water sparkling - and it was all the more exhilarating after a health advisory that nearly threatened to keep rowers on dry land. The 78 races in the Schuylkill Navy Regatta were going "superbly," Clete Graham, commodore of the Schuylkill Navy, said as he sat on the awards grandstand by the Columbia Bridge. "There were no qualms, no hesitations. It was a beautiful day. " About 600 athletes from 42 clubs came out. They were thrilled to compete, and didn't see any signs of a Montgomery County fish kill, Graham said.
March 18, 2006 |
The state Department of Environmental Protection is awaiting tests of Delaware River water after an apparently faulty overflow valve caused pollution from a wastewater treatment plant in Falls Township. DEP spokeswoman Deborah Fries said yesterday that a Waste Management Inc. worker, arriving for his 6 a.m. shift on Monday at the GROWS landfill, found an overflow alarm alerting him that 19,000 gallons of diluted material from GROWS and the Tullytown landfill had flowed into a tidal marsh.
January 27, 2006 |
In western Chester County, where tract houses nudge Amish farms, and buggies share the road with SUVs, major development in four fast-growing communities has come to a halt for more than two years. The problem is sewage. The state has stopped the planned construction of at least 1,500 homes, along with additional retail and office space, because the area's privately owned sewage plant doesn't have the capacity to handle the wastewater generated by thousands more people. In a worst-case scenario, the plant in South Coatesville eventually could have dumped raw sewage into Brandywine Creek.
July 12, 2005 |
State, county and township officials say they don't know what prompted federal agents to take the unusual step of confiscating records at the Bristol Township Wastewater Treatment Plant in June, and a federal grand jury to subpoena workers there in March. The Environmental Protection Agency sent criminal investigators to the plant on the Delaware River on June 30. Agents with search warrants carted boxes of documents from the plant. "It does seem pretty unusual to me," said Bob Wendelgass of Clean Water Action, a lobbying group that monitors enforcement of the Clean Water Act. The act is one of about a dozen laws the EPA enforces nationally.
July 1, 2005 |
Agents for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency served federal search warrants at the Bristol Township wastewater treatment plant yesterday, EPA spokeswoman Bonnie Smith said. No other information was available, she said. On March 30, federal officials served subpoenas on behalf of the EPA on four employees of the Bristol Township Sewer Department, requiring them to testify before a grand jury in April. Messages left for officials at the township office were not returned.
January 28, 2005 |
A plan to convert 99 acres of fertile Chester County farmland that was under permanent protection for agricultural use to a field for wastewater disposal has been struck down by a Chester County Court judge. The ruling, issued last week by Judge Thomas G. Gavin, upheld an earlier decision by the Chester County Agricultural Land Preservation Board that said the proposed use violated the terms of a 10-year-old agreement between the county and Ox-View Farms. Gavin's ruling also chided the landowner for trying to double-dip into the public purse, and it has prompted county officials to close the loophole to preclude others from trying the same thing.
December 10, 2004 |
The City of Reading agreed yesterday to pay $239,000 to settle federal and state allegations that it repeatedly fouled the Schuylkill with insufficiently treated industrial and household wastewater. The city's aging treatment plant discharged excessive levels of various pollutants, including mercury, "suspended solids," and ammonia-nitrogen, more than 750 times, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Such pollutants are an issue not only in Reading but downstream in Philadelphia, which gets much of its drinking water from the Schuylkill.
March 31, 2004 |
A Valley Forge chemical company has agreed to resolve charges that it violated the federal Clean Water Act at plants in Chester, Baltimore and St. Louis. Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia and Baltimore filed felony environmental charges Monday against PQ Corp. It is accused of knowingly discharging improperly treated wastewater on several occasions in the 1990s. A grand jury in St. Louis returned an indictment last week concerning a plant in that city. Michael Imbriani, PQ's executive vice president, said "the company looks forward to appearing before the court with the government" to resolve the issues.
December 30, 2003
Let's hope new law gets EPA to clean up its act On Dec. 16, Gov. McGreevey signed landmark legislation to protect New Jersey's drinking water and ensure safer cleanups of Superfund sites, such as the GEMS landfill in Gloucester Township ("Governor approves GEMS sanction," Dec. 17). The new law prohibits sewer systems from accepting wastewater from Superfund site landfills, and requires onsite cleanup and discharge when radioactive contaminants are present. The legislation, sponsored by State Sens.