Friday, October 23, 2009
Eachus Feigns Concern For Fill
In an article written by Kent Jackson that appeared in today's Standard Speaker Todd Eachus tries to persuade the public that he has a genuine concern for fill material that is proposed for the Hazleton Creek pit reclamation project. He is having about as much success as Chicken Little.
Every politician says "I'll run on my record." Well, Todd here's one for you. You authored the budget and voted to decrease the Department of Environmental Protection's budget by 30% this year. That budget decrease takes it back to levels of thirteen years ago. DEP is integral in the Hazleton Creek project where you have been a vocal opponent of the project from the beginning. If you are so concerned, why as House Majority Leader, did you fail to protect their budget? There is a story about that but we will save it for another time.
"We're concerned about whether DCNR and DEP are really going to be able to do their jobs with the significant percentage cut to their budgets," Donald Welsh, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, said.
The amount budgeted for environmental programs, and the percentage decline from the prior year.
DEP total budget: $159 million, down 30.5%
- General government operations: $14.4 million, -26%
- Environmental program management: $32.7 million, -22%
- Environmental protection operations: $85 million, -17%
- Water infrastructure grants: $0, -100% (from $11.7 million
How do you square up with the voters that you are concerned about fill going into the Hazleton Creek project when you O.J. Simpsoned the budget for DEP? Eachus has been complaining about "TOXIC" material going into Hazleton Creek. Here is a link to a story that appeared in the Tuesday, August 1, 2006 edition of the Standard Speaker.
His scare tactic was called out then by Mayor Barletta, and he is once again being called out for his obstructionism.
Read the testimony by representatives of the Department of Environmental Resources about dredge and Bark Camp cited by Eachus in his article. Use the Find feature of your browser to locate the word "dredge." Eachus is disingenuous with his statements over Hazleton Creek because its owner is a supporter of Lou Barletta.
The real facts are that Todd Eachus is House Majority Leader. If he truly wanted to he could find the funds to finance a project that will place what type of fill he wants into that hole. Has he helped the City of Hazleton secure funding? Nada. Did Governor Rendell help the Hazleton Creek project? Oh yeah.
Let Todd Eachus stand on his record. How much in total has been secured for the citizens of Hazleton who you took a sworn oath to represent? What specific projects and funding went to the municipality known as the City of Hazleton secured by your efforts?
Why don't you accept this challenge? Mark McClellan is more than willing to test the soil in your back yard where your family lives and plays and compare it to the dredge used as fill. Accept his invitation. Let the public see the results. That invitation is germane to the next observation.
Eachus brought up the Bark Camp project. Here is what DEP had to say about that project.
In five years of monitoring and after more than 100,000 analyses, there were no significant organic or metal contaminants detected other than those present in the general area prior to the project's initiation.
The results are conclusive and positive: When used appropriately, this material is an extraordinarily valuable and effective tool in mine reclamation and in the remediation of acidic drainage from abandoned mines that pollute more than 2,000 miles of stream throughout the Commonwealth.
Eachus's degree is in political science, not thermomechanical analysis or geology. Nothing qualifies him to extend an opinion on this issue anymore than the First Amendment of the Constitution. While free speech allows him to speak his mind, he should respect the people in that field for their knowledge, research, and dedication.
Here is the definition of a carpetbagger- 2.An outsider, especially a politician, who presumptuously seeks a position or success in a new locality. Eachus was from northern Luzerne County graduating from Wilkes Barre's Coughlin High School before seeking office in Hazleton in 1996. He is here thirteen years but wants to taint the names of families who lived generations in Hazleton and employed generations in Hazleton. Polluting the minds of people is one area DEP does not cover.