This press release came from the Department Of Environmental Protection's website. SOP attended a meeting with representatives of Hazleton Creek Properties last week. The testing performed by the firm on a proactive basis provides sound information that the materials meet or exceed residential parameters. The detractors to this project never address the fact that remediation of this site is ridding it of many toxic substances that were dumped there over many years. With Todd Eachus out of the picture maybe we will see progress on a worthwhile, sustainable effort to develop 277 acres inside Hazleton's boundaries.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John Repetz, Department of Environmental Protection Southcentral Regional Office
DEP Approves Hazleton Creek’s Use of Coal-fired Electric Generating Waste in Mine Land Reclamation Project
HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection has approved a general permit application by Hazleton Creek Properties authorizing the beneficial use of waste material from coal-fired electric generating facilities to reclaim a section of abandoned mine lands in Luzerne County. The 277-acre site, commonly referred to as the Mammoth Pit, is bounded by Routes 924/309 and Broad Street in Hazleton.
“The work done under this general permit will improve public safety and the environment by eliminating approximately 1.2 miles of dangerous highwalls and reducing acid mine drainage from the abandoned mines,” said Todd Wallace, acting director of DEP’s Bureau of Waste Management.
Under the terms of General Permit WMGR125, Hazleton Creek Properties (HCP) will use up to 550,000 cubic yards annually of a mixture of dry flue gas desulfurization (FGD) waste and coal ash to reclaim 53 acres of the site. FGD waste is produced when a lime powder spray mixes with sulfur dioxide emissions in the air pollution control systems of coal-fired power plants. Coal ash is fly ash, bottom ash or boiler slag and is a byproduct from the burning of coal.
“The people of the Hazleton area have been living with this enormous hole in the ground for decades, the result of unregulated mining activities of the past,” said Wallace. “This permit will allow Hazleton Creek Properties to begin reclaiming a portion of the site and return it to productive use.”
This is the fourth permit regulating fill that DEP has issued for this project. Since 2006, HCP has been using regulated fill material such as concrete, bricks, blocks and dredged material to build rail sidings and access roads, and to cap two old landfills at the site. Two other permits issued earlier this year authorize HCP to accept dredged materials, coal ash, and cement and lime furnace dust, as well as construction and demolition fines for use as construction material. HCP has not begun operations under the terms of those two permits.
HCP submitted this permit application in June. DEP held an informational meeting Aug. 31 and accepted public comments through the end of September. General Permit WMGR125 and other supporting documents are posted at www.depweb.state.pa.us under the “Community Information” section of the Northeast Regional Office page, found by clicking on “Regional Resources.”