Catasauqua Press

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hanover gets update on chemical spill

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

At its meeting June 21, Hanover Township Council had a short meeting on the longest day of the year. The top agenda item was the recent chemical spill at TruGreen. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) brought in a subcontractor to start remediating soil in the swale. The resulting report was noncommittal. DEP is only there to process paperwork; the actual work is performed by EWMI, a special remedial task team from Northampton that has a good reputation addressing similar situations across the state.

TruGreen has a subsidiary, ENSI, that works with chemical spills. ENSI is on site. According to public works Director Jeffry Mouer, EWMI is conducting geo probes in the swale and taking air samples.

The paperwork pushers made no public comments on what caused the problem or how it occurred.

“[DEP] indicated they can’t make any determination until after they do the geo probes,” Mouer told the council.

The township receives a daily activity report that arrives late in the day, around 10 p.m.

The plan appears to be that any contaminated soil found during the geo probes is replaced. The when-and-where of any soil replacement remains unknown. Both businesses, TruGreen and Health Network Labs, are on land owned by Patriot Properties.

In other news, council passed four ordinances as a positive step to expanding roadways to accommodate expected truck traffic as the FedEx warehouse on Willowbrook Road nears completion. The new ordinances address changes at traffic light-controlled intersections. Three lights exist now — lights located at Airport Road and Race Street, intersection at Schonersville Road and the intersection at Willowbrook Road.

A new light pops up on Race Street and Cascade Drive. The Cascade Drive light might signal a larger bureaucratic agenda since relatively few existing businesses are on Cascade Drive now. Cascade could connect to Weaversville Road.

Solicitor Jackson Eaton asked for the traffic signal ordinances to be prepared for his review. Councilman Bob Heimbecker verified Willowbrook Road is turned over to the state once construction is complete and meets township and state standards.

“I want to review things now, so we can be sure we are in compliance, so there are no problems down the road when we turn this over to PennDOT,” Eaton said.

He commented that title work details have consumed an enormous amount of time and effort for Rockefeller Group and their legal team.

In an added matter, Han-Le-Co Fire Chief Robin Yoder asked the council to approve the purchase of a new pump and rescue truck. The township budgeted $768,000 for the apparatus. Yoder had good news: the truck was spec’d out and came at a cost of $726,000.

“I think part of the reason we have the lower cost is we are accurate on our specifications, and we have a loyalty to Pierce as our manufacturer,” Yoder said.

More good news was if council would make the full payment now, the manufacturer would pay the township 4-percent interest while the vehicle was being built.

“This is a good deal for the township. Where else can you get 4 percent on your money?” Yoder asked.

It is a great deal for the manufacturer, too. Pierce does not need to borrow money for parts and earns interest on the township’s money while it sits in the bank. The price was negotiated on COSTARS, the state’s purchase program. The deal gives Pierce an added profit boost, making it a win-win for everyone.

The 4-percent interest paid to the township amounts to about $2,000 a month and is paid after the truck is delivered. Build time is estimated at 10 months.