Bucks County creek already degraded by quarry, yet DEP allows expansion
HARRISBURG, PA (September 12, 2011) – Attorneys with Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) filed an appeal Thursday before the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) challenging the permit granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) allowing New Hope Crushed Stone Quarry to expand. The appeal was filed on behalf of Primrose Creek Watershed Association, as well as PennFuture.
“It is next to impossible to understand why DEP decided to allow the quarry to expand, after it already determined that the quarry had damaged this beautiful waterway, “ said Kevin Morrissey, president of the Primrose Creek Watershed Association. “Once we had a fully flowing creek that supported trout and other fishes, and provided water for the homes along it. Now, the creek has far less water – sometimes, next to no water at all – and our vibrant fish and other aquatic life are virtually non-existent. Allowing the quarry to expand will make the situation far worse.”
“DEP made a formal determination that Primrose Creek is impaired, and that the quarry is the cause of that impairment,” said Brian Glass, chair of PennFuture’s legal staff. “Having made that determination, it is arbitrary and capricious and contrary to law for DEP to allow the quarry to expand without imposing any new conditions or requirements to address that impairment. We’re asking EHB to revoke this improper authorization.”
A copy of the appeal filed by PennFuture is available online. Other appeals have been filed by Solebury Township (Bucks County) and by the Solebury School.
PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization, founded in 1998. PennFuture's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state and federal courts, advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level, public education and assisting citizens in public advocacy.
Working from the premise that “Every environmental victory grows the economy,” PennFuture has successfully advocated for landmark environmental legislation, including passage of the largest-ever environmental funding bond, public investment in green energy and energy savings programs, passage of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, adoption of the Clean Vehicles Program and adoption of a regulation that protects Pennsylvania’s babies by restricting mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants. PennFuture has staff throughout the state, in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Wilkes-Barre. The Philadelphia Inquirer called PennFuture the “state’s leading environmental advocacy organization,” and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named the organization “one of the ten most influential groups on the issue of natural gas drilling.”
Primrose Creek Watershed Association is a community organization working to protect the creek and the watershed from degradation. Primrose Creek supports 500 - 550 households as the sole source of water. The creek originates in the vicinity of Solebury Village and converges with the Delaware River near Phillips Mill, a site which is on the National Register of Historic Places. In the colonial period, Primrose Creek was a vigorous stream that powered Phillips Mill.
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