Inspector: SEDA-COG failed to stabilize dirt from pipe installation in Tharptown
COAL TOWNSHIP - Dirt disturbed due to railroad work in Tharptown is at risk of continued erosion, with sediment spilling into the Shamokin Creek channel, according to a site inspection report.
A Northumberland County Conservation District inspector claims SEDA-COG violated the Clean Streams Law by failing to stabilize disturbed dirt after regrading a drainage ditch and installing or cleaning cross pipes.
The inspection was made June 24 in the area where the railroad intersects with John's Estate Road, near Penelope Murphy's Bed and Breakfast, following a citizen complaint. Excavated material was lined along and over the creek bank, the report states, causing a risk of pollution. It's unstabilized and susceptible to erosion, especially during rainfall.
Last month's visit followed a November visit in which the same conditions allegedly existed and violations noted, the report states. Such inspections are authorized by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). SEDA-COG is at risk of civil and criminal penalty should the conditions persist, the report states.
SEDA-COG would meet compliance by stabilizing the material with vegetation, installing rock outfall aprons at all cross pipes and eliminating channels caused by erosion, according to the report.
A follow-up inspection is slated for July 15.
Craig Fetterman, chairman of the Coal Township commissioners, said during Wednesday's monthly meeting the erosion threatens to build up in a creek bed that the board and nearby residents would rather see dredged.
Anyone caught dumping any sediment into the creek channel will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, he said.
"The people there have to hold their breath now as it is," Fetterman said.
Shamokin Creek overflowed in 2011, flooding residents' basements. Debris from upstream and from eroded creek banks built up in the channel, which commissioners say increases flood risk.
The township's application for $1.5 million in state funds that would have been used for flood control projects in both Tharptown and Ranshaw was turned down last fall.
Chris Greager was hired to a full-time position with the street department at a $14.65 hourly wage with a 90-day probation period.
The purchase of a used dump truck is pending confirmation of a grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture and further guidance from the township solicitor. A single proposal for a used dump truck was submitted to the township by VC Maintenance and General Contractor for a 2011 Ford F550 Super Duty with 9-foot plow and 10-foot hydraulic spreader. Price is $50,000.
The township recycling center received a $162,000 grant to purchase a new loader. A match of $18,000 is required. The center is expected to top 1 million pounds of recyclables by the end of summer, the earliest it will have reached that mark since it opened.
A proclamation in recognition of Shamokin's 150th anniversary was presented by the commissioners to city Mayor William D. Milbrand and city clerk Robert M. Slaby.