DEP seeks public comments on waste-to-energy plant
Updated On: Dec 07 2013 10:09:42 AM CST
You have until Dec. 16 to submit written comments about the proposed Delta Thermo Energy waste-to-energy plant to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
A DEP spokeswoman stressed there is no timetable for when the state might approve the controversial project in Allentown.
Delta Thermo plans to build the plant on Klines Island along the Lehigh River, next to the city's wastewater treatment plant. The plant will convert trash collected in the city into electricity.
A copy of the proposed plan can be reviewed in the city clerk's office in Allentown City Hall.
At Wednesday night's City Council meeting, council president Julio Guridy announced the project had received plan approval from DEP, but that turned out to be untrue.
The document DEP has placed in City Clerk Mike Hanlon's office is titled "Plan Approval" and indicates DEP has authorized Delta Thermo to construct the plant "in accordance with the provisions of the Air Pollution Control Act."
But DEP spokeswoman Colleen Connolly stressed the project has not been approved. She explained that document is Delta Thermo's application to seek project approval.
Connolly said that document has been placed in City Hall because people wanted to read the proposal.
She said written comments on the plan should be sent to: DEP, 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., 18702.
Connolly explained those written comments will be combined with comments DEP and Delta Thermo officials heard during a lengthy meeting on the project on Oct. 30 in Dieruff High School in east Allentown.
She said the written and verbal documents will be combined into a comment response document, where DEP officials will respond to all those comments. She said DEP has up to 30 days after Dec. 16 to prepare that response document.
"Anyone who gave us a comment will get a response," promised Connolly.
She said the entire response document also will be available for public review, but she did not yet know if a copy also will be sent to the city clerk's office.
Delta Thermo officials originally predicted construction would begin last spring, but that didn't happen.
In late October, Delta Thermo president and CEO Rob Van Naarden declined to make any new prediction, except to say the 18 months of construction will begin the day after his company gets its permits from DEP.
Connolly said the waste-to-energy plant, which opponents dismiss as an incinerator, needs both air quality and waster management permits from DEP. She added that "most likely those permits would come forth simultaneously."
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Teen bicyclist dies of injuries from crash with tractor trailer
7 alleged gang members charged with murder in deadly stabbing
Woman pedestrian killed after being hit by car in Allentown
Investigators look into deaths of couple's 3 other children
Man ordered to trial in crash that killed East Penn CEO
3 children found locked in a car in Sands Casino parking lot
Peanut, almond butter recalled for salmonella risk
Teen on motorized bike hospitalized following accident with tractor trailer
Don't fall for this latest credit, debit card scam
Good Samaritan jumps into action after violent wreck on bypass