Bucks County Commissioners discussed their concerns regarding any inquiries so far into the proposed Elcon liquid waste treatment plant slated for Falls Township. The comments came in response to six Lower Bucks citizens voicing their own concerns at the monthly commissioners’ meeting today in Doylestown.
The group was led by Bensalem resident Linda Myntz, who said the plant would be “a permanent public health and safety threat” if built, especially because of its proximity to the Delaware River and populated areas.
“This has bad idea written all over it,” she said.
Former state Senate candidate Steve Cickay also spoke, appealing to the commissioners’ commitment to environmental safety to oppose the idea. And, Fred Stine of the Delaware Riverkeepers reiterated concerns about the area’s connection to the river.
The commissioners listened, but stressed that it was too early in the process for the county to formally weigh in. “We’re very sensitive to it,” said Commission Chairman Robert Loughery. “We’re trying to gather information and monitor it as best we can.”
To move forward, Elcon must submit its plans to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, or PADEP, for a review. Overall, the process takes 12 to 18 months.
Earlier this month, Commission Vice Chairman Charles Martin and Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia met with members of the PADEP to discuss the proposal so far and what will happen next.
“I was very impressed by the DEP staff we met with,” said Martin. “It seems they have a very good understanding and will be very thorough.”
Martin added that he “would not be averse” to the county taking a position on the proposal at some point, but that would come after the state-level review. “The DEP will do a good job evaluating the submission,” he said.
Marseglia echoed those sentiments and added that, while the commissioners are taking into account comments from citizens, they need accurate information.
“It’s not near a park, it’s not near a school,” she said, referencing one person’s comment about the proposed site’s proximity to other public fixtures.
Loughery also voiced some of his own concerns, particularly the fact that the water table is only six feet below ground in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex.
“Having been a property owner in that area, that infrastructure is a big concern,” he said, speaking in particular about railroads leading into the industrial area. “It’s aged. It needs to be repaired.”