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CEASRA: Education Is Part Of The Solution

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The Citizens’ Environmental Association of the Slippery Rock Area, (CEASRA, Inc.) has worked toward protecting our environment for over 30 years, with the help of many people.

Former president Peggy Baxter resigned in 2016, after tirelessly working to keep our area environmental issues at the top of community awareness. I took the reins and we are continuing our opposition to the proposed Tri-County Landfill (TCL) while focusing on expanding our public education emphasis.

We believe the local communities need an organization like CEASRA. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Local, regional, state and federal governmental agencies are not always required to be advocates for the communities they serve.
  • Governmental agencies only know what is presented or reported to them.
  • Businesses may or may not be good environmental stewards.
  • Businesses can repeatedly violate laws and still be allowed to operate.
  • Community members need and deserve an un-biased information source for environmental issues.
  • Community members need a strong unified voice with elected officials and governmental agencies.

At this time, CEASRA has established some action items to serve as near and long term goals. As a group, we will continue and nature our ties with the PA Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. We also endeavor to monitor local governmental activity through reviewing meetings and agendas.

CEASRA will focus on community education in 2017. In April this year, we will present a program entitled What Every Pennsylvanian Needs to Know About Their Water. The public meeting will be presented by those who supply water, those who regulate water and those who are subject matter experts on water supplies. Topics will include best practices for private well supplies, information on public water supplies, and information and reporting.

CEASRA will continue its opposition to the proposed Tri-County Landfill (TCL). In 2015, the Environmental Hearing Board was scheduled to hear an appeal by TCL, regarding the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) denial of their permit application for a 160 foot landfill. However, TCL and the DEP reached a settlement and the hearing was cancelled. Details of the settlement included Vogel Holdings, Inc. having to pay $682,500 in penalties (originally 1.2 million). DEP NW Regional Director John Guth said “The penalty reflects the seriousness of the violations committed by the Vogel companies.” Some of these violations included transporting illegal gas well wastes, exceeding daily volume limits, failing to control odors and erosion and leaking garbage trucks.

The settlement agreement also includes TCL replacing its old 2004 application with a new one for a smaller landfill in Pine and Liberty Townships. Throughout 2015 TCL communicated with both townships about the new application. CEASRA expects that TCL will submit its new application in the future– and volunteers will be needed to continue monitoring.

To learn more about CEASRA, please go to our Facebook page or send questions/comments/tax-deductible contributions to ceasra@zoominternet.net, 325 Amsterdam Road, Grove City, PA 16127.

 

Bill Pritchard
president of CEASRA, Inc.