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HanoverEngineering

252 Brodhead Road • Suite 100· Bethlehem, PA 18017-8944


Phone: 610.691.5644 • Fax: 610.691.6968 • HanoverEng.com

January 18,2019

Mr. Thomas Petrucci RE: Plainfield Township


Township Manager Grand Central Sanitary Landfill, Inc.
Plainfield Township Slate Belt Heat Recovery Center Project
6292 Sullivan Trail Response to December 21, 2018 Comment
Nazareth, PA 18064 Response Letter by EarthRes
Plainfield Township, Northampton County, PA
Hanover Project PLF18-12

Dear Mr. Petrucci:

We have completed our review of the information supplementary to the Preliminary Land
Development Plan for the Grand Central Sanitary Landfill Heat Recover project, as prepared by
EarthRes Engineering and Science. Our review was of the following items received in our office
January 3, 2019:

1. Twenty-three (23) Plan Sheets titled Major Subdivision and Preliminary/Final Land
Development Plans, dated February 6, 2018, revised July 25, 2018
2. One (1) copy of the Truck Turning Exhibits, dated February 6, 2018, revised December 28,
2018
3. One (1) copy of the Access Study prepared by Traffic Planning and Design, Inc. dated
December 28, 2018
4. One (1) copy of the Stormwater Management Report dated February 2018, revised
December 2018
5. One (1) copy of the EarthRes Hydrogeologic Package and Response letter dated December
28,2018
6. One (1) copy of the Plainfield Township Zoning & Code Office Review letter dated
December 21, 2018
7. One (1) copy of the transcripts of the Plainfield Township Planning Commission Meeting in
regard to Grand Central Sanitary Landfill, Inc and Wind Gap Middle School dated April 4,
2018
8. One (1) copy of the transcripts of the Plainfield Township Planning Commission meeting in
regard to Grand Central Sanitary Landfill, Inc and Plainfield Township Fire Hall dated May
31,2018
9. One (1) copy of the transcripts of the Plainfield Township Planning Commission meeting in
regard to Grand Central Sanitary Landfill, Inc and Plainfield Township Fire Hall dated July
16,2018

Envisioning and Engineering sustainable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible projects since 1971
Mr. Thomas Petrucci 2 January 18, 2019
Township Manager

10. One (1) copy of the transcripts of the Plainfield Township Planning Commission meeting in
regard to Grand Central Sanitary Landfill, Inc and Wind Gap Middle School dated
September 6, 2018
11. One (1) copy of the transcripts of the Plainfield Township Planning Commission meeting in
regard to Grand Central Sanitary Landfill, Inc and Plainfield Township Fire Hall dated
October 8, 2018
12. One (1) copy of the transcripts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Protection hearing in regard to Slate Belt Heat Recover Center Project,
Synagro dated November 7, 2018
13. One (1) copy of the Summary of Comments of uisance Monitoring and Control Plan,
prepared by Material Matters, Inc. dated December 26, 2018
14. One (1) copy of the Summary of Comments of updated Comments Project Performance
Review and Compliance Report, prepared by Material Matters, Inc. dated December 28,
2018
15. One (1) copy of the Summary of Comments of Nuisance Monitoring and Control Plan
Preparedness, Prevention, and Contingency Plan, prepared by Material Matters, Inc. dated
December 28, 2018
16. One (1) copy of BCM Engineers review letter of the Project Performance and Compliance
Report dated December 26,2018
17. One (1) copy ofBCM Engineers Review Comments for General Waste Processing Permit
Application dated November 6, 2018
18. One (1) copy of EarthRes response letter to comment letter dated November 6, 2018 from
BCM Engineers
19. One (1) copy of EarthRes response letter to comment letter dated November 6, 2018 from
BCM Engineers

In response to our review of the above-listed materials, we offer the follO\ving comments to the
responses specifically in the letter from EarthRes to Mr. Jason E. Smith, dated December 28, 2018,
and accompanying materials, as related to wetlands, waters, and riparian buffer impact concerns for
the Township's consideration:

1. As previously noted, the Applicant and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental


Protection (PA DEP) have indicated that the pond on the site is regulated as a "waters of
the Commonwealth." Therefore, the pond should be labeled, accordingly, on the plan. As
such, the proposed project must be in full compliance with all state regulations. The
Township believes that a Chapter 105 permit should be required due to both groundwater
and surface water connections to adjacent stream channels (e.g., Little Bushkill Creek and
Waltz Creek), and provide and ensure adequate protection of water quality within the pond
and downstream waterways.

Based on available materials, it appears as though the pond was permitted to accept treated
stormwater from the adjacent Grand Central Sanitary Landfill for volume control, noting the
large sediment trap that was constructed to treat stormwater prior to discharging into the
pond. Any future use of the pond for stormwater management by the proposed Slate Belt
Heat Recovery Center (SBHRC) should also have all necessary water quality treatment prior
to discharge of stormwater into the pond. The current design shows two (2) new point
discharges into the pond that do not have any pretreatment BMPs for water quality.
Further, the only proposed water quality BMP, a vegetated swale, appears to only provide
limited treatment for a portion of that impervious area. All required permit applications,
Mr. Thomas Petrucci 3 January 18,2019
Township Manager

supporting information, permits, and approvals must be obtained and provided to the
Township.

The Applicant has stated that the pond was engineered, permitted, and constructed as a
sedimentation basin. The history of the pond suggests that it is a manmade pond that
resulted from discontinued quarrying operations, being later used as a stormwater
management basin to control water quantity. The noted conversion of the pond as a
sedimentation basin does not seem to meet the standards in Chapter 102 for the design of
sedimentation basins. Module 20 of the Mining Permit from 2007 states that the post
mining land use and reclamation would as "Developed Water Resources (stormwater
detention basin)." The Applicant has indicated that the outlet structure and emergency
spillway proposed as part of the approved plans in 2008 were never constructed, noting
further that the pond has never been known to have a surface discharge, even during heavy
rains. Lastly, there have been no records for maintenance of the pond as a sedimentation
basin provided by the Applicant to substantiate the ongoing and proper use as a
sedimentation basin. Therefore, the Township believes that the applicant has not
demonstrated that the pond meets all appropriate stormwater control and erosion and
sediment pollution control facility requirements, and that a Chapter 105 permit should be
required for the proposed substantial filling of the pond and use for stormwater
discharge/management to help ensure the "protection of life, health, property or the
environment," as provided in Chapter 10s.12(a).

2. The Applicant has provided a Jurisdictional Determination from the United States Army
Corps of Engineers that indicates the pond is not a "waters of the United States," in
accordance with current federal guidance and regulations. The inspection area for the
Jurisdictional Determination was not provided, nor was a wetland report with Field Data
Forms. Therefore, the full scope of the Jurisdictional Determination may not be discerned
by the Township and does not mean that there are no other regulated features on the site or
within the proposed project area.

3. Based on the concern for connection of the pond to groundwater and nearby surface waters,
as discussed above in the prior comment, a hydrogeological study should be performed and
provided to document what is happening to water that is entering, residing in, and leaving
the pond. The Township is concerned about potential water quality impacts to the nearby
stream channels and groundwater, which appear to have a likely hydrologic connection with
the pond. The current design proposes two (2) discharges from impervious areas of the site
directly into the pond without any water quality pretreatment, noting that this is an industrial
site and all stormwater discharges are to be considered and regulated as industrial. The only
proposed water quality BMP, a vegetated swale, appears to only provide limited treatment
for a portion of that impervious area. Further, the Applicant has not provided any
information or assurances related to the type, content, etc. of the proposed substantial fill
material to be placed into the pond and related to potential impacts of that fill to water
quality of the pond, downstream waterways, and/or groundwater. Deep surface waters,
such as this pond, undergo seasonal cycles that may have considerable effects on water
quality, water temperature, nutrient concentration, and other factors that may in turn affect
or impact downstream water quality and groundwater quality.
Mr. Thomas Petrucci 4 January 18, 2019
Township Manager

The Township would also like to express great concern for the potential water quality
impacts resulting from possible spills or accidents occurring within proposed stormwater
management facility drainage areas to the pond. There are currently no stormwater
management BMPs that would adequately capture and retain larger spills that may occur in
these areas. The proposed vegetated swale may provide adequate treatment for common
parking lot and road runoff for commuter vehicles, if correctly designed and implemented to
provide the necessary contact time for physical, chemica~ and biological renovation of
expected pollutants. Such swales, however, are not meant for capture and retainment of
larger spills which may occur, especially for sites serving large tank trucks loaded \vith
biosolids (Class A and B).

4. Based on definitions in the Township's Municipal Code of Ordinances and classification of


the pond as "waters of the Commonwealth," the pond on the site is regulated by the
Township's Ordinances. Therefore, the Applicant's proposed project must be in full
compliance with those Ordinances. This includes proper delineation and documentation of
all applicable wetlands and waters, as well as protection of associated riparian buffers of both
on- and off-site (adjacent/nearby) wetlands and waters. More specifically:

a. Based on Sections 22-1023.4.F and 22-1023.8 of the Plainfield Township Subdivision


and Land Development Ordinance, the Applicant must provide a delineation of all
wetlands (and waters) on the site, as well as any off-site areas within 100 feet of the
proposed project impacts to ensure compliance with protection of open space and
riparian buffers regulated by Township Ordinances. A wetland delineation and
functions and values report with supporting documentation must also be provided to
the Township. All delineated boundaries of wetlands and waters must be shown on
all plans submitted to the Township, with field location defined by bearings and
distances and tied to property corners at two (2) points on a sealed plan by a
Professional Land Surveyor. The plan shall also contain a Certification by the
qualified professional responsible for the field delineation, indicating that he/she has
reviewed the plan and does hereby certify to the best of his/her knowledge and
belief, it is a correct representation of the wetlands boundaries which he/she
delineated in the field on a specific date.

The Applicant provided a letter report from Liberty Environmental to the United
States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), primarily to address potential bog turtle
habitat concerns listed in the receipt from a search of the Pennsylvania Natural
Diversity Inventory (pNDI). This report addressed presence/absence of wetlands
and Phase I Bog Turtle Habitat Evaluation for the proposed project, but was unclear
on the study area, with different study areas described in the text and inconsistencies
in the mapping provided. The wetland evaluation should be completed as described
above, with all proper documentation provided to the Township.

For the Township's purposes, a wetland evaluation should be conducted for the
entire site, plus a 100-ft buffer as necessary to address concerns for riparian buffer
requirements. All wetlands and waters should be shown in accordance \vith
provisions outlined in Sections 22-1 023.4.F and 22-1023.8 of the Plainfield
Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
Mr. Thomas Petrucci 5 January 18, 2019
Township Manager

Additionally, to address the results of the PNDI search, the Applicant should
conduct a wetland evaluation for the entire proposed project area, plus a 300-ft
buffer, as necessary to address concerns for potential bog turtle habitat and potential
project impacts. The Applicant should also provide the Township \vith a clearance
letter from the USFWS, including any additional studies or requirements necessary to
obtain their clearance. Sign-off on the PNDI Search Receipt by the bog turtle
surveyor may be acceptable by the Township if all required wetlands and bog turtle
habitat evaluation information is provided for review.

b. No further comment. The stream boundary lines for Waltz Creek and the associated
lOa-foot riparian buffer boundary line have been added to the plans.

c. See response to Item 2, above. Unless the supporting mapping, wetland evaluation
report, Field Data Forms, and/or other supporting information are provided to the
Township for review, the Township may wish to appeal the determination to ensure
that the entire project area was included within the Jurisdictional Determination.

d. Based on Section 22-1023 of the Plainfield Township Subdivision and Land


Development Ordinance, the 50-foot open space and lOa-foot riparian buffers on
the site and within the proposed project area, for both on-site and applicable off-site
wetlands and waters, must be shown on the proposed plan. These buffers are
measured from the existing boundaries of said features, which must also be shown
on the same plans.

e. Based on Section 22-1023 of the Plainfield Township Subdivision and Land


Development Ordinance, the currently proposed plan is not in compliance with
requirements for open space and riparian buffer area protection. All open space and
riparian buffer areas must be protected from proposed project impacts. The current
plan set indicates considerable temporary and permanent impacts to open space and
riparian buffer areas by large quantities of fill material, structures, parking lots, travel
lanes, and utilities, which is not allowable per the Ordinance. Specific areas of non-
compliance include the riparian buffer for the wetland along the western edge of the
site, the open space buffer around the existing pond, and the riparian buffer along
Waltz Creek. Permitted uses/activities within riparian buffers are allowed for roads,
bridges, trails storm drainage stormwater management facilities and utilities provided
that an alternatives analysis has clearly demonstrated that no other feasible alternative
exists and that minimal disturbance will take place.

The Applicant has indicated that the 50-foot open space set-back/buffer does not
apply to stormwater management facilities. Section 22-1 023.4.E of the Plainfield
Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance exempts only "stormwater
control ponds, not intended to permanently retain water," and therefore the 50-foot
open space set-back/buffer is applicable to the existing pond as measured from its
existing top of bank. This buffer must be shown on the plans and the project must
be in full compliance \vith the Ordinance requirements.
Mr. Thomas Petrucci 6 January 18,2019
Township Manager

5. The revised proposed plan shows significant impacts associated with filling of a portion of
the on-site pond. The Applicant should provide the Township with copies of all required
state and federal permits, approvals, and/or formal correspondence indicating compliance
for the proposed impacts. Reference above responses for additional information.

6. The Applicant has indicated that the proposed impacts to the pond are waived of permit
requirements under Chapter 105.12(a)(6) which reads: "A water obstruction or
encroachment located in, along, across or projecting into a stormwater management facility
or an erosion and sedimentation pollution control facility which meets the requirements in
Chapter 102 (relating to erosion and sediment control), if the facility was constructed and
continues to be maintained for the designated purpose." Based on the history of the pond
developing in an old quarry, and not specifically as a designed and constructed "stormwater
management facility" or as an "erosion and sediment pollution control facility," the waiver
of permit requirements under Chapter 10S.12(a)(6) does not seem applicable,
notwithstanding that the pond has been used for stormwater management purposes in the
past. Further, in consideration of the aforementioned connection of the pond to
groundwater, and likely to nearby surface waters, there is concern for potential "effect(s)
upon safety or the protection of life, health, property or the environment," as provided in
Chapter 1OS.12(a), for which "the Department may require the owner of the structure to
apply for and obtain a permit under this chapter." Therefore, the Township should discuss
this concern \vith the PA DEP and request that a formal permit be required for the
proposed project impacts to ensure the protection of both surface and groundwater from
the proposed activities at this site. We have been advised that the Township appealed the
actions of the Department which, among other things, approved the proposed activities
under Chapter 105.12(a)(6).

7. The proposed plans do not include stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) designed
to protect the water quality of the pond and/ or downstream waterways, as required under
Chapter 102, noting proposed new discharges to the pond, the Little Bushkill Creek, and the
Waltz Creek. The pond and downstream waterways are "waters of the Commonwealth" and
should be adequately protected from stormwater impacts to water quality and quantity
originating as part of the proposed facilities.

In addition to our above responses to the original list of comments and comment responses, we
would also offer the following new comments for items included in the most recent plan set, dated
December 28, 2018 and received by our office for review on January 3, 2019:

1. A proposed stormwater easement boundary line was added to the plans. Any such easement
line must be represented in metes and bounds. The Township should request the Applicant
to provide information on the purpose of this proposed stormwater easement, as well as all
proposed associated legal restrictions. Establishment of this proposed stormwater easement
must be in full compliance and consistent with the buffer requirements established in
Section 22-1023 of the Plainfield Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
Further, it should be noted that under any such stormwater easement, all Municipal Separate
Storm Sewer System (MS4) responsibilities shall be the full responsibility of the
Applicant/landowner.
Mr. Thomas Petrucci 7 January 18,2019
Township Manager

If you have any question or require additional infonnation, please contact the undersigned.

Respectfully,

_."..HAq:O~ER~:~RI~G
ason E. Smi~ -
Senior Scientist

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cc: Mr. Robert J. Lynn, PE, CSI, Hanover Engineering Associates, Inc.
Mr. Farley F. Fry, PE, Hanover Engineering Associates, Inc.