September 2, 2010
Letters, Pennsylvania

Shaffer Mountain concerns

Daily American, 1 September 2010

The Shade Creek Watershed Association (SCWA) is very concerned that the Army Corps of Engineers may still be considering granting a permit for an industrial corridor on Shaffer Mountain. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has designated this area as an Exceptional Value (EV) watershed.

A DEP study in 2000 determined that less than 2 percent of all waters in Pa. rank as EV. Most likely the percentage is even less now and the industry continues to sacrifice water quality for energy in the guise of economic benefit.

Gamesa is willing to risk that their engineering will not damage the EV streams through runoff, that their heavy equipment will not compact the soil and disrupt the underground streams that feed EV streams. These are the same engineers who said wind turbines could not be built on strip mine land and yet other companies have built wind turbines on spoil fields near Reels Corners.

SCWAs mission is to restore and protect water quality of Shade Creek. Rather than build windmills on EV land, build them on spoil fields. Perhaps Gamesa should be willing to put up a $10 million bond like mining companies do when they have projects so when the EV water goes away, SCWA and Shade Township can begin to fix the mine drainage problems that were left by past perpetrators.

If this project goes forward, the environment once again suffers and the perpetrators apologize for the damage and walk away with their money.

Larry Hutchinson

President Shade Creek Watershed Association


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