February 6, 2020

Civil engineer testifies at Packer Township wind farm hearing

By Seth Isenberg | Times News | February 06. 2020 | www.tnonline.com

Attorney Bruce Anders, representing over 200 opponents of the proposed wind turbine farm atop Broad Mountain in Packer Township, on Jan. 27 brought in civil engineer Phillip Malitsch to testify before the Packer Township Zoning Hearing Board.

Malitsch, of Hanover Engineering’s Bethlehem office, presented a review of the proposed Broad Mountain Power project, going point by point through parts of the development that he thought could present problems.

His top concern is about emergency services, in that “the township (should be) well-prepared for whatever” incidents may occur on the property. This led to some talk about communications with the affected fire companies.

Among other concerns by Malitsch are the roads and erosion control on the steep section coming up from Nesquehoning, the roads into the site through Nesquehoning, the roads to be used for component delivery, the hunting camp that shares a part of the property and whether it should have a septic system, and existing easements on the site.

Points arose about Nesquehoning’s potential role in this ongoing procedure at various times during the testimony.

Attorney Robert Yurchak, representing Packer Township, asked if the site plan is either incomplete, or requires modification, getting what seemed to be a qualified yes (over objections).

Zoning board solicitor Greg Mousseau asked should Nesquehoning Borough be involved, and how?

From the zoning board came the question on whether Broad Mountain Power has “gone to Nesquehoning” to discuss Industrial Road, construction traffic and the electricity transmission line.

Yurchak, who is also Nesquehoning’s solicitor, replied that Broad Mountain Power has not made an application.

As the meeting wrapped up, a discussion about how long the opponents can use for their case, noting the Broad Mountain case took 160 days when 100 was the requirement. Anders will likely present witnesses for two more hearings and asked to be able to go until March 21 if needed. Anders asked for a waiver of the 100-day requirement, and all attorneys agreed. Anders clarified that he does not expect to have to go to March 21.

This meeting drew 60 residents, nearly every seat filled at Packer Township’s Municipal Building. The next session of this continuing hearing is at the same location on Route 93 in Hudsondale is at 6 tonight. The following hearing will be Feb. 27 at the Weatherly Area High School cafeteria.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2020/02/06/civil-engineer-testifies-at-packer-township-wind-farm-hearing/