BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Wyoming County Press Examiner
For the second month in a row, the Wyoming County Planning Commission tabled a proposed transloading facility at the intersection of Rt. 92 and Rt. 6 Bypass in Tunkhannock Twp.
Last month, Chad Lello, a consulting engineer from Wilkes-Barre representing D&I Silica of Sheffield, laid out a plan to develop a 9-acre parcel near Bartron Supply into a transload facility servicing the natural gas industry.
Commission members expressed their dismay then that the company came armed with too little information
This month they complained that D&I had no permits in place and the body was expected to deliver conditional approval.
County Solicitor James Davis said the county engineer CECO Associates had 33 significant questions that were raised and the planning commission ought to have answers before they even consider this.
David Molinaro of Pennoni Associates, which Lello also represented, said he was there Wednesday night requesting conditional or final approval and was in the process of obtaining proper permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection and PennDOT.
“You’re requesting what?” Davis asked. “You’ve got a lot of ground to cover.”
“OK, well can we make a presentation about who we are and why we’re here?” Molinario asked.
A Power Point presentation was made by Dick Balas and Jeff Nelson from D&I Silica,
Balas said his company had 12 sites in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York where they did much the same thing they hoped to do in Tunkhannock – bring in frack sand by rail car for use in the Marcellus gas industry.
The discussion last month about 350 trucks a day, was apparently incorrect, and would be something more like 100-125 a day at most, Nelson said, noting that on the company’s busiest day the number of trucks moving out at present sites was something closer to 70.
Asked about whether fill would be moved on site or trucked in, Balas said about 30,000 cubic yards of good clean fill would be trucked in from regional suppliers.
Planning Commission chairman Walt Derhammer asked, “What will you do when it floods? Where will the water go? I’m afraid it would back right up into Tunkhannock.”
Participants discussed flood plain implications, and planning commission member Glenn Shupp noted that Mick Goodwin of Milnes Engineering would be reviewing flood plain issues for Tunkhannock Twp.
Goodwin raised some questions and noted he was wearing a second hat as he was affiliated with the Tunkhannock Baseball Association and had some serious concerns about flooding implications for the ballfields.
Lello noted that D&I had sought an NPDES permit from DEP on Jan. 6 and a highway occupancy permit from PennDOT had been filed Jan. 2.
Tunkhannock Twp. Police Chief Stanley Ely said he had very serious issues about traffic in an intersection that was already a problem area.
He noted there was not enough room in the intersection “when we have the other vehicular traffic there.”
Planning Commission member Rich Fitzsimmons asked if the company had sought any other locations such as the old Wyoming Sand and Gravel site about eight or 10 miles below the proposed site.
Balas said that other sites had been looked at but the one planned around was to his knowledge the only one that fit the company’s plan.
He acknowledged the alternate site could be looked at.
Jon Howard said there were two large issues still to be resolved – water and traffic.
“They are a huge concern to all of us.
In other action, Emily Krafjack, representing the group COGENT (Connection for Oil, Gas & Environment in the Northern Tier) of Mehoopany said her group wanted to open the discussing for county-wide zoning.
She read a statement to the body.
The group noted it got the go-ahead from the county commissioners to hire Urban Research & Development to help with the Comprehensive Plan Update.
It was also noted that a public hearing would take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28, in the county commissioners meeting room to consider revising the existing county subdivision and land ordinance with site distance from a compressor station to 750 feet from an occupied structure.