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Thursday, January 15, 2015

DEP Announces Public Meeting, Hearing to Discuss Proposed Wellsboro Johnston Airport Project

DEP Announces Public Meeting, Hearing to Discuss Proposed Wellsboro Johnston Airport Project

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it will hold a public meeting and hearing to discuss an NPDES permit application and site-specific approval submitted by Clean Earth Inc. for the proposed Wellsboro Johnston Airport expansion project in Tioga County.

The public meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., followed by the public hearing at 7:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the Wellsboro Fire Department Annex, 21 East Ave., Wellsboro.

“The department has received a significant number of requests for a public discussion of Clean Earth Inc.’s plans related to operations at the Wellsboro Johnston Airport, and we are pleased to provide this opportunity for local elected officials and citizens,” DEP North-central Regional Director Marcus Kohl said.

DEP’s Waterways and Wetlands program, along with the Tioga County Conservation District, are currently reviewing an individual NPDES permit application for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities that was submitted by Clean Earth in November 2014.

The permit, if approved, would allow Clean Earth to transport treated drill cuttings from the natural gas industry to the airport in Delmar and Shippen townships. The cuttings would be stored and used as fill to support construction of a hangar for Clean Earth and the airport. The cuttings could not be used anywhere else on the airport property in this phase of the project.

In addition, DEP’s Waste Management program also must issue a site-specific approval for Clean Earth’s Research and Development General Permit that was renewed in February 2014 in order for the project to proceed.

The public meeting and hearing will address the NPDES permit and the Research and Development General permit as it relates to this project.

“DEP staff will explain the NPDES application review process and applicable regulations, and the applicant will explain the proposed project to the audience,” Kohl said. “These presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.”

Kohl added that the goal of the meeting and hearing is to ensure that the local community has an accurate understanding of the project, the DEP review process, and is given an opportunity to provide their thoughts on the project and process that DEP would not otherwise receive.

During the public hearing, citizens will have an opportunity to present up to five minutes of oral testimony regarding the permits. Written testimony of any length also will be accepted. The testimony will be recorded by a court reporter and transcribed into a written document. DEP will provide a written response to all relevant testimony provided during the public hearing.

Written comments also can be submitted to DEP through the close of business on March 12. They should be mailed to David W. Garg, P.E., Environmental Program Manager, Waterways and Wetlands Program, PADEP, 208 West Third Street, Suite 101, Williamsport, PA 17701.
Those who wish to present oral testimony may register on-site, prior to the hearing.

A copy of the NPDES permit application is available for review weekdays by appointment at DEP’s North-central Regional office in Williamsport from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Those interested should call 570-327-0550 to schedule an appointment. The application can also be reviewed at the Tioga County Conservation District office in Wellsboro from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Documents relating to the Waste Management General Permit will be available on the DEP web page at www.dep.state.pa.us, click on “Regional Resources,” then “North-central,” then “Community Information.”

Persons with a disability who wish to attend the hearing and require auxiliary aid, service or other accommodations to participate in the proceedings should call Daniel Spadoni at 570-327-3659 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984 (TDD) to discuss how the department may accommodate your needs.

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