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PA Politics – The Airport Expansion Project

Home Page discusses the project and upcoming public hearing

 

by Home Page Staff - February 24, 2015

Last year, the Wellsboro Johnston Airport began a project to expand its 3,600-foot runway by 600 feet to 4,200 feet. To do this, the runway would be expanded westward toward Pine Creek. This project would require a large amount of fill – about 400,000 tons; this is necessary to elevate the land so that the extension can be achieved. According to the Department of Environment Protection the fill will also be used as support for construction of a hangar for Clean Earth, Incorporated and the airport. This is where the main concern comes in.

The fill that will be used is to be supplied by Clean Earth, Inc. in Williamsport and they will use drill cuttings from hydro-fracturing operations of the Marcellus Shale. The Pine Creek Headwaters Protection Group’s concerns are due to the process used to obtain this fill and the storm water discharges associated with the proposed construction activities. They are concerned the fill could contain contaminants and, because of this, that there could be contamination of Pine Creek, leading to a negative environmental impact. However, there is also concern for safety of airplane pilots on the runway, which is the main reason for the expansion project.

A January 15th press release from the DEP states that there will be a public hearing and meeting on Wednesday, February 25th at the Wellsboro Fire Annex to “discuss a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit application and site-specific approval submitted by Clean Earth Inc. for the proposed Wellsboro Johnston Airport expansion project.” The discussion at this meeting will pertain to the storm water discharge associated with construction activities of the hangar. It should be noted that at this point in the process, the fill can only be used for construction of the hangar, not for the runway expansion itself.

The event will begin at 6 PM with the meeting, followed by a public hearing at 7:30. If you are a resident of Tioga County we encourage you to make every effort to attend.

Credits:

Writing: N/A

 

Produced by Vogt Media

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