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New Hanover to Continue Fight Against Quarry
Written by Russell Hessler and Kelly Chandler Correspondent
2014-10-15

                New Hanover supervisors said Monday they will appeal a decision out of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas that hands them a loss in a 13-year legal battle pitting the township against Gibraltar Rock and Sahara Sands Inc.

                Solicitor Paul Bauer said Judge Thomas C. Branca recently ruled the quarry company's permit under the Pennsylvania Non-Coal Surface Mining Act preempts the township's ordinances, particularly its stormwater laws.

                Branca said that preemption also applies to the permanent structures proposed for the 61-acre site between Route 73, Hoffmansville and Church roads, like office buildings and driveways. Township officials said they believe those structures should be governed by township ordinances.

                Bauer said meetings between the two parties had stalled.  A representative from the PA Department of Environmental Protection previously contacted township officials stating that Gibraltar Rock should be exempt from ACT 167.

                "This doesn't make any sense, since it's the DEP's mandate to begin with," Bauer said.

                The board unanimously determined that they disagreed with the judge's decision after an executive session and authorized Bauer to appeal the ruling.

                Bauer said the appeal doesn't affect the larger, overall operation of the quarry, which is still in the planning and appeal process.

                In other business, Interim Public Works Director Brian Lee reported that the department has taken delivery of the new Ford F-550 dump truck. This replaces the older one that was damaged in an accident earlier in the year.

                Lee also stated the township has been awarded a Honda 7,000-watt generator through the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety.

                "The primary function of the generator will be backup power at traffic signals during power outages. Other than that, we can use it wherever else we need it," Lee said.


 

 

 

 

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