Meeting for Elcon project scheduled this month in Pennsylvania

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In an effort to combat the proposed Elcon hazardous waste treatment facility, the Falls Township Planning Commission in Pennsylvania rejected the recommended plans for the application from the company on March 26.

But what does that mean for worried locals?

The vote from the planning commission in opposition of the application does not mean the fight is over just yet for those not in favor of this proposed project, according to a statement from the Bucks Protect Our Water and Air (POWA); a coalition of concerned residents.

“It is definitely helpful that both the Falls EAC and the Falls Planning Commission have voted unanimously against Elcon, and we are thankful for that,” the statement said. “We are still waiting for the supervisors’ vote, however, which may take place at their special Elcon meeting on April 30.

“In addition, the PA Department of Environmental Protection will declare their intent to issue or reject Elcon’s permits by the end of May,” the statement said.

Elcon Recycling Services LLC, a hazardous waste processing company, is currently applying for permits to build a treatment facility in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex in Falls Township, located several miles away over the state border from Bordentown and Florence.

The proposed plans for the facility’s operations would to boil down hazardous materials, including pharmaceutical waste and heavy metals, into toxic sludge and salts.

After numerous returns and discrepancies, Elcon’s application is now under technical review until end of May when the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental protection (PA DEP) will decide to issue or deny Elcon’s permit.

The proposed facility would be located half a mile from the Delaware River, the primary source of drinking water for approximately 8 million people who live along waterway. Given that water ways on the proposed Elcon project site are directly linked to the river, concerned locals worry that a hazardous waste spill could potentially pollute the river.

When Bordentown officials held a cross-river public meeting regarding Elcon’s proposed project on Oct. 10 last year, officials pointed out that given strong northwest and westerly winds in the region, air pollution from the facility would potentially blow toward Bordentown and Florence.

Elcon’s current proposed plans call for the import of 194,560 tons of hazardous waste a year and to burn more than 1 million pounds of toxic waste a day, using thermal oxidation process as well as the traverse of hazardous waste from ten states east coast states by truck.

For people who want to attend and hear/speak to the supervisors about the Elcon project, they are invited to do so at the Falls Township Supervisors’ special Elcon meeting on April 30 in Pennsylvania.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Pennsbury High School West, located at 608 Olds Blvd., Fairless Hills, Pa.

Concerned locals are also invited to attend a Falls Township meeting on April 16 at 7 p.m. at 188 Lincoln Hwy, Fairless Hills, Pa.

For people seeking more information or looking to get involved with the matter, visit www.delawareriverkeeper.org or www.dep.pa.gov.