Penn. DEP joins citizens' group, company to develop groundwater monitoring plan

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Citizen Advocates United to Safeguard the Environment (CAUSE), and Hazleton Creek Properties LLC will develop and implement an enhanced groundwater monitoring plan under an agreement reached Feb. 1. Under the agreement, once CAUSE agrees the enhanced groundwater monitoring plan approved by DEP is consistent with the settlement, the group will withdraw its appeals before the Environmental Hearing Board...

• Agreement reached between C.A.U.S.E., Hazleton Creek Properties

WILKES-BARRE, PA, Feb. 4, 2008 -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Citizen Advocates United to Safeguard the Environment (CAUSE) and Hazleton Creek Properties LLC will develop and implement an enhanced groundwater monitoring plan under an agreement reached Friday, Feb. 1.

"We're glad to see that the parties have come together to reach this settlement agreement," said DEP Northeast Regional Director Michael Bedrin. "Once the department receives the enhanced groundwater monitoring plan, we will review it within 30 days and then work with the company and CAUSE to implement it."

Under the agreement, once CAUSE agrees the enhanced groundwater monitoring plan approved by DEP is consistent with the settlement, the group will withdraw its appeals before the Environmental Hearing Board. The appeals relate to two general permits issued by department over the use of regulated fill and dredge material to reclaim mine lands in Hazelton, Luzerne County.

The settlement calls for as many as five groundwater monitoring wells to be installed at agreed upon locations on the company's site. Additional monitoring devices, known as lysimeters, will be placed beneath the regulated fill material.

DEP will split samples of the groundwater monitoring wells with the company in the first and sixth months to establish baseline data. Subsequently, DEP will sample all of the monitoring wells two years after the groundwater monitoring plan is approved, then every five years thereafter.

The groundwater monitoring plan and sampling data will be shared with CAUSE.

For further information: www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Waste Management.

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