Friday, July 29, 2016

THE LOWE'S SHOPPING CENTER - AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN

Lower Macungie Township is faced with a real dilema now. The proposed Lowe's shopping center could create an environmental disaster for our region and the residents have no inkling of why this could happen. The word needs to be spread now not only for for the residents of Lower Macungie but to all of those who rely on drinking water from Schantz Spring, including Allentown, Upper Macungie(UMT), Lehigh County Authority(LCA), and the regions bottling and manufacturing industrial sites

In the map seen below, I highlighted Schantz Spring Reservoir and various approximate locations of proposed new development. Why am I concerned? I will list the following reasons why we should all be concerned:

1. The proposed new service road will bring unwarranted truck traffic onto a road system that is not designed and protected from accidental spills.  The current road system on RT 78 was designed to prevent accidental spills from contaminating the Schantz Spring Reservoir area and Cedar Creek. Schantz Rd is currently not protected or designed from such a spill event.

2. Should a spill occur at the 90 degree bend in the road on Schantz Rd., the city of Allentown as well as all LMT and UMT will lose its main source of  drinking water, By losing this main source, more well pumping along the Little Lehigh will occur which will lead to the Little Lehigh Creek becoming a dry creek bed throughout Lower Macungie Township.

3. The one lane bridge on Schantz Rd is currently another accidental spill waiting to happen. The road is simply not designed to handle all of the traffic and especially truck traffic expected to circumnavigate RT 78 and RT 309 to get to the Tilghman St entrance turnpike entrance.

4. Lastly, more accidents will occur with the limited site distance with the current businesses on the road and the fact that Ciocca will be using this road to test drive vehicles.

South Whitehall Water Authority learned the hard way several years ago when a fuel tanker spilled on the on ramp to the Lehigh Valley toll booth station and contaminated several wells in their system. Needless to say, a spill over Schantz Spring Reservoir will ruin our economy and drinking water supply for almost 200,000 residents. This is an issue the entire Lehigh Valley should be against until the developers and PennDOT can safely design a road system that will prevent accidental chemical and fuel spills into the Schantz Spring Reservoir area.

Possible solutions to this predicament are

1. Permanently close off Schantz Rd  by constructing a cul-de-sac on both sides before the one lane bridge and marking the road "No Outlet" so Ciocca can still test drive his vehicles and local businesses can still be access along the Lower Macungie side of  Schantz Rd.

2. Making the developer place in a new four lane bridge and updating the stormwater system  along Schantz rd by placing a closed valve system to prevent fuel spill contamination from reaching the surface of the ground.

3. Widing and moving Schantz Rd with a bridge support system to avoid the 90 degree bend in Schantz Rd.

4. Simply doing away with the Lowe's Service Rd.


I also am bringing to the attention of my readers that there is no topsoil on the proposed land development site. Hundreds if not thousands of truck loads of topsoil will have to be brought to the site, increasing the chances of a spill or accident not to mention the traffic nightmares. The road infrastructure for spill prevention must be improved before the shopping center is built- no if ands or buts.  PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ASAP.







Monday, July 18, 2016

THE HEAT IS COMING - DO NOT BE FOOLED

Today was the first day in over two months that we had an inch of rain in one single storm event. The Little Lehigh Creek was extremely brown because the rainfall was so intense and washed off the topsoil in the upper reaches of the the stream. The creek also received the "first flush" which means all the non-point source pollutants that have been in the pipes and on the streets were flushed into the Little Lehigh Creek. Not a very good day for the stream. But considering all the rain, the stream only got to bankfull and now is falling quickly again. The stream base flow needs to be monitored over the course of the next few weeks.

The heat is returning after Thursday. We will get a few days with the windows open so take advantage of it. Today it reached 98 degrees at my house before the rains came. Saturday and Sunday it will be over 100. I doubt we will see any precip this weekend- so be aware and stay cool. This heat wave will last into next week with no tropical storms in the near future as last nights possibility has dwindled.