Angry Residents Voice Concerns At Elcon Meeting

Lower Bucks residents turn out in force at Tuesday night's meeting. Photo by Manny Jones.

Claps and boos alike resonated throughout the Bucks Sheraton Hotel at Tuesday night’s Elcon Meeting held by the PA DEP. The room was filled to the brim with angry residents from communities throughout lower bucks venting their concerns.

Falls Resident Lisa Ferrell worries about what the new facility might due to Bucks County’s already questionable air quality.

A panel of members from the PA DEP answer questions from residents.
A panel of members from the PA DEP answer questions from residents. Photo by Manny Jones.

“These plants are usually put away from a residential, high populated area,” Ferrell said. “But they want to put this in the middle of a residential high populated area which is ludicrous. It doesn’t make sense.”

It wasn’t just Lower Bucks residents attending, some NJ residents were also concerned with the risk Elcon poses to the drinking water. Deputy-Mayor of Bordentown city, John Bradowski was in attendance also concerned about the plant

“Even though it is in Pennsylvania, it’s pretty much right on the river and so are we. Air quality, water quality doesn’t know borders,” Bradowski told WBCB.

Residents sit waiting to ask questions at Tuesday night’s meeting. Photo by Manny Jones.

The purpose of last night’s meeting was to answer any questions about Elcon’s application to PADEP and answer any questions concerning the application. Residents were put at ease when DEP Waste program manager, James Wentzel, outlined the types of waste Elcon would accept.

“Elcon would not accept non-liquid waste. They would only accept liquid waste,” Wentzel clarified. “They have indicated they will not accept radioactive waste, fracking waste, reactive waste, lab-pack waste, hazardous debris, or regulated medical waste.”

However, the possibility of toxins in the community’s air and water are personal for some residents. Protect Our Water & Air (POWA) volunteers were out in full force at the meeting circulating anti-Elcon petitions.

Upper Makefield Resident and POWA volunteer Christine O’Donnell talked about the possibility of the long term harm.

POWA distributes anti-Elcon signs at the meeting. Photo by Manny Jones.

“They are finding out industrial waste causes cancer via water,” O’Donnell stated. “Elcon is a half mile from our drinking water and it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen.”

Elcon is in Phase two of obtaining a recommendation for a permit from the DEP. After Phase two is complete, the Secretary of Environmental protection will either draft a permit or a notice of intent to deny.

WBCB’s Manny Jones contributed to this report.