More than a year after the Falls Township Board of Supervisors rejected their proposal for a hazardous waste facility on the Delaware River, Elcon Recycling Services LLC has withdrawn its application.

Elcon CEO Dr. Zvi Elgat notified the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection of their withdrawal in a letter Thursday.

“The current business climate, including the impacts of COVID-19, has forced Elcon to re-evaluate its plans for expanding its hazardous waste treatment business into the United States. Elcon feels confident that it could obtain the approvals necessary to operate the proposed facility, and that the proposed facility would have provided an environmentally sustainable solution for treating liquid hazardous waste.”

Elcon’s plans involved building a hazardous waste facility at the Keystone Industrial Port Complex.

Anti-Elcon signs distributed at meetings. Photo by Manny Jones.

Some supporters advocated for the proposal for job creation. However, many in Falls, Lower Bucks, and even New Jersey were vehemently against the project citing environmental concerns.

Elgat’s letter ends all and any current efforts by Elcon to expand into the United States, for now. He notes the situation could change in the future.

“It is entirely possible that Elcon will seek to expand its treatment business into the U.S at some point in the future, especially if the U.S increases pharmaceutical manufacturing in response to COVID-19, with the corresponding need to increase the capacity for treating the liquid hazardous waste that is generated.”

Roughly 550 sit in anticipation for a decision at the Falls Township Elcon public meeting on April 30, 2019.

But for now, it is a victory for the residents of Lower Bucks who consistently attended local government meetings to protest the facility. More than 500 people filled Pennsbury High School’s auditorium in April 2019 to speak their minds to the Falls Township Board of Supervisors.

Elcon had filed an appeal with the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas after the supervisors rejected their proposal. While the Falls solicitor had anticipated proceedings to begin in Spring, the courts closed due to COVID-19.

With Elgat’s notification of withdrawal, Elcon has also ceased its appeal.

“On behalf of the Falls Township Board of Supervisors, I am pleased with Elcon’s decision to withdraw its application,” Supervisors Chairman Jeff Dence said. “This plan was not a good fit for our community, which is why our board unanimously rejected the application last year.”