Hazleton, PA Drill Cuttings Project Opposed by Competitors, Enviros

On Dec. 1, MDN told you about a cool idea: Use non-toxic, non-polluting shale cuttings (leftover rock and dirt that comes out of a borehole when a well is drilled) to reclaim former coal mining land that sits barren now, so the land can host businesses and even a huge outdoor amphitheater (see Shale Cuttings Used to Rehab Site of Future Business, Amphitheater). That’s the idea of Hazleton Creek Properties (HCP) for reclaiming a 270-acre site with abandoned coal mines and an old landfill on the edge of Hazleton, PA. Local “environmentalists” from a nutty-sounding group called SUFFER (Save Us From Future Environmental Risks) used a Philadelphia law firm to oppose the original “demonstration” project, settling in 2012 (see this background the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia). SUFFER is still suffering from FDS (Fracking Derangement Syndrome) and is critical of the new plan, approved last November by the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). However, in a strange twist, it’s not SUFFER that’s challenging the plan, but instead it’s competitors that belong to the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association–other landfills that presumably want the cuttings that would go to Hazleton. The Association, on behalf of their members, have filed an appeal of the DEP decision that allows the cuttings to be used in Hazleton. It appears the other landfills are trying to stop the cuttings that presumably now go to their own landfills from slipping away to Hazleton…

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