2016-02-13 / Potter County News

War on illegal dumps continues

Potter County Conservation District will soon continue its multi-year project to rid the county of several unsanitary and unsightly illegal dumps.

Cleanups which are planned for late March and early April will require volunteers.

Two of the dumps, one along Pinneo Hill Road in Oswayo Township and the other along a creek near Germania Street in West Branch Township, will need a concerted effort.

Others on the list include a site in Bingham Township along Rowley Road and another along Old Colesburg Road in Coudersport Borough.

PCCD has been working with partners such as the Pa. Dept. of Environmental Resources, local townships or boroughs, and Potter County Solid Waste Authority to choose cleanup sites. There is no shortage of dumping areas to address.

One 2013 study identified 56 illegal dumps in Potter County spread out over 22 townships and boroughs filled with tires, furniture electronics, vehicle parts, household waste and other rubbish.

And these numbers don’t include many more dumping sites on private land.

Potter County Planning Department sent letters to townships and boroughs seeking information on the location of dumpsites. Sites were then inspected to evaluate the type and amount of trash, needs for special equipment, safety concerns and potential environmental impact.

Two contractors were initially hired to clean up five high-priority sites. Fronk Excavating completed work at a site in Pike Township and two in Sharon Township. Let George Do It remediated two sites in Bingham Township. Students from Galeton High School cleaned a site in Abbott Township.

During a second round, 19 more sites were remediated in the townships of Oswayo, Pike, Roulette, Sharon, Summit, Sweden, Ulysses, West Branch and Bingham. Nearly 10 tons of trash, six tons of scrap metal and 1,100 tires were removed.

PCCD has engaged the services of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council as liaison between Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company and organizations involved with a multiagency effort.

A lengthy investigation by the Conservation District and other agencies resulted in Tennessee agreeing to pay an $800,000 settlement for environmental violations during construction of a pipeline in the region. Some of the money was reserved for remediating illegal dumpsites and reimbursing conservation districts for their investigation expenses.

Return to top