Letter to the Editor: DEP report does not address many Kutztown Quarry issues

Dear Editor:

I am very disappointed with the response I received from the Department of Environmental Protection regarding the proposed permit revision requested by New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co., Inc. for the Kutztown Quarry. Those of us who submitted comments on the project at the public hearing we requested in August received a 9-page report that lists specific concerns raised and the agency’s recommendations for each one.

Unfortunately, the report does not address many issues raised. In several instances, the agency lists concerns, but responds that it has no legal authority to address them. In addition, the overall tone of the letter suggests that the agency has already decided to grant the permit, but is putting the conditions in place that it expects the company to meet. It is not the DEP’s responsibilty to enable to issuing of a permit; it is its responsibility to ensure that the project is worthy of a permit. The DEP heard testimony from twenty-four people at the hearing, much of detailed testimony provided by borough residents who also happen to be subject matter experts affiliated with the university and elected officials who have looked closely at the issues.

Those of us who organized the original sign-on letter to get an extended comment period and public meeting and hearing will be detailing our concerns in another sign-on letter. We welcome residents of the Borough and affected areas of Maxatawny, as well as elected officials, to sign the letter. Please contact Karen Feridun at karen.feridun@gmail.com to get the link to the letter as soon as it is finished being drafted.

Karen Feridun, Kutztown