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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Harrisburg HBA vrs. EPA /DEP - TMDL VICTORY! (Mabey?)

R.J. Fisher & Associates, Inc.
Civil Engineering, Site Planning, Land Surveying & Landscape Architecture

Harrisburg HBA vrs. EPA /DEP - TMDL VICTORY! (Mabey?)
The Harrisburg Home Builders Association (HBA) has won a major decision by the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) which agrees with the HBA’s assertion that the Paxton Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) used flawed procedures and is not based on valid scientific methods. This decision is a major victory as long as EPA & DEP listen to the SBA and withdraw or modify the TMDL.

The HBA became involved with this issue when we discovered that EPA was holding a public meeting at the Lower Paxton Township building on the Paxton Creek TMDL. Upon contacting the manager of Lower Paxton Township we learned that the Township was not notified on what this issue involved and we proceeded to get them involved.
Upon further research we discovered that several other Pennsylvania municipalities were also targets of the EPA & DEP - TMDL’s and that EPA was looking to use this TMDL method nationwide as a way to get TMDL’s completed quickly. A coalition was formed to sue EPA & DEP over these procedures and Lower Paxton Township and the Harrisburg HBA joined the coalition.

If this TMDL was approved as written it would effectively stop all building within Susquehanna and Lower Paxton Township and cost the residents of the Township several million dollars for stormwater treatment and still not correct the environmental issues.

Anyone familiar with the Paxton Creek in Harrisburg knows that north of the Farm Show Paxton Creek flows through Wildwood Lake a pristine nature preserve but in the city the creek is a concrete channel with combined sewer overflows. A drastic contrast in environmental quality that would not be fixed or changed at all by the methods EPA & DEP were proposing. I used photos of this contrast at the SAB hearing to show how our Federal and State Government seem to be proposing all the wrong solutions to fix our environmental problems at the cost of the Building Industry and taxpayers.

This newsletter is prepared by Robert J. Fisher, P.L.S., P.E. as a service to the Home Building and Land Development Industry. If you have any questions concerning items in this newsletter or need assistance with any land development issues please contact me at the phone number below or e-mail me at We have additional information and video presentations to assist you on our website at . The building industry is currently under attack by the federal and state regulators and it is imparitive that we address these issues quickly and effectively or we all may see our businesses greatly diminished.

1546 Bridge St. - New Cumberland, PA 17070 717.774.7534 Selinsgrove 570.259.1577 Fax 717.774.7190

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