East Allen Township residents living along Route 329 and Jacksonville Road have noticed more frequent and aggressive explosions coming from the Keystone Cement quarry. They report their homes shaking and cracks forming.
Resident Sharon Fournier first brought the change to the attention of the township’s board of supervisors earlier in August. During the board’s August 22 meeting, Manager Brent Green said he had followed up with Keystone about the issue.
Green says that Keystone is blasting closer to Route 329 and that residents will hear blasts that are “a lot louder and more intrusive.” Green also said that the weather makes a difference in what residents may hear or feel. If residents are concerned about their homes or their wells, they are supposed to report any issues to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Pottstown office.
Along with louder blasting, some residents may also have noticed surveys in their mailbox from Keystone Cement. These surveys are asking homeowners to report on the quality and history of their wells.
Green said that Keystone is seeking to expand its mining permit and dig deeper into the ground (approximately 150 feet above sea level). Green recommended that residents fill out the surveys because they will provide a baseline of the home’s well quality prior to deeper drilling.
Deeper drilling has concerned residents and supervisors alike.
“The deeper they go, the more water volume,” said Green. Higher volumes could negatively impact nearby wells.
Supervisors asked Green to invite Keystone and DEP to an upcoming meeting so that residents can ask questions and so that concerns can be addressed.
“Get [the] concern on the table,” said Supervisor Don Heiney.
Residents who are concerned about their wells, or who have questions about the survey or the drilling permit, are encouraged to contact the DEP Pottstown office.
In other news, supervisors motioned to advertise their intergovernmental cooperation agreement so that the township may join the River Central Comprehensive Plan group with Catasauqua, North Catasauqua, and Hanover Township (Lehigh County).
More townships are turning to comprehensive plans so that they can share zoning between municipalities.
The cost for each municipality in the River Central group will be $19,250. However, Green reported that the township is seeking grants to offset the costs by more than half.
Three township representatives must be chosen as voting delegates.
Finally, the board announced that an extension was requested from the Rockefeller Group, postponing the curative amendment hearing until at least January 2020.