Environmentalists, Philly Water Dept. concerned with haz-mat recycling facility in Bucks County

Listen
 A view of the Delaware River (Nathaniel Hamilton/NewsWorks file photo)

A view of the Delaware River (Nathaniel Hamilton/NewsWorks file photo)

Environmental activists are upset with what they see is a path to possible approval for what could be a potentially toxic facility in Bucks County. 

After it was denied operational permits in February, the Elcon Recycling Services hazardous waste recycling facility in the old U.S. Steel plant in Falls Township has reapplied for permission to open. But Fred Stine of Delaware Riverkeeper Network  says if there were a spill, it would be disastrous for the area’s water supply.

“It’s not the right place to put this it’s less than half a mile from the Delaware River it’s hydrologically connected to the river through wetlands and a stream,” Stine said.

A new report filed by the Philadelphia Water Department says a spill could shut down intakes from the Delaware for days — and that would create problems for the millions who depend on the river for drinking water.

The environmental groups are seizing on the Philly Water Department filing as an additional argument against the plant.  

The company hoping to build the facility has been meeting with residents, hoping to allay their concerns.  Local unions have come out in force in favor of the project, and the construction jobs it will fuel.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has the final say on whether the plant receives a permit. 

 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.