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Springfield Township to commission independent study of quarry proposal

H&K eyes Mine Road diabase rock formation
Springfield Township will hire an independent company to assess the effect of a proposed quarry on the local water system.
Supervisors voted unanimously last week to issue a request for proposals on the website PennBid. The notice will specify that applicants have expertise in groundwater and wetland impacts.
“Items that residents are concerned about, we should be looking at in a more independent manner,” Supervisor Chairman Jim Nilsen told the online meeting. Township counsel Scott MacNair also backed the move, suggesting that the V.F. Britton Group hired by applicant Haines and Kibblehouse (H&K) to do a groundwater study in March could be “slightly biased” because they are being compensated by the company.
H&K Group is proposing to use the 196-acre site off Route 309 to extract diabase rock, a type of stone highly sought for construction sites. It insists it will minimize noise, lighting and traffic impacts.
Despite these assurances, opposition from nearby residents continues to grow. Deborah Pfeiffer expressed concern about the health effects from dust and possible well contamination. Jonathan Vorchheimer who owns three properties on Mine Road, which borders the site, said the quarry would result in a financial hit: “I will pursue every means possible to facilitate stoppage of this.”
Separately, a Facebook group, Concerned Citizens Against the H&K Quarry, formed last week, and had 127 members as of Monday.
Following discussions with H&K representatives, a public hearing on the matter is tentatively scheduled for mid-September.
In other business, the board unanimously appointed Community Day Committee member Bill Ryker to fill former Supervisor Robert Zisko’s vacant seat. Ryker will serve until January 2022.
It also approved a recommended 2 percent raise, which was conditional on a satisfactory. performance review, for roadmaster Richard W. Pursell Jr., boosting his annual salary to $64,260. “We are very pleased with Mr. Pursell’s performance,” remarked Chairman Nilsen.