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Springtown supervisors cut number of quarry hearing participants

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The normally bustling Springtown Volunteer Fire Company hall became a sedate courtroom last week for round one of the H&K quarry hearings.
 
During proceedings, Springfield supervisors and counsel for H&K rejected at least 12 applicants for participation whose properties were not within the 500- to 1,000-feet distance from the proposed site. For viewers on Zoom, much of what the public and H&K representatives said remained muffled despite the promise of improved acoustics at the venue.
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Among those blocked from party status, which township solicitor Scott MacNair defined as “a direct and substantial interest concerning something specific to you and the property itself,” were the township’s Environmental Advisory Council, and Park and Land Preservation Board. The solicitor said such interests were already represented by those with party status, who will be able to testify and cross-examine witnesses.
 
Addressing a representative of the Clean Air Council, who had sought party status, MacNair said, “Wouldn’t you agree that these are interests that residents who reside near this property would also have?”
 
“We’re here to speak on behalf of our members; this is another avenue for them,” the spokeswoman replied before being rejected for party status.
 
Also denied was Cora Landis of Salem Road, who said via Zoom that the quarry would adversely affect her water supply and property value. “I know it is zoned industrial, but aren’t we concerned about wetlands, concerned about our water supply, because we hear so much about quarries, the adverse effect they have.
 
“Springfield Township has always been a very environmentally protected area to live in, and we’ve always been proud of that. So it’s very disappointing to know that this is actually be considered,” she added.
 
Referring Landis to the township zoning ordinance, MacNair replied that a quarry use must be permitted somewhere in the township. If approved, H&K Group will use the 196-acre site off Route 309 to extract diabase rock, a type of stone highly sought for construction sites. The companyt insists it will minimize noise, lighting and traffic impacts.
 
The hearing resumes Oct. 13.

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