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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Bethlehem Tp Wants More Pipeline Details

Unlikely, but possible
An engineering firm that was expected to make a PennEast presentation to Bethlehem Township Commissioners this month is instead being requested to take a second look at its conclusions.  Solicitor Jim Broughal advised the Board at their September 8 meeting that he needs more than the firm provided.

In March, Carroll Engineering was hired to research the possible impact of the PennEast Pipeline. That's a high pressure, 114-mile long proposed natural gas pipeline, which will extend from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. to Trenton, N.J.  A formal application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is imminent. Carroll's study is being sent back to the drawing board.

Broughal complained that Carroll needs to do more than point our risks with which the Township is already familiar, like sinkholes. He also wants to know how to ameliorate them. "They ought to give you some idea on how to mitigate risks," agreed Township Engineer Brian Dillman.

"The pipeline is going to go through some clearly populated areas," Broughal said, right after bluntly noting that the blast area of a possible explosion would extend 900' along either side of the pipeline.

That's one way to solve the development and storm water problem in Bethlehem Township.

In other business, Officer Troy Abelovsky was appointed Corporal in the Police Department. He's a 14-year veteran who was among the three highest who tested for the job. But he was not the highest. Chief Dan Pancoast recommended his appointment anyway because of his longevity and the "support of supervising officers." But Pancoast was absent from the meeting. "That makes me feel uneasy," said Hudak. "I would have liked to have had a reason from the Chief."

To Tom Nolan, it made no difference because "all three candidates can perform the job." Nolan, along with Marty Zawarski, Phil Bernard and Pat Breslin, voted to appoint Abelovsky. Hudak was the lone dissenter.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to approve a formal subdivision of the Central Moravian Church at Nazareth Pike and Christian Springs Road. This opens up two tracts to the Natural Lands Trust for recreational purposes. It provides a spiritual retreat center for the Church. Last, but not least, it provides for a much-desired easement providing access to Housenick Park, which is adjacent to the Natural Lands Trust. These were all once part of Camel's Hump Farm, which was established by Bethlehem's first Mayor, Archibald Johnston.

In a busy but brief meeting, Commissioners also voted 4-0, with Hudak abstaining, to adopt an ordinance classifying bamboo as noxious vegetation subject to restrictions. They also authorized manager Melissa Shafer to use EMEX, an online auction site, for the purchase of electricity and natural gas. Shafer told Commissioners she can save them some money. Finally, they voted to hire ENITECH Engineering for architectural and engineering services related to the Community Center.


Anonymous said...

Bethlehem Township ought to be very cautious in looking for quick money savings deals with energy costs. Remembering the Street Light Deal that was supposed to save money but cost in the end.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong at the Community Center?

Anonymous said...


Reality Bites said...

Pipelines just don't explode spontaneously. Buckeye Pipeline has been in the area since before World War II without any issues.

Just a bunch of NIMBYS.

Anonymous said...

Why did Hudak abstain? What reason did he provide?

Bernie O'Hare said...

He provided no reason, nor does he have to. But in previous meetings, he was opposed to the ordinance.

Anonymous said...

PA Commissioner's Handbook, "Although commissioners are prohibited from voting on any issue where there is a personal conflict of interest, they sometimes abstain from voting on issues where they have no personal interest. Local government is based on the concept of representative democracy. Governing body members are elected to represent their constituents in making decisions for the community. Refusing to vote because a matter is contentious or may cause personal resentments is not acceptable. Commissioners refusing to vote are violating their sworn duty to
represent the voters in helping to decide matters before the governing body."

Anonymous said...

"Unlikely but possible"

Sensationalize much?

Fear monger much?

Go back to crying about the homeless, please.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There is no sensationalism or fear mongering. According to Solicitor Broghal, the blast are of an explosion is 900' on either side. That's something people should know, they should also know tgat scenario is unlikely. Now you can return to rolling around in the floor and foaming at the mouth.

Anonymous said...

it is a fact that allentown notorious hamilton street gang o thugs and AFD have a patent pending on gas blasts¿!($ Hence: a AFD member past just happened to have a camera in hand to make national firefighter magazine¿!($ This was before cell phones were allways in hand with built in cameras¿!($

Than there never seems to be a mention to the Karoly sancuary behind alpo on huckelberry rd that just so happens to have gas pipe explosion, burst before all these tragadies¿!($ Practice Practice Practice

Than there is no mention of allentowns slumlordian campaign donors illegally tapping gas that had been cut by UGI SHHhh¿!($

patent pending

Anonymous said...

Ask Bethlehem Township officials how many representatives were sent to attend the pipeline safety seminar presented at the Holiday Inn in Fogelsville last week. When I read the attendance roster, I saw only one name listed from the twp, and there were two from one of their fire companies. And the township official didn't even sit with them, lol.

The fried chicken was delicious though.

Anonymous said...

Yet, there are serious pipelines running right through the heart of the Shop Rite Development where people shop and hundreds of apartments are being built? Why all of a sudden is this a concern for the need for more safety with a new pipeline going through that Township when the same Township lets development occur practically on top of existing just as dangerous pipelines??

Anonymous said...

Agree with 6:13am. Everyone is so concerned with this new pipeline, which will probably be constructed to the highest standards and quality of any pipeline in the last 100 years, yet they have allowed development all around 30-40-50+ year old pipelines built to lesser standards. This goes not only for Bethlehem Township, but many other local municipalities. Just go to Lower Macungie, you have petroleum pipelines built in the 1940s and 1950s running 25-50' off the back deck of homes built in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. I never heard any uproar about that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do not oppose the pipeline nor do I think it is dangerous. Nevertheless, municipal officials have a responsibility to ensure that it is built as safely as possibly, and as far away from densely populated areas or environmentally sensitive areas as possible. Also, to the extent they can, they should grab as much dough as they can. I think BT is just being responsible.

Bernie O'Hare said...

5:08, I have seen Twp officials at several pipeline meetings. if your point is they don't care, you are mistaken.