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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bethlehem Officials Take Reservoir Break-In Seriously

Steve Antalics, an analytical chemist at Lehigh University, is also a regular at Bethlehem meetings. From a recent meeting of the Bethlehem Authority, he learned that on August 10, Bethlehem police reported that there had been a break-in at the reservoirs near the Bethlehem Star on South Mountain, which consist of two million gallon tanks. Water and Sewer Director Ed Boscola told the Authority he was unable to state when the trespass had actually occurred.

Antalics reported this information to City Council at their August 16 meeting. He questioned how this break-in could have occurred without being detected. He noted that since the motive is unknown, City officials have to consider all possibilities, from simple vandalism to a possible terrorism. Though the scientist agreed that the probability of terror might be low, he added that "the possibility is 100%."

Looking at what he called a "worst case scenario," Antalics speculated that Bethlehem's name might by itself make it a target. Though Bethlehem has a lab that tests water quality, Antalics stated that agents can be introduced into a water supply at low concentrations "that can do a lot of damage."

"They should have been detected before they got 100' from the building," declared Antalics, who said the sole security measure is a chain across the road.

Another Bethlehem regular, statistical economist Bill Scheirer agreed that Bethlehem is a "vulnerable, soft target" with "symbolic value."

Do Bethlehem officials share these concerns?

In a word, yes.

Boscola said he agrees with the concerns raised by Antalics and Scheirer, though all water facilities have some degree of security. He admitted no cameras are in place at the South Mountain facility because access is difficult. In addition to notifying both Bethlehem and Lower Saucon police, Boscola said the City will be "beefing up" security measures. "It may involve cameras. It may involve beefed up access controls." Though Boscola claimed that it is difficult to break into these tanks, he said there are some "weak spots" that require attention. He indicated a risk assessment analysis was done following 9/11. Though he said that poisoning a water supply is low risk, "any water system has its weak spots. ... We take security breaches seriously."

Police Chief Mark DiLuzio added that there is a "multi-agency" investigation under way.


Anonymous said...

Antalics is pretty desperate for attention, I'd make him suspect number one.

Anonymous said...

Electrify the fence around the reservoirs, and let some dobermans run free inside the fenced in area.

Anonymous said...

as usual this joke of an administration is asleep at the wheel and gets caught with it's pants down publicly. This is what happens when you continually inbreed dems and hire staff based on their personal or political associations. donchez will be a one term office holder and when he is shoved out the back door the fake slacker staffs will be publically revealed and forced out also. Make Bethlehem great again.......

Anonymous said...

The city didn't have cameras up there! Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

The man in charge of the water seems related to a state official. Does he even have appropriate training to be in charge of a community's water source.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like this happened around here while Gregory was in prison.

Anonymous said...

7:35 Just another favor to the donchez puppet masters morganelli/boscola approved by the entire dem council

Anonymous said...

LOL...You probably would have to collect the dead bodies twice a week.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the current administration for what has been ignored for nearly a century.

Anonymous said...

I was up their recently picking Berries. That whole Mountainside is good berry picking. Those Mountain Raspberries are the sweetest in the valley. If someone was going to try to destroy a water supply, wouldn't you go to the "Reservoir" itself in stead of trying to break into a tank? Some people would do anything just to FORK UP my berry picking.
Hokie Joe.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The man in charge of the water seems related to a state official. Does he even have appropriate training to be in charge of a community's water source."

I know Ed from his days at Northampton County. He is highly qualified, and the fact that he is married to Lisa is being unfairly used against him by an anonymous coward. When I sued the county over the bond, he as by far the best witness they produced. Had they all been like him,I would have lost.

As an engineer, he was always a straight shooter who told the truth, whether it hurt or helped.

Bob Donchez and the City are lucky to have him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hokie Joe, The police are on their way. I'd take the 5th.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Electrify the fence around the reservoirs, and let some dobermans run free inside the fenced in area."

Guard geese would be cheaper ... and scarier.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Antalics is pretty desperate for attention,"

Antalics did the job the newspapers should be doing.

Anonymous said...

"Antalics speculated that Bethlehem's name might by itself make it a target."

what about the 17 other cities named bethlehem?

sorry the name alone making the town a target is a bit of a stretch.

Anonymous said...

" He indicated a risk assessment analysis was done following 9/11"

and what was the result of that analysis?
was anything changed?
looking for weakness in infrastructure is fine,however there are grater dangers from say leaking tanks.
should Bethlehem request an audit of all hazardous materials in the town and inspect them all?
you cannot make all targets-hard targets unless you are willing to spend a lot of money doing it.
how many people are willing to raise their taxes to pay for that?

Anonymous said...

from a quick google search
"The importance of acting promptly upon knowledge pertaining to
existing hazards at water resources facilities is illustrated by an incident in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.54
In July of 1993, the City of Bethlehem hired a consultant to study the lab at the City’s wastewater
treatment facility. The consultant’s report found that tests on weekends, as required under federal
regulations, were not being conducted.
"Offi cials at the wastewater treatment facility sought additional employees and funds to conduct
the required tests. In the meantime, employees concealed the violations in self-monitoring reports
submitted to the state and EPA. In April 1994, an inspection by EPA discovered that tests were not
being conducted in accordance with EPA regulations. Moreover, during the EPA’s investigation,
it discovered that city offi cials did not correct the facility’s testing methods for nearly a year after
learning of the defi ciency.
Following EPA’s discovery, the City immediately corrected the violations."


well the EPA needs to do more enforcement

Patriot2 said...

Antalics is a great Bethlehem watchdog & deserves more respect from City Council.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the flow of Bethlehem 's water. Are these tanks just holding water in case of drought at the reservoir source?

Bernie O'Hare said...

There are actually numerous tanks at different locations.