Bethlehem Press

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Gypsy moth reportedly under control

Thursday, July 21, 2016 by NATE JASTZEMSKI njastemski@tnonline.com in Local News

While residents of Carbon County are worried over tests and plans by the authority for proposed wind turbines taking over their land, other invaders have been successfully repulsed by the authority in that same area, board members reported July 14.

The gypsy moth scare is likely over after two years of fears of massive defoliation. The authority spent about $40,000 total on sprays to reduce the population. Executive Director Steve Repasch said forester Robin Wildermuth reports a combination of sprays and weather have probably ended the threat for the next few years.

Members did actually discuss the wind energy project again, as there was another meeting in Penn Forest Township set for that evening, at which local residents were expected to continue to argue against building the turbines.

Repasch and solicitor Jim Broughal said energy company Atlantic Winds, which has been working closely with the authority on the project. Broughal said Atlantic attorneys provided a letter to submit as evidence into the argument suggesting adjustments to setbacks in lot lines in the area. He said the giant wind towers will encroach on lines all over the place because the authority property is divided into hundreds and hundreds of lots.

Broughal said adjusting the setbacks and consolidating lot lines will end that issue, merging all the deeds so far as zoning requirements are concerned. He said, “Atlantic Wind asked, ‘Would you consider doing this?’ and we said, ‘Yeah, why wouldn’t we?’”

Lastly, the board agreed to hire a new consulting engineer. Repasch confirmed each of the final three applicants were up for the job; Maser, Keystone and BCM engineering consultants, but one already has a history with the authority that was in its favor.

Members voted to accept Maser as its new consultant because they are already familiar with the system and have a working relationship with the PennEast Pipeline.

“It’s about the people,” said Vaugn Gower, asking about and getting a confirmation. Ron Madison, who was in the room, would remain on the account.

Repasch said, “We’ll put you to work right away, Ron.”

“I brought a cot with me!” the Maser rep replied with a laugh.

The next meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at City Hall.