Newtown News of Interest
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Elcon Reapplies to DEP for Toxic Waste Facility Located Next to Delaware River

Elcon Reapplies to DEP for Toxic Waste Facility Located Next to Delaware River | Newtown News of Interest |

The controversial project, which opponents call an incinerator, is now on its fourth attempt. New filings reveal Elcon intends to pay U.S. Steel nearly $3 million for the land.


For the fourth time in as many years, Elcon Recycling Services is resubmitting application materials in an attempt to build a controversial waste treatment facility in Falls. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced the newly submitted materials this week; the agency previously rejected the company’s application materials three times.


Elcon seeks to build a hazardous waste treatment facility that would process between 150,000 and 210,000 tons of chemical and pharmaceutical waste each year, according to its past filings. The company aims to build the facility on a 23-acre site in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex, which is an approximately 3,000-acre industrial park encompassing the former footprint of U.S. Steel’s Fairless Works operations. The new filings reveal Elcon intends to pay nearly $3 million to U.S. Steel for the land.


Elcon touts a proposed “thermal oxidation” process it says would limit toxic releases from the facility. Concerned citizens and environmental opponents are skeptical of the claim, saying the facility is simply a waste incinerator. Groups such as Bucks POWA and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network say they’re specifically concerned about toxic materials being released to the air and potential drinking water contamination should an accident or flood release chemicals into the nearby Delaware River.


“Siting Elcon next to the Delaware River, where millions of people get their drinking water from, is short-sighted and reckless,” Fred Stine, citizen action coordinator for the Riverkeepers, wrote in an email. “Every day, as many as 25 tanker trucks filled with chemical hazardous waste will drive within one-half mile of the river.”


Elcon’s four-year quest to have the facility approved by the DEP has been mired in setbacks…But Elcon may be zeroing in on the target. Last May, the DEP cited six areas as lacking. In October, it was down to just three, all revolving around Elcon’s lack of ownership of the land and relevant paperwork.


Whether Elcon has filled in all the gaps remains to be seen.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

In 2016, Newtown Township - among others - passed a resolution opposing this plant due to "danger" to drinking water. See here for more information about that.

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Newtown News of Interest
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