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Neighborhood residents wary, seek more info

September 14, 2010
Residents of the west side of Warren, and other members of the community, gathered for an informal meeting at the Holiday Inn Monday evening to address their concerns about a proposed wastewater treatment plant that would be built specifically to treat waste from Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling. About 40 people attended the meeting and a petition was started asking for residents to be informed of any discussions regarding use or planning for the former G.G. Green property located at Pine St. and Pennsylvania Ave. The group, calling themselves the West Side Alliance, has many questions and has received no answers from city officials. They want to know the name of the company that will be developing the plant as well as answers about noise and air pollution and information about toxic chemicals used during the water treatment process. So far, no one is talking. Many at the meeting made it clear that the treatment plant is not wanted in their neighborhood. “I don’t want it in Warren. I want it out of town and I don’t want it on my street,” said Pennsylvania Ave. resident and meeting organizer Barb Lucia. Speaking on behalf of the West Side Alliance, Lucia said the Pennsylvania Bar Association referred her to a lawyer based in Oil City that specializes in municipal law, land use zoning and oil and gas law to look into the situation. Lucia explained that the lawyer needs the zoning ordinance in the area before taking any further action and that she should be able to provide him with it by next week. Susan George, a resident of Poplar St., stood up and mentioned that the traffic disturbance in Pleasant Township caused by brine water trucks traveling to Harmar St. is nothing compared to what it will be like when the plant is built on the west end because water will be brought in and taken out. That leads to the question of where the water will go once treated as well as what chemicals will be contained in that water. “There have got to be zoning ordinances in place for water treatment plants. Are they going to be recycling the water or are they discharging it? And where are they discharging it to?” George said. “This is not a political issue. This is an environmental issue.” On top of that, residents are concerned about their property value decreasing. “Who would want to buy a house near it?” Lucia asked. “No one will be able to sell their homes.” Lucia and fellow organizer Ellen Wilson urged those interested to attend the City Planning Commission meeting at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Municiple Building. Though discussion of the treatment plant is not on the meeting agenda, the West Side Alliance is hoping for a chance to be heard.


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