Commissioners adopt HazMat plan

BY PAT FARNELLI

A new Susquehanna County Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan for Unconventional Well Sites, as well as a county Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan for Transportation Incidents and a separate Hazard Mitigation Plan, were adopted by resolutions Wednesday by the Susquehanna County commissioners.

According to page 113 of the hazardous materials emergency response plan, there are 499 drilled Marcellus wells in Susquehanna County, and 412 permitted wells awaiting drilling, as of April 2012.

The plan has just been received by the county emergency management office, and Commissioner Alan Hall said that, while copies are not yet available, it is possible to see the documents in the emergency management office.

The plan was prepared by MCM Consulting of Pittsburgh as a sort of template, which could be customized to the region, Emergency Management Coordinator Robert Stoud said.

EMA Operations and Training Manager Paul Johnson added, “We could add specific information particular to the county.”

Stoud said that the emergency management plan was already in place, but is updated every five years. With the most recent update, compressor station issues as well as potential Marcellus Shale related dangers were added.

A list of persons was approved for appointment to the Susquehanna County Emergency Preparedness Task force for the years 2012-2013. Also, a list of persons were approved to the Local Emergency Planning Committee for the years 2012-13.

A visitor attending the meeting thanked the commissioners, speaking as a former first responder, for adopting the resolutions regarding hazardous materials and hazard mitigation.

In other business, the commissioners set the millage for the year 2013 for the county at 10.5 mills for general real estate for the general fund, and .33 mills for the library fund. The budget will be available for public view by Dec. 5.

The commissioners accepted the resignation of Patricia Stimmell, 911 tech support, effective Nov. 14.

Michael Pinkowski of Montrose was then hired to replace Stimmell in that position of 911 systems manager-database analyst.

Jessica Bryant, Bridgewater Twp., was hired as a part-time dispatcher trainee, hire date to be determined by Donato.

Laura Holbrook, Bridgewater Twp., was hired as the Chesapeake Bay Technician-Resource Conservationist, per the recommendation of Jim Garner, Conservation District Manager.

A bid was awarded for refuse service for the period of Dec. 1, 2012 through Nov. 30, 2014 to Joe’s Disposal Service of Hallstead.

Not on the agenda, but added by Hall, was a motion to purchase a Kubota tractor for the maintenance department, from Timberline, at a cost of $27,786, which will include delivery and training. This purchase was not put out for bids because it was handled through a state bid process, and the price represented a 38 percent discount, Hall said.

Vera Scroggins questioned why DEP determinations of contaminated water in Lenox Township have not been made available on the DEP website.

She also asked the commissioners to read aloud one of the resolutions. As this did not occur, Craig Stevens read that resolution during his three minute visitor comment.

Bruce Paskoff questioned the three minute time limit for visitor comments, and asked, “Why is it that the commissioners have an attitude, when people tell you that there is a problem in the county…Why do you have an expression of disdain? Do you like dirty water? Do you want to be the next Love Canal? I think that is contemptuous, and not participatory government.”