1999 Meeting Minutes
|December 29, 1999 Minutes|
|November 23, 1999 Minutes|
|October 27, 1999 Minutes|
|September 29, 1999 Minutes|
|August 25, 1999 Minutes|
|July 28, 1999 Minutes|
|June 30, 1999 Minutes|
|May 26, 1999 Minutes|
|April 28, 1999 Minutes|
|March 31, 1999 Minutes|
|February 24, 1999 Minutes|
|January 27, 1999 Minutes|
December 29, 1999
at the Farmer’s Wife Restaurant,
The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at
9:30 A.M. on December 29,1999 at the Farmer’s Wife Restaurant in Ono, PA.
Present were Tom Embich, Jo Ellen Litz, John Worrilow, Craig Morgan, Chuck
Wertz, Jim Boyer, Dick Blouch, David Lasky, Ann Lasky, Gina Mason, Harvey
Bomberger, George Conner and Betty Conner.
The minutes of the last meeting on 10/ 27/99 were approved.
The treasurer reported that $35,000 is in our bank account for the Rivers Conservation plan. A bill was received from Mackin Engineering for $4,400 for work completed on the Watershed Plan. A check for $9,000 was received from DEP for the Quittapahilla Watershed Association’s WRAP Grant. It was moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Ann Lasky, to pay the bill from Mackin Engineering and to forward the $9,000 to the Quittapahilla Watershed Association. The motion carried. A donation of $100 was received from Wal-Mart on behalf of Todd Swisher.
For the Year End audit, volunteer hours need to be included. Members should submit their volunteer hours to Jo Ellen. It was moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Tom Embich, to approve the treasurer’s report. The motion carried.
A grant request to CVI for a multi-media projector was not funded at this time.
The nominations committee reported that all incumbent officers agreed to serve another term. It was moved by John Worrilow that the nominations be closed. The motion carried. The officers for the year 2000 will be
President, Jo Ellen Litz, Vice President, Tom Embich, Secretary, Betty Conner, Treasurer, Walter Haber.
An offer was received to hold our monthly meetings at Harper’s Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 at the Swatara Creek bridge. They could provide a breakfast buffet for $6 per person. It was moved by John Worrilow and
seconded by Dick Blauch that we try to negotiate for juice, coffee and Danish.
UPDATE on SCWA ACTIVITIES;
1. At the Hotel Hershey on November 23, Susan McDowell of EPA Region 3 presented the Swatara Creek Watershed with the Green Community Designation and road sign.
2. Progress is being made on photographing and documenting mills and bank barns in the Swatara Watershed. Members who would like to help with this project should contact Jo Ellen. Information on mills in Berks, Schuylkill and Dauphin Counties are needed.
3. Information for the Swatara Creek Water Trail was submitted to the Fish and Boat Commission. An article will be appearing in their magazine. Two fiberglass signs, 36” by 48”, will be made available by the Commission to mark access points to the water trail. The Swatara Creek Water Trail length will be about 42 miles from Jonestown to the Susquehanna River at Middletown. The Commission, the PA Tourist Bureau and DCNR are preparing a statewide Water Trail Map.
4. Bob Checket submitted canoe trip information to Keystone Conservationist Magazine.
5. Larry Anderson, a member of both SCWA and the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement (EASI), reported that EASI has water quality data collected at nine sites in the Swatara Watershed which could be useful as baseline data.
6. Jim Boyer, Mackin Engineering, reported that data collection for the Watershed Plan is almost complete. A meeting for the Plan Steering Committee will be held January 12 to review the first draft and will meet
again in February to go over revisions and management options. Jim brought USGS maps of the watershed
and invited members to add any features that should be in the database. One of the management options is to do a Natural Areas Inventory for Lebanon and Schuylkill County portions of the watershed. Dauphin and Berks Counties have completed theirs. There are DCNR grants for such inventories with 50/50 funding available to counties.
7. A request was received from the Schuylkill Headwaters Association for an information exchange. We have common interests in the AES power plant and acid mine remediation. Craig Morgan, Schuylkill County Conservation District Manager, is active in both organizations.
8. Jo Ellen responded to survey requests from USEPA for their Adopt Your Watershed Catalogue; from DEP for their Watershed Organization Directory; from the Lebanon County Conservation District on a proposed conservancy; from the Schuylkill Watershed Association for their River Conservation Plan; and from the PA American Water Company.
9. A letter was received from DEP in response to a letter sent by SCWA with concerns about the proposed hog operations involving four adjoining farms on the Little Swatara Creek in Berks County.
10. It was reported that Ogden Environmental & Engineering Services is doing a mining and geologic consultation for the National Guard Training Center at Ft. Indiantown Gap.
11. Publications for preserving rivers, neighborhoods and the environment from the impacts of poorly planned growth can be downloaded from the Community & Environmental Defense Service website at www.ceds.org or by calling 1-800-773-4571.
Tom Embich reported on the new Benjamin Olewine Nature Center at Wildwood Lake Sanctuary in Harrisburg. The building is shared by Dauphin County Parks & Recreation and the PA Audubon Society. Tom is helping to set up a watershed organization for the Paxton Creek which flows into Wildwood Lake.
Tom also reported on the new Growing Greener Grant Program from DEP for watershed restoration and protection projects. The deadline for applications for the first round of grants is February 11 and the projects must be completed by June 30. The Growing Greener Grant application can be found on the DEP website, www.dep.state.pa.us. There will be a grant application workshop in Harrisburg on January 24. There is another DEP grant program for GIS software and training for ArcView. Municipalities and watershed organizations are eligible.
Ann lasky reported that the Quittie Nature Park Committee met in December and submitted an application to become a Chesapeake Bay Community. The award will be given at their next meeting on January 23. Dave Evans will be the new chair of the Quittie Park Committee.
Dave Lasky reported that the Quittapahilla Watershed Association is planning an assesssment of the the streams to get baseline data. Where fencing and planting were installed last spring, changes are already being seen, both structural and vegetative.
Craig Morgan reported that the Schuylkill County Commissioners are considering a $10 million bond issue for economic development, for open space and to match a grant for repairs to Sweet Arrow Lake dam breast. The Northern Swatara Watershed Association received a $20,000 grant to put in limestone drain in Hegins Run to remove aluminum. In Lorberry Creek where beaver have moved in and the iron is settling out in their ponds. An Adopt-A-Stream project in Upper Little Swatara Creek is using root wads to improve the stream bank. Brook trout are being raised in the Coop Trout Nursery and stocked in Sweet Arrow Lake as well as in the Swatara Creek. Electroshocking below Ravine produced 50 small mouth bass, chain pickerel, some brook trout and small nose dace, and a small brown trout which indicates natural reproduction. The next meeting of the Northern Swatara Watershed Association is January 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the Tremont Township building.
Again, the Swatara Creek Watershed Plan Steering Committee will meet January 12 at 3:00 p.m. in SCWA Headquarters, 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
NEXT MEETING OF SCWA: January 26, 2000, 9:30 a.m. at our new location, Harper’s Tavern!
IN LEU OF A REGULAR MEETING, AT A CEREMONY HELD NOVEMBER
23, 1999 IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PA COUNTY COMMISSIONER'S ASSOCIATION
AT HOTEL HERSHEY, SUSAN MCDOWELL, FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY,
PRESENTED A GREEN COMMUNITY DESIGNATION TO THE SWATARA CREEK WATERSHED, BERKS,
DAUPHIN, LEBANON, AND SCHUYLKILL COUNTIES. ON BEHALF OF ALL FIFTY
MUNICIPALITIES IN THE WATERSHED, AN APPROVED HIGHWAY SIGN WAS ACCEPTED BY COUNTY
THE SWATARA CREEK IS A TRIBUTARY TO THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER WHICH RUNS INTO THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. OVER THE LAST DECADE, THE WATERSHED ASSOCIATION AND MUNICIPALITIES INCLUDING COUNTIES, TOWNSHIPS, BOROUGHS, AND CITIES, HAVE WORKED COOPERATIVELY WITH STATE AGENCIES TO ADDRESS ACID MINE DRAINAGE PROBLEMS, RESTORE STREAMBANKS, AND MONITOR WATER QUALITY. WHILE ITS PRIMARY FOCUS HAS BEEN WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS, THE SWATARA CREEK WATERSHED ASSOCIATION HAS ALSO TACKLED MORE DIFFICULT ISSUES THAT ULTIMATELY AFFECT LONG-TERM LIVABILITY OF THE WATERSHED, EARNING ITS DISTINCTION AS A GREEN COMMUNITY. THE ASSOCIATION ADDRESSED LAND USE PLANNING, SUSTAINABLE GROWTH, AND INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING BY PROMOTING PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS AND LOCAL PROJECTS.
"THE GREEN COMMUNITY DESIGNATION FOR SWATARA CREEK WATERSHED RECOGNIZES THE CONTINUING COMMITMENT OF CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIANS TO A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. THEIR REWARDS ARE A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT, STRONG ECONOMY, AND HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE," SAID THOMAS VOLTAGGIO, EPA ACTING REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR.
Visit the Swatara Watershed website!
<click to enlarge photos>
October 27, 1999
9:30AM – Farmer’s Wife, Ono, PA
Attendance: Bob Arnold, Jim Boyer, Stacy Cromer, Tom Embich, Andrew Gavin, Mary Golab, Dave Lasky, Marie Levitz, Karen Light, Gina Mason, David Okerbloom, Linda Slaybaugh, John Worrilow
1) On October 5, Susan McDowell, EPA, forwarded a letter of acceptance to SCWA as a Green Community participant. We must make arrangements for the presentation. On a motion by Worrilow, seconded by Light, the County Commissioner’s Association of Pennsylvania will be approached concerning a presentation at their conference being held at Hotel Hershey on November 22 & 23. As an alternative, members would like to ask the Lebanon County Commissioners to host the other Swatara Watershed commissioners for the presentation at a regular commissioner’s meeting. Also talked with Larry Hancock at Penn DOT about posting the sign(s) at visible locations where Route 81 or 422 cross the Swatara. We have to wade through what is calle a prequalified installer/manufacturer process, but Penn DOT is willing to work with us.
2) Found Charitable Trusts letter and forwarded to DEP’s Gina Mason.
3) Set date for water-testing training of SCWA members and watershed residents interested in volunteer monitoring.
4) According to the Pottsville Republican, Commonwealth Environmental Systems has lost an assessment appeal for a landfill it owns and operates in Foster Township. The company was seeking a reduction of the total assess market value of the two parcels it owns from $19 million to $5 million, claiming the county should depreciate equipment and closing costs.
5) Work with Mr. Ford from the PA Fish and Boat Commission on a 500-1000 word essay about the Swatara Water Trail.
6) At 10:30 AM Wednesday, October 27, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation awarded a grant at Fort Indiantown Gap to secure $108,000 to undertake stream, wetland, and grassland conservation and restoration projects over the next two years at FIG. Together, the organizations have pledged $64,000 and have been awarded a $42,000 grant through the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Habit Challenge Grant Program to restore trees and shrubs protecting 7 stream miles; restore and re-vegetate 5 acres of wetlands; restore 25 acres of upland habitat with native warm season grasses; educate the public; and engage and train volunteers.
7) Received Invoice #2 in the amount of $9,680 and invoice #3 for $17,600 from Makin Engineering toward completed River Conservation plan work—data collection and analysis, draft report and final report.
8) On a motion by Worrilow, seconded by Arnold, a completed $5,000 Canaan Valley Institute grant application was submitted for a power-point projector for educational presentations such as the completed Rivers Conservation Plan and a weed wacker to maintain fencing projects so grass and weeds do not disable the electric fence.
9) Received a request from local farm bureau president Jeff Werner concerning NPDES permits. There is a fear that farms will be impacted if more streams are designated high quality. Gina reported only three CAFO’s in the state would be impacted by this proposal. Tom volunteered to review the proposal.
10) Received a letter from Thomas C Downs, Patton Boggs Attorneys at law out of Washington DC advising us of a potential opportunity for expansion of the American Heritage River Initiative over the remaining year of the current administration. The original executive order contemplated 20 AHRO designations, so the White House could designate six more rivers at any time. Alternately, the administration may choose to re-solicit the program through notice in the Federal Register. He suggests we consider writing to President Clinton to urge him to act. A motion by Worrilow, seconded by Embich, passed to write to President Clinton.
11) According to the October 8 Patriot News, a three-judge panel of the Commonwealth Court has dealt another blow to a proposal to take water from a northern Lebanon County property for bottling off site. The court upheld rulings by Lebanon County court and the Union Township Zoning Hearing Board.
12) Arnold gave an update on his water quality testing of the wetland at Ravine.
13) Slaybaugh invited everyone to an educational CAFO forum at Wilson College on December 4.
14) Golab presented a DEP document for review and comment by November 9. The document can be reviewed at SCWA headquarters. Because of its many environmental variables, the Environmental Futures Team is working on a pilot project involving the Swatara Watershed.
15) Golab also requested and received permission for DEP to copy the fly-over tape done by Litz and pilot Warren Kessler of the Swatara and copy information concerning the decade-old questionnaire done in cooperation with the Penn State Ag Extension Agency presented to property owners along the Swatara. Map and lot numbers are on file to do a follow-up survey.
16) Okerbloom sand Gavin reported SRBC is continuing with a DEP source water assessment contract to extend assessment of contaminants and TMDL work.
17) Boyer will continue collection of information for the Rivers conservation Plan through the end of November. A steering committee meeting will be held the middle of January.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned on motion by Worrilow/Slaybaugh.
? Next Meeting, November 23, 1999, time and place to be announced.
September 29, 1999
9:30AM - Farmer's Wife, Ono, PA
WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS
Secretary's report was accepted on a motion by Worrilow/D Lasky.
Treasurer's report - none
Attendance: Anthony Agho, Nicole Artzberger, Jim Boyer, Tom Embich, Mary Golab, Jeffrey Hartranft, David Lasky, Marie Levitz, Jo Ellen Litz, Gina Mason, Charlie McGarrell, Linda Slaybaugh, All Winn, John Worrilow, & David Zimsky.
1) Signs are being put up by Scout troop 50. Another troop headed by Fred Heagy from Middletown is also interested, as well as Ray Swingholm. Signs can be purchased for $5 each.
2) Talked to Colonel Francis Ditzler about his knowledge of local mills.
3) Susan McDowell, EPA, called Friday 8/27 to discuss our "Green" application.
4) Requested programs on Little Swatara by the Lebanon Conservation District and on wetlands by Penn State.
5) Received second check for payment of work on the Quittie. Concurrence motion for payment of services rendered by Worrilow/Embich.
6) Booklets on successful manmade wetlands
7) Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay request to adopt recommendations for the 2000 Chesapeake Bay Agreement approved on motion by Worrilow/Lasky:
Develop a vision for the Chesapeake Bay watershed
|The Bay Program must initiate a collaborative effort to develop a vision for the watershed.|
|Promote sustainable development and manage growth|
Address the carrying capacity of the bay watershed, particularly related to developable lands, water resources, waste disposal, and infrastructure.
|Identify, protect and preserve environmentally sensitive lands.|
|Make cities and first ring suburbs more livable.|
|Promote efficient development patterns.|
|Integrate transportation planning into land-use decisions.|
|Consider how needs of water dependent economic and recreational interests can be met.|
|Engage people and develop partnerships.|
|Promote the ethic of stewardship.|
|Engage the public through educational activities.|
|Focus on local watershed management.|
|Improve water quality|
|Achieve nutrient reductions and apply them at levels agreed to by partners in the Bay Program.|
|Set standards for water quality.|
|Strengthen pollution prevention efforts.|
|Expand efforts to meet the goal of a toxics-free bay.|
|Protect natural resources.|
|Ensure that all stream corridors and riparian buffers are ecologically intact.|
|Maintain forests as viable ecological units, in developed as well as rural areas.|
|Protect and improve the integrity of wetland systems within the Chesapeake watershed.|
|Restore submerged aquatic vegetation density.|
|Restore oyster biomass.|
|Link management plans based on ecosystem science.|
|Enhance the governance of the Bay Program|
|Develop outcome-based measurements.|
|Enhance communications strategies to provide timely and understandable information.|
|Seek continuous improvements in the management of the Chesapeake Bay Program.|
8) Charlie McGarrell gave Tom copies of maps showing monitoring sites in Dauphin County.
9) Jeff Hartranft is involved in streambed stabilization and wetland encroachment problems.
10) Mary Golab said she is one of three DEP watershed coordinators.
11) DEP's Gina Mason offered water-testing training to SCWA members and watershed residents interested in volunteer monitoring. This program will aid us in providing hands-on projects to harness the enthusiasm and interest of local residents. It is important to get back to Jo Ellen ASAP with your preference of a November or December Vs an April or May training session at 1PM after one of our meetings. Tom and Charlie are doing some planning to identify meaningful target areas for monitoring.
12) John Worrilow emphasized the need to document all of our work with photos.
13) Linda Slaybaugh is working with an Environmentally Responsible Agriculture group.
14) David Lasky is concerned about a water and sediment load from Woodside Development.
PROGRAM: Jim Boyer and Mackin Engineering staff reviewed data collection schedule and GIS map layers to date: (1999) 9/29-10/1 field work; 9/29, 10/27, 11/23, 12/29 SCWA meetings; 9/30 Quittie meeting; 12/21 Complete initial data collection; (2000) 1/12, 2/29, 4/11 Project steering committee meetings; 5/5&6 Canoe Swattie; 5/12 submit draft RCP to DCNR; 5/15-19 3 public meetings; 8/1 Submit final RCP; 8/8 Public hearing; 9/29 Submit Rivers Registry Petition; 10/31 Rivers Registry.
SCWA turned over Lebanon County zoning ordinances and a ten-year-old "fly-over" tape for review.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned .
Next Meeting, October 27, 1999, Farmer's Wife, Ono
August 25, 1999
9:30AM – Farmer’s Wife, Ono, PA
WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS
Secretary’s report was accepted on a motion by Worrilow/Embich.
Treasurer’s report – reviewed the most recent bank statement. On a motion by Worrilow/Blouch, moved to pay Makin Engineering first installment of $3520.00 on Rivers Conservation Plan as soon as State clears final contract.
Present: Bob Arnold, Dick Blouch, Jim Boyer, Gina Mason DEP, Tom Embich, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Craig Morgan, John Worrilow….
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Worrilow.
|September 22-23, Citizens Advisory Council to the PA DEP will hold public meetings in Lancaster to hear comments from interested citizens and groups on environmental issues facing the region and the work of the Department. Eden Resort Inn, 222 Eden Rd., Routes 30 & 272.|
|September 27, Dauphin Conservation District & DEP will hold a Citizens Volunteer Monitoring class.|
Fulfilling our adopt-an-access
commitment to the PA Fish & Boat Commission, on July 28, 1999 Swatara
Creek Watershed held a work session at the Water Works canoe launch to pick up
trash and enhance the area. While no formal actions were taken, the
following information was shared as we worked:
On July 27, the Department of Environmental Protection and Swatara Creek Watershed Association held a joint educational news conference at the Lebanon Water Authority intake to address the current drought.
DEP imposed a freeze on all new sewer hook-ups in the Palmyra area.
The new delivery date for our bridge signs is August 20. Recently, North Londonderry and Derry Townships gave their approval to place signs along the Creek.
GTS Technologies requested comment on Goodking and O’Dea, Inc’s preliminary engineering and environmental studies for North Cornwall Township to replace TR 414, Dairy Road Bridge over the Quittapahilla Creek in Cleona Borough and North Cornwall Township, Lebanon County. SCWA asked the Quittapahilla Watershed Association for input.
The Fish Commission Water Trail contract was signed.
Jim Boyer, Mackin Engineering, updated members on the Rivers Conservation Plan. Of note, instead of canoeing the Swattie, with the drought, his team will “walk” the Swattie.
Re-zoning for a Pine Grove Landfill expansion will be discussed at a public meeting, 7PM, Tuesday, August 3 at Pine Grove Middle School. The expansion involves the 60-acre Longenecker farm off Laurel Drive.
SCWA was contacted about a 26,000 head hog operation proposed for Bethel Township, Berks County along the Little Swatara Creek just west of Route 501.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has free seedlings for organizations, agencies, and municipalities for streambank and wetland restoration projects. Native tree/shrub species include Red maple, Silver maple,
Sweet-gum, Red oak, Pin oak, Green ash, Arrowwood, Winterberry, Red-osier dogwood, and Red chokeberry. For additional information, contact Deb Nardone, (814)627-5082 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Lebanon County Conservation District is accepting nominations for Conservationist of the year, Landowner of the year, and educator of the year. Contact Chuck Wertz at 272-3908 for applications.
June 30, 1999
The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met on June 30, 1999 at the Farmer’s Wife Restaurant on Route 22 in Ono, Lebanon County. Present were Tom Embich, Bob Arnold, Janie French, George Constanz, Carl Donmoyer, Susanne Donmoyer, John Worrilow, David Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Elmer Knaub, Derrick Havice, Dick Blouch, Jim Boyer, Lloyd Hartman, Gil Hirschel, Ed Chubb, Gail Phelps Smith, Larry Anderson, Walter Haber, Betty Conner, Greta
Rank, Frank Payer, and Gina Mason.
ORDER OF BUSINESS:
1. The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Jo Ellen Litz, president. The minutes of the last meeting on May 28 were approved.
2. A check for $5000 was just received from the Ressler Mill Foundation for a survey of mills, bank barns and other buildings of historical significance along the Swatara Creek and tributaries. We applied for the grant last year in conjunction with our Rivers Conservation Plan proposal. This grant can count as matching funds for our Keystone Rivers Conservation Grant.
3. An Interim Report on the William Penn Foundation River Conservation Plan Grant was timely filed and a second payment in the amount of $22,000 was received. This grant is also a match for the Keystone Grant.
4. The PA Bureau of Charitable Organizations levied a fine of $250 on funds received over $25,000. A notice should have been sent to BoCO prior to filing the tax return. It is our understanding future notifications may
take place without penalty at the time taxes are filed. So as not to jeopardize funding, approval by e-mail was received from the SCWA Board for immediate payment. Registration confirmation was subsequently received from the Bureau. John Worrilow moved to concur with the action of the Board to pay the fine; Bob Arnold seconded the motion. The motion carried. It was noted that we should include a disclaimer on our brochures that SCWA has filed with the Bureau of Charitable Organizations.
5. An application for the EPA Green Communities Program was completed by Jo Ellen and sent to Susan McDowell at EPA Region 3. Rep. Argall’s office called to request information about EPA’s GreenKit. The following website address was provided: http://www.epa.gov/region03/greenkit
6. Letters were sent to 50 municipalities in the Swatara Watershed informing them about our signage project for the Swatara Creek and named tributaries. To date, Middletown responded saying they would defer to the PA Department of Transportation regarding placement of the signs. Conewago Township asked that we identify exactly where we want to place the signs and present the proposal to the supervisors at one of their meetings. East Hanover will also defer to Penn DOT on state owned rights of way and will help with installation. Finally, North Lebanon Township approved SCWA's request. Janie French will contact PennDOT regarding their policy about such signs.
7. Lebanon County recently
updated their flood plain ordinance. Dick
Blouch asked if there was any rezoning involved. Jo Ellen will ask for more
8. Jo Ellen was a presenter at the First Penn State Conference on Acid Mine Drainage held in State College in June. Using our ArcExplorer program she showed how a watershed organization can use GIS maps to show impacts of water withdrawals on a watershed. She used ArcExplorer GIS maps to create a map of Trout Run and showed the relationship of a major withdrawal to Camp Bashore and the State Park. GIS maps can communicate a visual picture. Our ArcView program is now up and running, thanks to Jim Boyer, and we are able to add labels and other information to GIS maps.
9. Jim Boyer, Mackin Engineering, spent three days going through SCWA files for information relative to the Rivers Conservation Plan, and met with the Plan Steering Committee.
10. Sally Zaino, Manada Conservancy, sent an e-mail asking whether SCWA would be interested in helping to apply for a grant to provide funds for acquisition of land or easements in the Swatara Watershed. A committee
composed of Gail Smith, Bob Arnold, Janie French and Betty Conner was named to gather more information.
11. Renew America again included the Swatara Creek Watershed Association in its Directory for 1999 and sent us a certificate.
12. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) requested permission to use three of our canoe and litter clean-up photos. Permission granted.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS FROM THOSE PRESENT:
Greta Rank, SCWA: On July 14 at 9:00 A.M. there will be a dedication of the historic marker for Ft. Swatara. The location is on Route 72 on the west side of the road, just north of Monroe Valley Road and about one mile north of Lickdale. Members of SCWA are invited to attend.
The PA National Guard Youth Camp needs a boating safety instructor for July 13, 14 and 15. The camp will have 90 children ages 9 to 11 attending. Any suggestions appreciated.
Bill Friese, DCNR, Swatara State Park: The State Park volunteer force has doubled in size. An Eagle Scout is working on a trails project clearing brush, weeds and litter.
Lloyd Hartman, Fish and Boat Commission: The Commission did a survey on Trout Run and found some native trout reproduction. They also found an American Eel. The last survey was done 22 years ago.
Jim Boyer, Mackin Engineering: Data collection is going on. He will be contacting the Plan Steering Committee for one-on-one interviews.
Dave Lasky, Quittapahilla Watershed Association: The WRAP Grant project resulted in 11 farms with streambank fencing installed on Bachman Run, Beck Creek and Snitz Creek. Joe Waybright, retired Waterways Patrolman, was instrumental in gaining cooperation of the landowners. Many volunteers spent 5 days planting trees and shrubs for an estimated $4000 in-kind contribution.
John Worrilow, Lebanon Water Authority: The reservoir at High Bridge is 5 feet below the spillway, but not yet critical.
Elmer Knaub, DEP Southcentral Regional Office, Bureau of Water Supply: The source water assessment mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Amendments of 1996 will involve 600 community water suppliers in the Southcentral Region of DEP. There are 3 large suppliers on the Swatara Creek: the Lebanon Water Authority, PA American Water Company and United Water Company of PA. Reporting on the large systems will be done by the suppliers. Source water assessment for the medium-sized systems will be done by DEP. Assessment of small systems will be done by DEP with available data and maps. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) is applying for a grant to coordinate source water assessment and protection
in the Lower Susquehanna Basin. The DEP Southcentral Region also deals with allocation issues. In the future, DEP allocation engineers could speak to a
meeting of the SCWA.
Gina Mason, DEP, Watershed Academy Coordinator: Gina will be developing a Watershed Academy for DEP staff and others. Watershed Association members would possibly be interested in attending.
Tom Embich, V.P. SCWA: Tom is a member of the SRBC Sediment Task Force. Sediment loads in the Susquehanna Basin are a big problem, especially during flood events. A great deal of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in the Chesapeake Bay was lost as a result of sedimentation from the 1996 spring runoff. The three Lower Susquehanna dams are on-stream sediment traps. Two of the dams are at capacity. Sediment management is a major focus for the commission. Erosion and sedimentation control will be getting more emphasis.
The River Conservation Plan is on track. We need a database on water quality for the Swatara Creek, additional water sampling and GIS mapping. Bob Arnold, Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs: The Conservation School to be held at Levitz Park July 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 still has openings for two girls ages 13 to 16. All expenses are paid by the Lebanon County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs. Contact Bob Arnold for more information. Betty Conner: One of 50 Statewide Land Use Forums will be held in Lebanon on July 14 at 6:30 P.M. at the Quality Inn. Registration and exhibits 5:30 to 6:30. Members of SCWA are urged to attend the forum because sound land use practices are essential for watershed conservation. Floodplain protection, stormwater management, forest management, riparian buffers and river conservation are all part of sound land use planning. There is no charge for the forum.
Gil Hirschel, SRBC, Project Manager for Source Water Protection Community Partnerships, gave an update on the Swatara Creek Watershed Pilot Project. SRBC has applied for a grant to conduct source water assessment activities in the Swatara Watershed and continue the community partnerships project. Proposed activities include identifying potential threats to drinking water sources, developing a source water monitoring network and establishing a project review procedure, in cooperation with DEP, for applications with relevance to drinking water sources. The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.
July 14 9:00 a.m., Dedication of Ft. Swatara Historical marker on Route 72, one mile north of Lickdale.
July 14, 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. - Land Use Forum, Lebanon Quality Inn
July 19 through 23, Conservation Camp sponsored by Lebanon County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs
July 28, 9:30 a.m. SCWA meeting at Waterworks Canoe Launch Site. Bring your own lunch.
May 26, 1999
at Sallie’s Place, Jonestown
The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on May 26, 1999 at Sallie’s Place in Jonestown, PA. Present were Tom Embich, Jo Ellen Litz, John Worrilow, Bob Arnold, Jim Boyer, Dick Blouch, Karen Light, Richard Light, John Ruhl, Sherrie Carlin, Gil Hirschel, Janie French, Gina Mason, Eric Brown and Betty Conner.
The minutes of the last meeting on 4/28/99 were approved. The audit of Swatara Creek Watershed Association was completed by Stein and Faren and filed with the William Penn Foundation and the PA Bureau of Charitable Oganizations. A copy of the audit was given to each Board member and a copy will be available in the office.
A copy of the William Penn Foundation Annual Report was circulated and will be on file in the office. A paragraph about the Swatara Creek Watershed Association is included.
A grant of $1000 was received from ALCOA Corporation. It was suggested that the funds be used for signs for the main stem of the Swatara Creek.
Janie French will talk to PennDOT about the rules for signs at bridges. It was moved and seconded that we purchase signs and obtain permission from municipalities to install signs. Motion carried. It was mentioned that many streams are unnamed.
Tom Embich reported on the progress of finalizing the contract for the River Conservation Plan with Mackin Engineering. A list of deliverables was included as an addendum to the contract. Tom explained that it was necessary that a third person, in addtion to the SCWA president and vice president, be named to approve final details of the contract. It was moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Karen Light, that Betty Conner be appointed. Motion carried.
It was then moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Tom Embich, that the SCWA president be authorized to sign the final approved contract. Motion carried.
Jo Ellen announced that a meeting would be held at 1:00 today at Ft. Indian town Gap with their GIS specialist in order to facilitate sharing of information. Jim Boyer from Mackin Engineering and Board members were
invited to attend the meeting which was arranged by Sherrie Carlin. SCWA will have the benefit of an intern this summer, a student of Tom Donmoyer’s at NLHS who received a scholarship. She will be helping to organize the SCWA files.
REPORTS FROM MEMBERS PRESENT:
Eric Brown, DCNR, reported that volunteers are needed at Swatara State Park.
Betty Conner reported on the Citizens Volunteer Monitoring Workshop, focusing on abandonned mine drainage, held on May 22 at Tower City. The morning session gave a detailed explanation of how to develop goals and a plan for water monitoring. The need for project design and quality assurance/quality control was emphasized. The afternoon field trip to a very large restored wetland area adjacent to Tower City demonstrated that acid mine drainage and lands devastated by mining wastes can be turned around. It takes partnerships between local citizens, organizations, communities, agencies, utilities and businesses. The results on the Wissahickon Creek, which used to be called Black Creek, are very impressive. John Worrilow reported on the Quittapahilla Watershed Association’s Clean-up Day on May 22. About 70 volunteers took part. Carmeuse of PA provided a picnic lunch and a fishing derby was held for students who caught some nice brook trout. The Clean-up is now an annual May event.
Karen Light announced the Game Commission is holding a “Bioblitz” on June 4 and 5 along Stony Creek in Cold Spring Township. Biologists will spend 24 hours surveying flora and fauna in Stony Valley.
Bob Arnold reported that the Conservation School, to be held at Levitz Park by the Lebanon County Federation of Sportsmens Association in July, still has room for some girls between the ages of 13 and 16. Call Bob at 274-0697 if you know of any potential applicants.
Bob also asked if there are any access points on the Swatara Creek that need work. Tom Embich said that Hummelstown is negotiating to acquire land below the sewage treatment plant and would like to put in a trail.
Bob also reported on an article he read in BIOCYCLE magazine on motor oil recycling. Apparently Pennsylvania is one of the few states that does not ban used motor oil from landfills. He said we should approach our legislators to support a ban on disposal of used oil in landfills.
INVITED SPEAKER: Gil Hirschel, Environmental Outreach Coordinator for the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, gave a presentation of the GIS mapping of the Swatara Creek Watershed that was prepared for the SRBC Source Water Protection Community Partnerships Project. Donna Fiscus was the GIS Specialist who prepared the maps. The Source Water Protection Community Partnerships Project is being conducted though a grant from DEP as part of the state’s Source Water Assessment and Protection Plan required by the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996. The GIS maps contain baseline information that will help water suppliers assess potential threats to their sources of supply. Gil also discussed the SRBC Water Quality Assessment of the Lower Susquehanna Basin, SRBC regulation of water withdrawals and consumptive use of water.
NEXT MEETING OF SCWA: June 30 at 9:30 a.m.
April 28, 1999
at Sallie’s Restaurant,
The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on April 28, 1999 at Sallie’s Place in Jonestown, PA. Present were Tom Embich, Jo Ellen Litz, John Worrilow, Janita Obie, Jim Boyer, Mark Embeck, Dick Blouch, Pat Pingel, Fritz Light, Terry Hough, Ann Lasky, and Betty Conner.
1. Jo Ellen gave an update on the annual canoe trip to be held on Saturday, May 1st., starting at the Union Canal Canoe Rentals on Blacks Bridge Road north of Palmyra. There will be two starting times, 9:30 A.M.
and 10:00 A.M. The trip will end at Boathouse Road Park in Derry Township. Shuttle drivers are needed to take canoeists back to their cars at the end of the trip.
2. Jo Ellen demonstrated the Global Positioning System monitor purchased with funds from the Canaan Valley Institute. Also purchased were supplies and equipment to facilitate additional public meetings to be held during the Swatara Creek Watershed Rivers Conservation Plan process.
3. The Quittapahilla Watershed Association, a subgroup of SCWA, received the first installment of their WRAP grant awarded last fall. They are currently planting tree and shrub seedlings purchased with the grant and installing streambank fencing with the help of the Fish & Wildlife Service. So far, twelve landowners in the Quittapahilla Watershed have agreed to be part of the project and about 2.5 miles of streambank are included. The watershed association plans to submit another grant application for 1999 - 2000.
4. Earth Day projects in the watershed included tree planting and Water Snapshot water quality testing in several locations. Jo Ellen took pictures with the digital camera and posted them on the SCWA website.
5. Today Mark Embeck, DEP Water Quality Specialist, took us outdoors and demonstrated how to collect and analyze macroinvertebrate samples from the Swatara Creek at Jonestown.
6. Clean-up and maintenance of the canoe launch site at the Waterworks will take place at or July meeting as moved by Dick Blauch and seconded by Betty Conner, July 28 at 9:30 A.M., --“bring your own” lunch.
7. There will be a Citizens Volunteer Monitoring Workshop sponsored by DEP on May 22 at Tower City, 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. The fee is $10. Call Diane Wilson to register, 787-3730.
8. Jo Ellen reported on a meeting arranged by the Lebanon County Conservation District to meet with environmental officials at Ft. Indiantown Gap to discuss how we can work together and communicate on common interests in the watershed. An Environmental Impact Statement and GIS maps are being prepared for the FIG property. They are willing to share their data for our watershed planning process. A second meeting will be held in May.
9. SCWA received a packet describing the EPA Green Communities Program, a program for encouraging sustainable communities. Jo Ellen, John and Betty have attended Green Communities workshops and recommended the program. John Worrilow moved, and Betty Conner seconded, that SCWA follow up on the opportunity to become a sponsor of a Swatara Watershed Green Community. Motion carried.
10. A letter was received form the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, describing their new program to work on watershed projects that reduce the damage from floods and other disasters, as well as improve the aquatic environment. SCWA will ask for more information about these projects.
11. The Swatara Creek Watershed Plan Steering Committee met twice in April to review the 3 bids received in response to our RFP for completing a River Conservation Plan. The 15 member Plan Steering Committee used a check-off list to rate the proposals. All three proposals rated very high, but Mackin Engineering was recommended. They have experience in developing watershed plans for large watersheds, a diverse staff who can complete all the requirements of a plan within the timeframe and budget specified, and have committed to an accelerated schedule. Their home office is in Pittsburgh and their regional office is in Mechanicsburg. Tom Embich moved, and Ann Lasky seconded, to approve Makin Engineering as the contractor for the Swatara Creek Watershed Conservation Plan and to give the Steering Committee the authority to finalize the details of the contract. Motion carried unanimously.
12. Jim Boyer, representative of Mackin Engineering, thanked the group and said that Mackin’s goal is to get the Swatara Creek Watershed on the PA River Registry. The first thing is to look at SCWA’s databases and strengthen any gaps. Then a plan of action and timetables will be set.
13. Terry Hough, DCNR, said that things are moving along fine. We need to work out the contract and focus on doing the Plan, then look at doing projects.
14. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is presenting a conference on May 6 on Source Water Protection Community Partnerships, to be held at Wildwood Conference Center at HACC in Harrisburg. The Swatara Creek Watershed was used as a model for setting up community partnerships for assessing and protecting the sources of drinking water in the Susquehanna Basin. There is no fee for the conference. If anyone is interested in attending, please call Betty Conner at 274-3826 before May 2.
15. Ann Lasky reported on activities in the Quittie Nature Park. For Earth Day, 80 students from Lebanon Middle School planted tree seedlings, observed wildlife and tested water quality in the pond and the creek. An
able group of volunteers ran the program.
16. Pat Pingel reminded us that the 1999 WRAP Grant applications are due April 30. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Riparian Forest Field Days will be rescheduled for a Saturday in June or July.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 and the group moved to the creekside for a demonstration of biological monitoring by Mark Embeck.
March 31, 1999
at Sallie’s Restaurant, Jonestown
Attending: Tom Embich, Jo Ellen Litz, Terry Deibler, John Worrilow, Bob arnold, Richard Light, Karen Light, Lloyd Hartman, Tracy Longenecker, Betty Conner, Harvey Bomberger, Frank Payer.
Jo Ellen called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. She circulated a news article on the Swatara canoe trip and clean up from the March 29 Lebanon Daily News and two articles on past canoe trips written by Bob Checket and published in the Lebanon County Weekend Cover Story on March 5 and 12.
Richard Moyer of Allentown has sent funds to
sponsor a youth on the canoe trip, preferably a Girl Scout. If
interested, contact Jo Ellen.
The Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority is
proposing a new 10 year solid waste plan for the county. Some of the
recommendations have met with opposition. A Question & Answer paper
prepared by the authority was circulated for review.
The grant which the SCWA received from EPA/NACO/CVI
is coming to a close and it is necessary to spend the funds allocated before
that date. A list of proposed expenditures for supplies for use in public
meetings for the watershed association was submitted for approval.
The Annual Pennsylvania Water Snapshot, an
Earth Week snapshot of PA’s watersheds, will take place April 16 - 35. This
year biomonitoring will be added to the data collection. Guides to
macroinvertebrate identification were mailed out with the registration
material. SCWA will participate with a demonstration at their April meeting.
In 1997 there were about 12 sites monitored in the Swatara watershed. We are hoping that even more will be included this year. Please let Jo Ellen know if you are planning to do water quality monitoring during Earth Week this year. Phone 274-1175.
Beginning April 5, Bill Friese is looking for
volunteers to help remove railroad ties from the proposed rail-trail from
Monroe Valley Road into the state park. Contact Bill at 865-7198.
New grant rounds are starting for DEP Watershed Restoration Assistance Program grants and Section 319 grants. There will be a consolidated application process this year and a longer time frame for application submittals.
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is holding
a Riparian Workshop on May 4. SCWA renewed its membership exchange with the
Alliance. The Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grant applications are due May
Sue Amanita and Joyce Kunkle are planning a
cleanup of the Quittie on April 24. The area from 9th Street in Lebanon to the
Dairy Queen was suggested as a good location.
SCWA received a copy of the CAFO Strategy and
related documents for review.
SCWA received a copy of the Dennis Creek video
produced by the Franklin County Conservation District and the Dennis Creek
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission held workshops on March 4 and March 25 on Source Water Protection in the Swatara Creek Watershed. The focus was on forming community partnerships to protect sources of drinking water. A conference will be held on May 6 during National Drinking Water Week at HACC’s Wildwood Conference Center in Harrisburg. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission also held a Commission meeting in Myerstown on March 11 at which a panel composed of Senator Brightbill, Jo Ellen Litz and Ed Keener discussed the need for increased water supply in the area in the next ten years. An article in the Patriot News on March 15 summarized the meeting.
SCWA received a copy of the latest 303(d) list and submission forms to send any stream water quality data that we might have to DEP.
SCWA received notice that our application for
a section 319 grant for a technician to implement watershed assessment would
not be funded.
The League of Women Voters of PA has sent notice that they are accepting applications for grants up to $3000 for community coalitions to conduct water resouce education projects related to drinking water source protection or watershed protection. The deadline is May 10. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2000.
The PA Insurance Department is conducting a
survey of the impact of underground heating oil tanks with a capacity of 3000
gallons or less.
Lebanon Valley Rails-to-Trails announced a
ride/hike on June 5, National Trails Day. The segment covered will be from
Cornwall to Lebanon.
Union Canal Days will be May 15, 16 at the
The Lebanon County Conservation District will
be donating their old copier to SCWA.
SCWA submitted a Water Trail application to the PA Fish and Boat Commission. If accepted, a segment of the Swatara Creek from Jonestown to Boathouse Road Park in Derry Township would be designated a Pennsylvania Water Trail. The Fish and Boat Commission will provide two trail head or wayside signs and a printed trail guide. SCWA would be responsible for installing the signs and maintaining the water trail for five years. John Worrilow said that he would ask the Lebanon Authority to write a letter in support.
Bob Arnold announced that the PA Conservation School still has room for 10 to 12 students. He passed out some brochures. Call Bob for more information,274-0697.
Karen Light circulated the schedule for programs at Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge. Karen also reported that the lumber and trash from the tractor trailer accident three weeks ago on I-81 above the Swatara Creek near the Appalachian Trail Bridge has not been cleaned up. State Road will be closed for 2 days so the 7th grade at Northern Lebanon Middle School can clean it up.
Mike Pavelek, GLRA Director, is very concerned about trash dumping in the headwaters of the Swatara. He has been documenting dump sites by aerial photography. Watershed Association members can help by reporting evidence like addressed envelopes and license plate numbers of cars seen dumping trash.
Frank Payer, DEP, discussed water quality monitoring in the watershed. John asked if it would be helpful if the Lebanon Authority were to monitor more sites. The authority will be holding Open House at the filtration plant and at the wastewater treatment plant in May or June. John said he would ask Ralph Heister at Lebanon High School if he was going to do any stream monitoring during Earth Week. Tom will ask Mark Embeck, who is doing biological monitoring of unassessed streams in the watershed, if he will conduct the in-field demonstration at our next meeting in Jonestown on April 28.
Terry Deibler, PA Fish and Boat Commission,
said that there has been great improvement in the Swatara Creek. But now we
are seeing nonpoint source sediment pollution that doesn’t allow the stream
to recover and destroys habitat. Frank also said that he would follow up on
the litter problem along the Swatara in the state park, especially from the
Tracy Longenecker announced that the Izaak
Walton League of America will hold the Pennsylvania Division 74th State
Convention in Lebanon at the Quality Inn on April 23, 24 and 25. For more
information call Sedgwick Kern, 273-1905.
Tom Embich reported that SCWA has received
three bids in response to the Request For Proposals to develop a River
Conservation Plan for the Swatara Watershed. The 15 member Plan Steering
Committee is in the process of rating the proposals and will make a
recommendation to the SCWA Board. The steering committee will meet on March 30
at 6 p.m. at 2501 Cumberland Street.
The next meeting of the SCWA will be on April
28 at 9:30 a.m at Sallie’sPlace in Jonestown.
Respectfully submitted, Betty Conner
February 24, 1999
at Sallie’s Restaurant, Jonestown
The February 1999 meeting of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association was called to order at 9:30 A.M. by Jo Ellen Litz, President
Members present were: Bob Arnold, Richard Blouch, Jay Braund, Mark Chegwidden, Betty Conner, Tom Embich, Mary Golab, Lloyd Hartman, Dave Huntzinger, Ann Lasky, Dave Lasky, Marie Levitz, Fritz Light, Karen Light, Richard Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Craig Morgan, Pat Pingle, Linda Slaybaugh, John Worrilow.
The treasurer’s report was reviewed and approved.
The minutes of the last meeting on January 27 were sent by e-mail to members. There were no corrections and the minutes were approved. It was noted that the completed Upper Swatara Creek Watershed Rehabilitation Plan that Dan Koury presented to Jo Ellen at the Janury meeting was taken by someone at the meeting and has still not been returned.
The calendar of SCWA meetings for 1999, sent to members by e-mail, was approved.
The Lebanon County Conservation District is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The highlight of the year will be an anniversary celebration on May 21.
An update on the 11th Annual Canoe the Swattie Day to be held May 1, 1999 was given by Jo Ellen. New sponsors include Hershey Foods Corp., the Society of Women Environmental Professionals, and the Lebanon Valley Scuba Club. Bayer is printing the flyers. The Lebanon County Conservation District and Penn State Ag Externsion Agency will provide additional printing. Weidle Sanitation will provide a container. The Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority will accept any trash collected.... Contributions are still being sought.
Tom Embich reported the RFP for a Swatara Watershed Plan was completed and sent to Terry Hough at DEP for approval. A copy of the RFP was circulated and reviewed by members. The RFP will be advertised in at least one newspaper. It was moved by John Worrilow and seconded by Bob Arnold to authorize the executive committee to send an advertisement to the Patriot News, the Lebanon Daily News and/or the Pottsville Republican. The motion carried.
The Plan Steering Committee will consist of Bob Arnold,Flynn Barnett,Ed Chubb,Betty Conner,Tom Embich, Dan Koury, Dave Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Jim Logan, Bob Manbeck, Lois Meily, Marcia Paterson, John B. Wengert, Jeff Werner, and Charles Wertz. An advisory committee will also be formed to include wider representation.
SCWA received a letter from Roger Fickes, DCNR Bureau of State Parks, with a news release describing the withdrawal of the permit application to the Corps of Engineers. An related article appeared in the February 19 UPDATE.
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission passed a resolution supporting the development of the Swatara Reservoir for water storage for release during low flows. The Commission will hold a meeting in Myerstown on March 11 at the Lantern Lodge. Senator Brightbill, Rep. Zug, and County Commissioner Litz will be on a panel to discuss future water needs in the Lower Susquehanna Basin. Tom Embich will moderate.
An Eagle Scout candidate, Shane Michael Boltz, contacted the watershed association about possible projects he could work on. He was given a list of projects available in Swatara State Park.
Announcements and News from Members:
1. John Worrilow suggested that AES Ironwood would possibly support local projects planned by the watershed association.
2. Bob Arnold announced that the annual Conservation School, sponsored by the Lebanon County Sportmens Clubs, will be held again this summer for ages 13 through 16. There is no cost for students to attend the one week program at Levitz Park. Brochures are avaiable from Bob.
3. Tom Embich reported on the Governor’s Growing Greener Initiative which responds to the recommendations of the 21st Century Environment Commission. The Growing Greener budget proposal would redirect $1.4 billion in existing funds over the next five years to promote sound land use planning, restore watersheds, reclaim abandoned mine lands, preserve farmland and open space, and make improvements in State Parks and Forests. The reordering of PennVest priorities and critieria to help communities that do sound land use planning represents the largest portion of the proposal, $900 million over five years or 180 million in 1999. A motion was made by Betty Conner and seconded by Ann Lasky to direct Tom Embich to write a letter to the Governor endorsing the Growing Greener Initiative. The motion carried.
4. Karen Light announced that the Audubon Society will hold three walks in Swatara State Park on the following Sundays: March 14, April 11 and May 16. The public is invited to meet at 2:00 p.m. at the junction of routes 443 and 72 to participate.
5. Craig Morgan announced the Northern Swatara Watershed Association (NSWA) will meet on March 31 at 7:00 p.m. The organization, Fish America, is spending $4000 to set up a cooperative trout hatchery on a tributary to Sweet Arrow Lake. They intend to stock the Swatara Creek within the Borough of Pine Grove. The NSWA has three current projects. (1) reclaiming a pit in the Middle Creek area, (2) bringing a stream back above ground, and (3) a wetland creation. Blackwood Anthracite will be remined and restored by partners David Ventresca and Nolin Perrin. Recently Tom Hylton, author of SAVE OUR TOWNS, SAVE OUR COUNTRYSIDE, spoke to the Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce and 23 groups about land use. A follow-up meeting will take place on March 24. There seems to be enthusiasm for a major land use initiative in Schuylkill County.
6. Jay Braund reported that the proposed DEP budget for 1999 contains $1 million for conservation districts to hire watershed coordinators. Jay introduced the new watershed coordinator for the DEP Southcentral Region, Mary Golab. There are two DEP pilot watershed projects in the region, the Swatara Watershed and the Codorus Watershed, where DEP has set up teams to do both permitting and inspection/compliance.
7. Pat Pingel announced that applications for a new round of WRAP grants and 319 grants will be due April 30. DEP will be holding a workshop to explain the grant procedures on March 19 at the Southcentral Regional Office. She also reminded us of the statewide Volunteer Monitoring Summit to be held at State College on March 20. SCWA has been participating in the volunteer monitoring program since August 1997 by taking monthly samples from the Swatara Creek at Middletown.
8. Betty Conner reported the PA Fish and Boat Commission is forming a partnership to create a formal statewide Water Trail Program. They are seeking applications from municipalities, authorities or 501C3 groups wishing to establish a water trail. If the application is accepted, the Fish and Boat Commission will provide templates and technical assistance to develop a water trail guide and signs, provide two trail head signs and framing systems, publish the trail guide in the Pennsylvania Angler and Boater magazine and provide copies of the guide The partner organization must agree to coordinate the planning and development of the water trail, install the trail head and wayside signs, agree to maintain the trail and remain a partner with the Commission for five years, and promote the trail through local media. It was moved by John Worrilow and seconded by Bob Arnold that the SCWA send an application to be a Partner in the Fish and Boat Commission Water Trail Program. The motion carried.
9. David Lasky reported that the Quittapahilla Waterhed Association in moving ahead with implementation of the WRAP grant project. Ten land owners in the watershed have signed up for restoration projects. The next meeting of the watershed association will be on March 4 at 6:30 p.m. at 610 East Walnut, Annville.
10. Ann Lasky announced that the Quittie Creek Nature Park will conduct an Owl Walk on March 14 at 5 p.m. in the park, followed by a meeting at St. Paul’s Church at 7:30 p.m. Mulch spreading on the trails will take place on March 7. There was some discussion about the Game Commission president’s proposal to lift the ban on shooting Great Horned Owls and Red Tailed Hawks in order to protect pheasants. It was moved by Betty Conner and seconded by Linda Slaybaugh that SCWA send a letter to the Game Commission opposing this proposal and noting the need for undisturbed nesting habitat to restore the pheasant population. The motion carried.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
January 27, 1999
at the Lebanon County Municipal
The January 1999 meeting of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association was called to order at 9:30 A.M. by Jo Ellen Litz, Presiden.t Members present were: Diane Alwine, Robert Arnold, Richard Blouch, Betty Conner, Betty Eiceman, Tom Embich, Jack Force, Barbara Haber, Walter Haber, Dan Koury, Ann Lasky, David Lasky, Marie Levitz, F.W. Light, Karen Light, Richard Light, Craig Morgan, Greta Rank, Pat Pingel, Jean Rohrer, Victor Rohrer, Thomas Sherk, Betty Shultz, Linda Slaybaugh, Ray Swingholm, Rita Wilhelm,
Charles Wertz, John Worrilow.
The minutes of the last meeting on December 23 were sent by e-mail to members. There were no corrections. It was moved by John Worrilow and seconded by Charles Wertz to approve the minutes. The motion carried.
The treasurer’s report was deferred to the next meeting. John Worrilow as appointed parliamentarian.
Election of officers for 1999 proceeded as follows:
It was moved by John Worrilow and seconded by Craig Morgan to nominate Jo Ellen Litz as SCWA president. As there were no other nominations, it was moved to close the nominations and elect Jo Ellen as president for another term. The motion passed unanimously. It was moved by John Worrilow and seconded by Ray Swingholm to nominate Tom Embich as vice president of SCWA. It was moved and seconded to close the nominations and elect Tom Embich as vice president. Motion carried. It was moved by Dan Koury and seconded by John Worrilow to nominate Betty Conner as secretary of SCWA. It was moved and seconded to close the nominations and elect Betty Conner as secretary. Motion carried. It was moved by Ann Lasky and seconded by John Worrilow to nominate Walter Haber as treasurer of SCWA. It was moved and seconded to close the nominations and elect Walter Haber as treasurer. Motion carried. Under old business was the review and adoption of a draft Sexual Harrassment Policy for SCWA which is required by some of our grantors and contractors. After the members had an opportunity to read the draft policy, it was moved by Craig Morgan and seconded by Charles Wertz to adopt the SCWA Sexual Harrassment Policy. Motion carried.
An annual audit is required by one of our grantors, the William Penn Foundation. Steiner and Faren CPA, Lebanon, have agreed to do the audit. It was moved by Tom Embich and seconded by Jack Force to appoint Steiner and Faren CPA as auditors. Motion carried.
The SCWA letterhead stationery has been delivered and is now availablefor SCWA business.
Jo Ellen reported on the participation of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association in the year-long pilot project conducted by EPA, the National Association of Counties and the Canaan Valley Institute for volunteer
watershed organizations. Through this project SCWA received training at workshops and a $10,000 grant for computer equipment to help with the River Conservation Planning process. It was suggested that a summary of the pilot project be put on the SCWA website.
Under new business, Dan Koury reported that the Upper Swatara Creek Rehabilitation Plan has been submitted. He announced that a public meeting will be held by DEP tonight, January 27, in Tremont on Proposed TMDLs for the Upper Swatara Watershed.
Gil Hirschel, SRBC, announced that the Commission has received a grant to sponsor a conference and two workshops on Source Water Protection Community Partnerships. The goal of the project is to encourage the formation of community partnerships to help safeguard drinking water sources. The conference will be held May 6 during National Drinking Water Week and will address the whole Lower Susquehanna Basin. In March there will be two workshops focusing on public water supplies in the Swatara watershed. The SRBC is preparing a series of GIS maps of the watershed using ArcView. Gil brought an example showing land use in the Swatara watershed.
The public meeting concerning the Swatara State Park Dam Proposal was convened at 10:00 A.M. beginning with a presentation by the Swatara Creek Watershed Association describing the history of the Swatara State Park Project and showing of the video “Swatara Creek, A Watershed at Work.” Jo Ellen reviewed the activities that have taken place to implement a “watershed approach”: projects to abate acid mine drainage, monitoring of water quality, wetlands creation, public meetings to begin a Watershed Plan through a DCNR River Conservation Grant, and enlistment of written support from 30 of 50 municipalities. Results of a public survey showed that 80% of respondents supported completion of the Swatara State Park Reservoir. A summary of the environmental documentation for the Swatara State Park Recreational Improvements Project, April 1998 is attached. The meeting was then turned over to Janie French, Canaan Valley Institute, who moderated presentations by EPA and the Fish & Wildlife Service concerning the proposed reservoir, followed by questions and answers.
Regina Paeske, EPA Region III, explained that the EPA’s position on the current Swatara Dam proposeal is based on concerns about the loss of natural diversity in the park and the interaction of stream, wetlands and uplands.
Charlie Rhodes, EPA wetlands expert, described the ecological features of the park emphasizing the age, integration, diversity, productivity and consistency of the ecosystems present. He showed pictures of the features that make this area special: riparian and bottom land forest with a complex canopy structure, wetlands and vernal ponds, intermittant tributaries, ripples and pools in the main stream - all providing a variety of habitats
for a rich species diversity.
Ed Perry, aquatic biologist for the Fish and Wildlife Service, explained that they have objected to the proposal because of the elimination of habitats (wetlands, vernal ponds, intermittant streams, complex canopy,
etc.) for specialist species, the fragmentation of habitats creating barriers to travel by immobile species, and the conversion of a cold water stream to a warm water fishery. When habitats are fragmented, nuisance species become dominant. On the question of mitigation, they believe it would be impossible to replace this bottom land forest ecosystem. Mr. Perry offerred to come back and meet with the watershed association. The following questions were raised by the audience:
1. A dam was built on the same site 160 years ago. Did not biodiversity exist before then and did it not recover when the dam was removed? Answer: Yes, but the ecosystem diversity took 100 years to recover.
2. Why was the need for future water supply to accommodate growth not included in the proposal? Answer: It was included as a secondary reason for the dam. If water supply is a component, the Environmental Impact Study would have to include this and consider alternatives to the supply. Water supply reservoirs must have very good water quality and the pool level tends to fluctuate.
3. John McSparran, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, spoke about the water supply aspect and the need for future water in the region. Consumptive use of water in the basin is growing fast and 50% of the consumptive use is south of Sunbury. This would be the only reservoir that could supply makeup flow on short notice to the Lower Susquehanna Basin. Answer: If this is to be a supply reservoir, no permit can be issued if a
less damaging alternative exists. A full range of alternatives must be explored such as conservation of water. In the competition for water, streams and wetlands are being dried up.
4. Suburban sprawl is a concern of the Governor. Should not some developments be stopped, i.e. breaking up a large forested tract with a linear reservoir? Answer: Route 81 is driving industrial development in the area, not suburban growth. Townships can regulate growth with zoning, and the Swatara State Park is surrounded by State Game lands.
5. What specialist species were identified? Answer: Scarlet tanagers, cerulean warblers, black winged warblers were some.
6. What potential is there for this park to be developed for passive recreation using boardwalks? Answer: The Fish & Wildlife Service has no problem with passive recreation facilities.
7. Were the linear wetlands created by the Union Canal? Answer: Not all.
8. What are the standards for the review of project? Were you looking at the Watershed approach or just this one project? Answer: #1. Is there significant degradation? and #2. Is there an alternative?
9. What is the difference between a natural lake and a reservoir? Answer: A natural lak eis usually at the top of a watershed. The dynamics are different.
10. Is it illegal to mitigate wetlands? Answer: The the total value of the bottom lands is greater. The riparian forest complex would be impossible to reproduce.
11. What is the life span of the dam? Answer: 360 years half-life based on sediment loading.
Janie French, moderator summerized, "This meeting was an informational start. We need to look at all the possibilities." John Worrilow thanked EPA and the Fish & Wildlife Service for the presentation and welcomed their offer to return. The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 P.M.
Betty Conner. Secretary