Though its proposed natural gas power plant still awaits approvals from the state and the borough, Invenergy LLC has already committed one environmental violation.
A local drilling contractor hired by Invenergy disturbed wetlands without a permit on the project site in July, state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Colleen Connolly said.
Ms. Connolly said Invenergy hired the contractor, Eichelbergers Inc., to drill in search of old waste buried on the 80-acre site bounded by Valley View Drive and Sunnyside Road. Another consultant analyzed the results.
The Times-Tribune was not able to find logs for the July drilling at the DEP’s regional office, but did obtain a different set of drilling logs by Pocono Test Borings & Drilling Co., for eight wells drilled in October. Those records are difficult to interpret because of illegible handwriting and undefined acronyms.set of drilling logs
A section in a separate Invenergy permit application refers to Jessup’s former municipal landfill, located on the site.
“Soil borings have identified that remains of the landfill exist on site and will need to be segregated and removed,” it said. “Should any unanticipated wastes be encountered, the contractor shall remove from the site all encountered wastes in accordance with all federal, state and local regulations.”
In July, Eichelbergers vehicle and drilling disturbed three wetlands, Ms. Connolly said. State environmental regulations require some type of authorization for this kind of earth disturbance, depending on the size, she said. DEP has not yet determined what type is needed for this activity. It could be an “after-the-fact authorization,” she said.
Invenergy notified the DEP of the possible violation on July 3, she said. A DEP inspector visited the site on July 15 and confirmed the wetlands had been disturbed.
The DEP could issue a civil penalty but for now is monitoring Invenergy’s activities at the site, she said.
“Self-reporting of the incident by the company will be a consideration by DEP if any decision is made on a penalty,” she said in an email.
Invenergy spokeswoman Alissa Krinsky said in an email that self-reporting is part of Invenergy’s standard practice.
The company has installed temporary fencing to protect the wetland as it continues testing underground conditions at the site, she said.
This article was written by Brendan Gibbons from The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.