A huge controversy is brewing in the Coal Region of Pennsylvania. It is thanks to a bunch of NIMBY's (Not In My Back Yard) orgainized in a groupo called The Army For a Clean Environment.
If the "Army" had their way, this is how it would stay.
As part of mine reclamation projects, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has a approved a plan to use River Sludge from New York to reclaim a mine pit in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.
The Springdale Pit, a huge open pit left over from strip mining of Anthricite coal, is going to be filled up with River Sludge and Coal Fly Ash. The former surface mine pit is 300 feet deep, 2,500 feet long and 1,200 feet wide and straddles the boundaries of Coaldale, Summit Hill and Tamaqua boroughs. The DEP says its's safe and is a good way to reclaim the land left over from unsightly and more environmentally dangerous coal mining. Once the pit is filled, it can be used for parks, businesses, and homes. Right now it's an ugly mess.
But despite the fact that the pit is unsightly and dangerous, concerned citizens have formed a grassroots organization called The Army For a Clean Environment. This "Amry" is led by local lawyer, Dante Picciano, who uses scare tactics and junk science to whip the citizens into an uproar.
From Times News On-line
[Kathleen] McGinty, secretary of the state Department of Enviromental Protection (DEP), came to town to conduct a DEP public meeting to learn what locals think about the government's decision to allow 'beneficial use' of river sludge and a fly ash/sludge mixture.
The combination, what many call a toxic cocktail, could be dumped into Springdale Pit.
McGinty was on the hotseat for most of the emotionally-charged session. A few dozen local residents sounded off with a barrage of opinons and questions about an issue in which the voice of the people has been largely ignored by a state environmental agency that McGinty said is "making tough decisions."
But the most dramatic moment took place 75 minutes into the meeting. Dr. Dante Picciano, Esq., founder of the 750-member Army for a Clean Environment, quietly awaited his turn at the microphone. As he stepped up and announced his name, he was welcomed by a standing ovation in tribute to his dedicated labors to protect his hometown region.
Using typical environmentalist ploys, citizens used their children as props, as their children held up signs and begged the big bad DEP not to killl them.