State legislators have joined Burlington County representatives in voicing their opposition to a proposal by Elcon Recycling Services, LLC to build a hazardous waste treatment facility along the Delaware River in Falls Township, Pennsylvania.
In a letter State Sen. Troy Singleton, Assemblyman Herb Conaway and Assemblywoman Carol Murphy called on Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell to reject the construction of the ELCON waste treatment facility.
"As you know, ELCON is an industrial waste treatment service provider based in Israel which processes waste produced by chemical, pharmaceutical, and other companies. Its plans to construct a facility in Falls Township is especially concerning given its track record in Israel, where it has been shut down due to air and groundwater emission standard violations and its negative impact on pollution and the environment overall," the Democrats representing the 7th Legislative District wrote. "Undoubtedly, the construction of this facility along the Delaware River, and nearly 200,000 tons of raw waste it would produce each year, would be detrimental to our residents, environment, and wildlife. The Delaware River is not only an ecological haven to the wildlife populations that have made it their habitat, but it is a vital source of drinking water for over 8 million people in our region. Additionally, it is also an economic engine for both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, providing economic benefits through recreation, ecotourism and farming. To jeopardize this natural treasure for a facility that processes and incinerates hazardous and medical waste is unwise, unreasoned, and most certainly, unwelcome."
The letter was provided to the media about a week after Burlington County officials passed a resolution voicing their opposition to the facility. That resolution was sponsored by Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director Linda Hughes.
The Freeholder Board previously adopted resolutions opposing the proposed Elcon facility in February 2017 and January 2015. Read more here: Burlington County Opposes Proposed Hazardous Waste Site.
"It is our sincere hope that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will ultimately decide to reject the construction of this facility as it undertakes a review of ELCON's application materials," the state representatives wrote. "To further demonstrate our opposition, we have introduced Senate Resolution 110/ Assembly Resolution 198, which formally opposes the construction of ELCON's incinerator in Falls Twp. This is similar to a resolution we introduced in 2016 opposing ELCON."
The proposed 70,000 square foot Elcon facility would accept between 150,000 and 210,000 tons of highly toxic materials annually, Barbara Kutscher, of the League of Women Voters, previously told Patch.
Elcon has promised it will meet or exceed all state and federal requirements for contaminated material, and that alarms will prevent the overfill of tanks, according to levittownnow.com. It also said it will not treat waste from radioactive activities or fracking. It intends to accept hazardous liquid waste streams by truck from a variety of industries.