Update – Sewage management planning for Toll Brothers development

State College Borough Water Authority preparing to vote on Toll Brothers April 2018 application for easement to construct sewage pipeline across SCBWA-owned, deed-restricted land. 

5.7.18 Bailiwick News (PDF)

The State College Borough Water Authority (SCBWA) Source Water Protection Committee will be reviewing a Toll Brothers easement application during a closed meeting on Tuesday, May 8.

The full SCBWA board will be voting on the easement application during a public meeting on Thursday, May 17.

Concurrently, Centre Region Parks and Recreation Director Pam Salokangas is preparing to give a status update on the Whitehall Road Regional Park (WRRP) planning process at the May 29 Centre Region Council of Governments (COG) General Forum meeting…

As today’s edition went to press, Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition was preparing a memo to the SCBWA Source Water Protection Committee supporting long-term reduction of public water contamination risks through two proposals.

First, NVEC will propose that the water authority board require – in exchange for SCBWA granting the easement – a legally-binding commitment by UAJA (as the operator of the sewage treatment facilities) and by Penn State, Toll Brothers and Ferguson Township/COG (as owners of the land in the immediate vicinity of the pump station) to forego any and all additional land development in the Zone 2 recharge areas apart from The Cottages and the Whitehall Road Regional Park Phase 1 plan.

If the water authority does not obtain such concessions, the SCBWA board’s action to approve the easement, coupled with the large capacity of the currently-designed sewage treatment facility, exposes the Harter and Thomas wells to the significant and cumulative risks of additional development in the recharge area, while undermining the intended purpose of the 2008 protective covenant.

Second, NVEC will propose that the water authority work with Ferguson Township, Centre Region Council of Governments, and the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority to reassign ownership of two parcels, so that the Whitehall Road Regional Park Phase 1 plan can be constructed on a portion of the more level, 60-acre parcel fronting Whitehall Road (currently owned by SCBWA).

If the swap were successful, the sloped, lower 100 acres currently owned by COG and Ferguson Township would be conserved for passive uses and sourcewater protection through reforestation, pollinator plantings, grassland carbon capture, and other ecologically restorative land uses.

Such a land swap has the potential to protect more fragile, more sloped land from excavation, grading and paving, while creating a regional opportunity to strengthen the regional growth boundary…