Scott residents complain about acid mine drainage near Hope Hollow Road
Share with others:
Complaints about mud, dust, debris, truck traffic, noise and water pollution in the Glendale area of Scott occupied much of the commissioners' recent workshop meeting.
"Everybody is upset with Hope Street," said Pat Martin of Center Street, referring to the steep hill that runs from the Federouch Landscaping Supply Co. to Washington Avenue.
She said last Wednesday that she is especially concerned about acid mine drainage that appears to have been diverted from another location on nearby Hope Hollow Road onto Washington Avenue and below on Creek Street. One resident has erected boards on his property to keep the water out.
Commissioner Bill Wells said he received a call from a resident who feared for his grandchildren.
"That's a heck of a hill," Mr. Wells said of Hope Street. "Bridgeville got sued over this same kind of pollution." He was referring to a resident's lawsuit over operations of a cement plant in that town.
In response to recent complaints, Scott officials contacted the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Allegheny County Health Department, both of which conducted inspections last month and found violations, including the lack of a required state permit. Reinspection is expected later this month.
But owner Edward Federouch, who bought the nearly nine-acre site in 2005, pointed out the next day that he has had his share of issues, too.
"Scott said they had no problem with me coming up here," he said, noting police have been called for thefts and kids throwing rocks. Though some of the property is open space, there are a number of empty buildings that are rented out for storage.
He said the steep hill's mine entrance has leeched water for 60 years and that any number of cave-ins could have caused the problem.
Engineer Larry Lennon wasn't sure what caused the water diversion, but emphasized it is a costly process to pinpoint the source and then fix it.
Mr. Federouch, who owns a similar 14-acre facility in Lawrence, Washington County, thinks a new access road from his business onto Hope Hollow Road would cut down on complaints because it would reduce traffic.
"We try to address the problems as we get them," he said. "We try to be good citizens."
Though 1st Ward Commissioner Eileen Meyers conceded some improvements are in order, she does not want to see the business relocate.
The site formerly housed the O. Hommel Co., which made inorganic dye and pigment.
In another development, just as the $2.4 million tricommunity revitalization project for Heidelberg, Scott and Carnegie is seeing some results, it appears there may be a change.
Design plans called for trees to be planted along Route 50, Carothers Avenue and Third Street to beautify them into a connecting walkable urban boulevard. Trees were purchased through TreeVitalize, a Western Pennsylvania Conservancy offshoot, and have already been planted in Heidelberg and Carnegie. There have been no plantings in Scott.
When Scott manager Denise Fitzgerald was asked about the trees last week, she said that permission to plant would have to be obtained from each Carothers Avenue property owner even though the proposed planting sites are in the sidewalk right of way.
Mr. Wells expressed doubt that such unilateral permission could be obtained.
"You couldn't get five people to agree that a duck was yellow," he said.
Scott has previously received new trees from TreeVitalize for Scott Park.
The project, financed through federal money obtained by state Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, initially was to include Washington Avenue in Carnegie instead of Carothers in Scott.
First Published November 21, 2012 5:39 am