April 18, 2023
BUCKS COUNTY, PA – April 17, 2023– In response to the March 24th chemical spill that occurred in Bristol Township at the Altuglas LLC Chemical Plant, Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Representative Tina Davis (D-141) called on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to investigate the cause of the spill, impose appropriate penalties, and develop policies to prevent future similar spills.
Senator Santarsiero and Representative Davis were joined on the letter to DEP Acting Secretary Richard Negrin by nine additional members of the General Assembly serving Bucks and Philadelphia counties, downstream from the site of the chemical release in Bucks County.
The text of the letter follows:
Letter to Acting Sec. Negrin - Trinseo Chemical Spill
The letter can be found here.
December 30, 2020
BUCKS COUNTY – December 30, 2020 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and state Representative Perry Warren (D-31) announced that Bucks County Conservation District will receive $262,558 in Growing Greener grant funds through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). With a primary goal of improving the water quality of Neshaminy Creek, the funds will be used for a water quality improvement project at an equine facility in Newtown Township.
The project will implement a variety of water quality management best practices, including the design and installation of waterways and diversions, subsurface drainage improvements, stone lined outlets, fencing improvements, animal heavy use area improvements, rain gutter improvements, a roofed manure storage facility, and the creation of vegetated buffer areas.
“Funding for this project highlights the importance of ensuring our local farms and facilities are equipped with the necessary resources to protect our environment, specifically our waterways,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “The improvements that will be made through this project will both protect Neshaminy Creek and help raise awareness within our local equine community about the importance of conservation.”
“This grant award both helps ensure that we have safe, clean water and recognizes the critical role work of the Bucks County Conservation District in managing and directing the county’s soil, water and natural resources,” said Rep. Warren.
“The Bucks County Conservation District is excited for this opportunity to expand upon our previous efforts to improve water quality with in the Neshaminy Creek Watershed, and especially to be working on a high-density equine operation,” said Gretchen Schatschneider, District Manager for the Bucks County Conservation District.
Additionally, The Heritage Conservancy, located in Doylestown, will receive $26,563 for its Bellwood Preserve Riparian Restoration project, outside of the 10th senate district in Newportville.
The Growing Greener grant program through DEP is used to fund watershed restoration and protection, abandoned mine reclamation and abandoned oil and gas well plugging projects. For more information about Growing Greener grants, visit the DEP website.
July 24, 2020
BUCKS COUNTY – July 24, 2020 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) announced today that Elcon Recycling Services will be withdrawing its applications for a proposed hazardous wastewater processing facility in Falls Township, ending a years-long fight in the community. Falls Township Supervisors had unanimously voted to reject Elcon’s proposal in April 2019, leading Elcon to appeal the decision to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
“The withdrawal of Elcon’s applications for a proposed project in Falls Township is a win for both local residents and the environment,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “I have been opposed to Elcon’s proposal from the beginning and have worked, alongside residents and activists, to advocate for DEP to reject Elcon’s proposal. Today’s announcement is a victory in a hard-fought battle, led by concerned residents, to protect the health and safety of our entire community.”
Sen. Santarsiero’s opposition to the proposed facility dates back to his time in the State House, when the proposal was first announced. Since then, Sen. Santarsiero has spoken out against Elcon at public meetings, submitted public comments in opposition to the proposal, and wrote a public letter to DEP outlining his opposition to Elcon, citing concerns over deficiencies in the company’s plan, and for its repeated attempts to avoid following state law.
For more information, visit http://www.dep.pa.gov/elcon.
June 30, 2020
BUCKS COUNTY – June 30, 2020 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) announced that Snipes Farm and Education Center received a $3,000 mini grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Environmental Education Grant Program.
Snipes Farm, located in Falls Township, will use the grant to implement the program “Where Does Stormwater Go? Linking a School, a Town and a Farm.” Through the program, high school students will explore increased rain volumes stemming from climate change and stormwater runoff impacts on water quality, and how they can effect change in the quality of their community’s environment.
“Hands-on learning is such a valuable part of education, and I am pleased to see Snipes Farm receive this grant to benefit students in our community,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “Climate change is an issue of critical importance to our future, and I am excited to see the work that both Snipes and the students will achieve toward improving the quality of our local environment.”
For more information on Snipes Farm and Education Center, visit their website.
For more information on DEP’s Environmental Education Grant Program, visit the DEP website.
August 27, 2019
BUCKS COUNTY − August 27, 2019 − In response to requests from legislators, civic and environmental groups and the public at large, the state departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources agreed to perform further studies on how any changes to Lake Nockamixon Dam could affect Tohickon Creek before changing the waterway’s designation, state Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and state Representative Wendy Ullman (D-143), announced today.
“While this decision is a step in the right direction, I will continue to call on DEP to properly classify the environment of Tohickon Creek as a Cold Water Fishes stream and to apply Exceptional Value protections to the Creek’s Mainstem,” Sen. Santarsiero said. “In doing so, we can protect and preserve the Tohickon Creek for generations.”
“Thanks to our collective efforts, any DEP reassessment of this treasured waterway must await new findings and up-to-date data,” Rep. Ullman said.
According to Sen. Santarsiero and Rep. Ullman, DEP had earlier proposed downgrading Tohickon Creek as a trout-stock-fishery designation, which would have a serious negative impact on tourism and property values.
Both Sen. Santarsiero and Rep Ullman sent letters during the public comment period outlining the significance of Tohickon as an integral tributary to the Delaware River and a vital Bucks County resource.
Working with the Tinicum Conservancy, Sen. Santarsiero and Rep. Ullman encouraged local residents to submit their comments to DEP supporting the designation of the Tohickon Creek as Exceptional Value in order to protect all existing uses of the stream and safeguard the quality of its water. Over 900 public comments were received.
In the interim, Sen. Santarsiero and Rep. Ullman had conversations with DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn and DEP Director of Legislative Affairs Gregory Kauffman to push for further evaluation of Lake Nockamixon Dam and Tohickon Creek.
The letter Sen. Santarsiero and Rep. Ullman received from DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell agreeing to this request for further study states:
“The stream evaluation of Tohickon Creek is currently at the draft report stage. Further evaluation of the Lake Nockamixon Dam and publication of an updated draft stream evaluation report will occur prior to DEP submitting any recommendation regarding the designated aquatic life use of the lower mainstem of Tohickon Creek to the Environmental Quality Board.”
According to the DEP, any change in the Tohickon Creek’s water quality designation will have to go through the regulatory review process, which will allow for continued public engagement on this issue.
Santarsiero and Ullman’s offices will remain actively involved in the ongoing developments regarding the waterway’s designation.