Waste Transfer Station Upsets Sunbury Residents

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Folks in one part of Northumberland County are concerned that fracking fluid will be brought into their neighborhood.

People who live in Sunbury said they are worried that hazardous materials from the gas drilling industry could be brought to a waste transfer station.

Right now what are called drill cuttings are being brought in and out of a waste transfer station in Sunbury.

Some people who live in the area said they aren't happy about the smell and noise that comes along with it. They think it will be worse if fracking fluid is being brought in too.

Cora Campbell lives across the street from the waste transfer station.  She said rock cuttings from the drilling industry are brought in and out of the station all day.

She's worried because she said fracking fluid may be transferred at the same facility on North Second Street. Campbell and some of her neighbors are upset because they don't know what is in the materials.

"We need more testing done to make sure it isn't something that's going to harm our health or our children's health in the future," Campbell said.

Clean Harbors Environmental Services filed an application with DEP to transfer fluid used in fracking in and out of the station. Some people who live near the station said they're concerned.

"We just think that as the city of Sunbury we are being dumped on because this is a residential community. That is right at our doors," said Dave Whipple.

An alley is the only thing that separates people from where the dumping is going on, less than 50 feet away from homes and businesses in Sunbury.

"Who is going to say to rent a property that close to this when we don't know how it's going to affect our health?" Campbell asked.

Northumberland County commissioners said the transfer station would bring about a dozen jobs to Sunbury, but some residents aren't sure it's worth it.

"We'd like to have jobs in the area, but we want good safe jobs that are healthy for people to be around," Whipple added.

The commissioners said they are concerned about Clean Harbors' application.

"We wanted to make sure we got all the information to help the city.  Ultimately it is the city of Sunbury who has the lead ruling to decide if this fits into the zoning," said Commissioner Rick Shoch.

A representative from DEP tells Newswatch 16 that it is in the process of reviewing Clean Harbors' application and will hold a public meeting in a few weeks. He said the materials in question are not classified as hazardous waste.

A spokesperson for Clean Harbors said its intent is to have an open door policy with residents and that it will meet all of DEP's requirements and then some.