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> > Pennsylvania's Big Fishing Creek Threatened

MartinlfMay 11th, 2020, 10:05 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3072
Please submit a comment! See the end of this post. From the Tulpehocken Creek Outfitter's Fishing Report page: "Fishing Creek, a world-class trout stream in southern Clinton County, is at risk to the development and expansion plans of Nicholas Meat, LLC a slaughterhouse located just east of the Borough of Loganton. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is currently seeking comment on an application by Nicholas Meat, LLC to permit one of their three new wells to withdraw up to 173,000 gallons of water daily from the aquifer that lies under Sugar Valley. The summary of their application notes that after plant expansions are completed the summer of 2020, their maximum daily water demand will go up to about 250,000 gallons a day. They also estimate in their application that in 15 years their maximum daily water demand will be 700,000 gallons a day. The aquifer Nicholas Meat, LLC withdraws water from is an aquifer that also provides the cold alkalinized water that trout and other cold water species need to thrive. The rock that forms the valley floor of Sugar Valley is limestone, a porous and highly erodible rock that creates underground caverns and surface sinkholes. Subterranean openings in karst geology range in size from minute voids to large caverns. Ground water flow velocities are potentially very high and contaminants in karst can travel long distances with little dilution in comparison to contaminants in granular porous aquifers. In the warmer dryer months of summer, parts of the mid-section of Big Fishing Creek sink into several sinkholes in or near the main channel of the creek in Greene Township. The creek is currently revived by springs near Loganton, on the Schrack farms and in Logan Township. Our nationally cherished coldwater fishery to the west of Tylersville is indebted to the cooling effects of this spring water. Nicholas Meat, LLC paid a state college firm, Meiser & Earl, Inc. to complete a hydro- geological assessment of the potential impact of the water withdrawal on the stream. The firm concluded that the proposed withdrawals from Well-3 would not significantly impact the creek. However, the report makes no mention of climate change which makes rainfall less predictable. The report says that Nicholas Meat, LLC reintroduces waste water into the aquifer via land application, which they portray as mitigating the net loss of water. This is currently not true as the majority of Nicholas Meat, LLC waste water is trucked to a neighboring valley near the West Branch of the Susquehanna. The report also describes Nicholas Meat, LLC as a net producer of water yet they estimate that in 15 years they will need to withdraw 700,000. gallons per day. Hydro-geologists use technology, site specific data, science and their professional judgment to assess the likely impact of water withdrawal or use. Their assessments are based in part on information and context provided to them by their clients. If you believe that the impact of this development would be detrimental to the trout of Big Fishing Creek, or that this situation merits further study by independent researchers, please submit your comments using the following link" https://www.srbc.net/waav/Search/Details?approvalID=17538&pendingNumber=2019-109&sourceID=null
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PartsmanMay 12th, 2020, 3:04 am
bancroft michigan

Posts: 339
Martin, we have a similar situation here in Michigan with Nestle corporation and bottled water. This only proves how important and precious water is, and we must fight to protect our natural resources from abuse. Its a fine line but I think we have the brain power to make things work, just have to start using our brains a little more. We have the Anglers of the Ausable here who fight to protect the Ausable and its watershed. Hopefully you folks have such a organization there to lead in a effort to protect your valued watersheds.
Good luck in your fight, Mike.
RleePMay 12th, 2020, 7:34 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
This is unfortunate and perhaps triply so given that the situation touches on a pair of hot button issues in this Year Of The Plague: 1) high unemployment and the resulting pressure to not do anything to discourage jobs and 2) the current virus-related situation with the meat supply. Both these things are certain to be used as leverage by those supporting these changes.


To Mike's point, these face-offs are constant and only likely to become more so in the future as population grows and demand for certain products follows in step. Awareness and vigilance are required. I was out in Wisconsin for the Nestle/Perrier attempt to build on/near the Mecan Springs which was turned back only to end up shifting to Michigan, as I recall. This stuff can be like squeezing a long balloon; pressure to constrict one end often ends up only making the thing bigger and more problematic at the other. It really never ends..

I will make a comment to SRBC registering my concern and calling for a lot more independent study. In the meantime, if the Fishing Creek basin has one good thing going for it in this situation, it is the web of standing law, classification and regulation in place from DEP/PFBC. Few watersheds in the state are as well protected and as highly classified. Additionally, few are as high visibility to or valued by the angling community. This isn't the North Fork of Hometown Run that few know about or care about. This is Fishing Creek. That has to help, at least some. This means that at the least, it will not go down without a serious, high visibility fight.
I hope TU at all levels will pitch in and demand that at the least, the potential for damage be fully and independently investigated.

In the meantime, we need to keep yelling and making an issue of ourselves in this matter. Thanks for bringing it here to inform us, Louis..

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