A logging company that has been clearing trees near Capitol Hill Village in Wright Township has been operating without proper erosion-control measures, officials say, a violation of the state’s Clean Streams Law.
R. B. Redmond Logging, of Dallas, was issued a notice of violation in early October for running its operation without a written erosion plan and without implementing erosion control, according to Heather Berlew, program coordinator for the Luzerne Conservation District’s erosion and sediment control program.
Berlew issued the violation after she was notified by Wright Township officials of the operation. Donald Zampetti, chairman to the board of supervisors, found out about the logging from concerned residents.
“The residents were concerned about the stream that goes back there,” he said, referring to Watering Run and the unnamed tributary that leads into it.
Berlew conducted an inspection and found Redmond had taken no measures for erosion or sediment control. Examples of measures the company needs to take, she noted, are installing a rock construction entrance to keep sediment from the road and using water bars around the roads they formed in the woods, to catch water runoff and avoid erosion.
“They’ve done none of that,” she said. After issuing a notice of violation, Redmond was given until Oct. 9 to submit its erosion plan and then given two extensions, one on Oct. 20 and then another that gave them until the end of the month. The company, whose representatives didn’t return calls for comment, has continued to log near Capitol Hill in violation, Berlew remarked.
Two stream crossings are also on the property that need to be protected from the construction but have not, she said. Now that Berlew has inspected the site three times and Redmond has been continuously in violation, the matter has been referred to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection who will likely implement fines and shut down the operation, she related.
Asked about the damage Redmond
has done so far by operating without erosion control, Berlew stated, “It doesn’t amount to anything detrimental to the environment.”
Wetlands are on the 6.8 acres of land, but have not been damaged so far, she added. The land is owned by a family who sold the timber to Redmond, Zampetti explained. But another resident, he said, was upset when the company crossed over onto his property and cut some trees down.
Berlew praised residents for speaking out about the logging operation. “We never would have known,” she said. “We appreciate them.”