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Bus lot owner responsible for restoring Brush Creek bank

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

The owner of a Manor bus lot is responsible for the cleanup of gravel, concrete and other debris that was deposited from the business property into nearby Brush Creek, according to an inspection report by the Westmoreland Conservation District.

As part of the cleanup, conservation officials say Paul Kerber of First Student Charter Bus Rental will have to restore the stream bank, which the owner of a nearby home said has been eroded by the sliding of debris down a hill. The conservation district conducted the inspection under the authority of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Though the Aug. 4 inspection report didn't detect any chemical pollutants in the creek, the buildup of items in the waterway potentially could lead to flooding problems, said Jim Pillsbury, hydraulic engineer for the conservation district.

“Anything put into stream that shouldn't be there can cause problem,” Pillsbury said last week. “It's not necessarily a clear threat — it's not like dumping oil — but, nonetheless, it does cause a problem.”

In the report, senior erosion-control specialist Christopher Droste said fill materials such as gravel, wood and concrete chunks were pushed beyond a fence line on the lot's 1.8 acres.

Conservation district officials said the buildup could have been caused by “accidental pushing” related to snow plowing on the Main Street property.

Kerber did not respond to messages requesting comment for this story.

As of Monday morning, Droste said, district officials had not yet returned to the site to follow up on the findings in the inspection.

The agency conducted the inspection after receiving a complaint from resident Chuck Charrie, a former planning and zoning director for the borough.

Charrie said the erosion near the stream affects First Street properties he and two neighbors own.

“In order for him to comply, he has to rebuild land that has now been eroded away, and we're not talking about just a little gully that's into the hill,” Charrie said. “We're talking about all the way across the back line.

“There's a lot of land that's missing there, and the land that's missing is ours.”

Charrie also is pressing for borough officials to get involved in the situation. He said Manor's engineer should complete an inspection of the property.

Charrie said Kerber hasn't abided by some of the conditions the borough established for the property, such as the installation of a detention pond.

Although the inspection report didn't mention any action that borough officials would have to take, borough manager Joe Lapia said he and engineer Ed Antonacci were planning to meet with Charrie this week.

“We're going to sit down with him and see what his issues are,” Lapia said.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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