Groups intend to sue PA Fish and Boat Commission over hatchery
By Bob Frye
Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 8:51 p.m.
Two environmental advocacy groups Thursday accused the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission of violating the federal Clean Water Act at its Bellefonte fish hatchery in Centre County and insist they plan to sue.
According to a notice of intent to sue, PennEnvironment and Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project allege that the commission is discharging excessive amounts of nitrogen and other pollutants into Spring Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The groups also accuse the commission of exceeding its effluent discharge limits — sometimes bypassing its micro-filter system — under the terms of an expired but administratively extended permit from the Department of Environmental Protection.
“It's unacceptable to have this facility, whose mission is to help us enjoy Pennsylvania's waterways, turn around and pollute them,” said David Masur, director of PennEnvironment, which has offices in Squirrel Hill and Philadelphia.
The commission has been pushing state and federal environmental officials for more than a year to declare the Susquehanna an impaired waterway, given how populations of smallmouth bass have declined.
“We have just become aware of the filing and need time to thoroughly review and analyze the document. We have no additional comments at this time,” commission spokesman Eric Levis said.
Plaintiffs are required to submit a 60-day notice letter of intent to sue to the facility in question and state and federal environmental regulators, attorneys for PennEnvironment and EIP said. If action hasn't been taken to resolve the problem over those 60 days, the groups can move forward with the litigation.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Outdoor notices: April 19
- Area anglers recorded many top-ranked catches from 2013
- Frye: Commission discusses ‘second opening day effect’