EFNC Public Community Meeting May 8 Highlights Two Years of Eastwick Action

Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) is pleased to host a Public Community Meeting on May 8, 2014, 6:00 pm, Eastwick Wellness Center in SW Philadelphia.

All are invited to attend this milestone meeting where EFNC will celebrate and highlight two years of community action, engagement and success in Eastwick.  We’ll present updates and insights on key issues impacting our community, including: flooding, community planning, Clearview Landfill, short-dumping, Eastwick trail study and more.

We hope you can join us for this vital, informative community meeting.  Save the date and bring a friend or neighbor with you on May 8th, 6:00 pm, Eastwick Wellness Center at 2821 Island Avenue, Philadelphia.

Please contact us with any questions, or if you need transportation assistance.  Email: EastwickFNC@gmail.com.

Eastwick Mtg Flyer 2014-0508

EFNC Community Meeting features FEMA and flood issues

On January 9, 2014, the Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) hosted a Public Community Meeting featuring Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives and flood information.  More than 150 people attended, reflecting strong interest in flooding and flood insurance issues, and the need for answers.

EFNC engaged representatives from FEMA Region III, headquartered in Philadelphia, to provide information about flooding and answer questions during the meeting.  FEMA speakers were Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, and FEMA Insurance Specialist, Richard Sobota.

[Click here to watch video excerpts from this meeting, courtesy of Delaware Riverkeeper Network.]

During the meeting, MaryAnn Tierney briefly outlined FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (known as FIRM’s), which delineate special hazard areas and risk zones within a community.  She advised that current FEMA Flood Maps are based on old data from the 1970′s, and that new FIRM’s would be released imminently for the Philadelphia region.  The public has opportunity to review and comment on maps before they would be officially adopted by FEMA.

Richard Sobota presented information about the FEMA Flood Insurance program and insurance rate settings, which are complex.  He referenced the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, a congressional law that mandates significant reforms in the National Flood Insurance Program.  Details on the Biggert-Waters Act can be found on the FloodSmart.gov website.

ffr-neighborhood-flood

Mr. Sobota fielded wide-ranging questions from the audience, attempting to clarify confusion about disparities in rates and requirements.  Many residents questioned why one homeowner needed flood insurance, while another was not required to have it, and why premium rates would vary so widely between two homes located on the same block.

There remains ample confusion and questions about flood insurance and the varied insurance premiums and conditions for Eastwick residents.  There was not time to address all issues or questions; Richard Sobota distributed forms for people to fill-out and send to him, and he would respond to individual queries.

Click here for a copy of the FEMA Insurance Specialist Contact Form.   Use this to send questions to FEMA about flood insurance.  Complete the form and email directly to Richard Sobota at: Richard.Sobota@dhs.gov, or mail to: 
FEMA
615 Chestnut Street
One Independence Mall, 6th floor
Philadelphia, PA  19106

The Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) remains committed to identifying and fostering sustainable solutions to confront the environmental challenges impacting Eastwick, to improve the community’s quality of life and resiliency, and to plan for the future. We are dedicated to informing, educating and empowering community residents and stakeholders to make the best decisions possible.  EFNC is following-up with FEMA representatives, and identifying next steps in the process of addressing community concerns about flooding and flood insurance.

EFNC thanks FEMA representatives MaryAnn Tierney and Richard Sobota for their time in speaking to the Eastwick community about this important topic, especially in light of the disaster in West Virginia that also occurred on January 9.  We appreciate FEMA’s attention during that pressing time, and look forward to future interactions.

EPA Releases Clean-up Plans for Clearview Landfill; Submit Comments by Sept 30

On August 1, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the official Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Clearview Landfill, of the Lower Darby Creek Area Superfund Site, in southwest Philadelphia.

Located in southwest Philadelphia, the Clearview Landfill – also known as “Heller’s Dump” – has a profound environmental, economic and social impact on the Darby Creek watershed, including the Eastwick community and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

Operating un-permitted from the 1950′s-1970′s, tons of municipal and industrial waste were dumped into the Clearview Landfill along the banks of the Darby and Cobbs Creeks.  In the 1970′s, adjacent lands were excavated, filled and graded for development of Eastwick homes.  Illegal dumping continued through the 1990′s.  In 2001, the Clearview Landfill, along with the Folcroft Landfill located 1.5 miles downstream Darby Creek inside Heinz Refuge, were designated as a National Priority Superfund site.  The EPA began investigation of the Clearview Landfill, gathering data, and completing a feasibility study.  In 2011-2012, the EPA removed a portion of the landfill, deemed of unacceptable risk due to concentrations of PCB’s, PAH’s and other toxins.

Encompassing 3 million cubic yards, the Clearview Landfill is too large to remove.  The EPA’s proposed cleanup plan, known as “OU1-PRAP”, calls for an “Evotranspiration (ET) Cover” to be implemented overtop of the landfill.  This is a thick layer of soil (~48”) planted with dense vegetation and native, fast-growing trees.  Tree roots absorb water, preventing it from entering landfill and carrying contaminants off-site.   This cleanup plan is protective to human and wildlife communities, reducing generation and off-site migration of contaminants.

The EPA is working with the Eastwick community, Friends of Heinz Refuge, Darby Creek Valley Association, and other stakeholders to inform and involve the public in the cleanup plans for the Lower Darby Creek Area Superfund site.

Public participation in the process is encouraged and essential.  All are urged to review the PRAP cleanup plans for the Clearview Landfill, and submit all comments/questions before deadline September 30, 2013 (extended from August 30, 2013).

*EPA Presentation can be downloaded here from EPA website (29-pages, 1.8MB PDF document - very readable, good maps, diagrams and information).
*Summary Cleanup plan can be downloaded here (4-pages, PDF document).
*Complete Cleanup plan can be downloaded here from EPA website (80 pages, 11MB PDF document).

Submit comments to below – must be postmarked by September 30, 2013:

U.S. EPA (3HS21)
Attention: Joshua Barber
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Email comments by September 30, 2013 to:  barber.joshua@epa.gov

EPA Remediation Plans for Clearview Landfill; public meeting August 15, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Clearview Landfill, of the Lower Darby Creek Area Superfund Site.  Known as “OU1-PRAP”, the document details EPA’s preferred cleanup plan for the Clearview Landfill, located in Eastwick, southwest Philadelphia.

EastwickClearviewLandfillSuperfund-2012-10-DebbieBeer2

A summary of the PRAP plan for Clearview can be downloaded here (4-page, PDF document).

The complete PRAP plan for Clearview can be downloaded from the EPA website (80 pages, 11 MB).  Click here.

Public participation in the process is encouraged and essential.  Eastwick residents and stakeholders are urged to submit comments and attend a public meeting hosted by the EPA on August 15, 2013.

EPA Public Meeting on Proposed Cleanup Plan
Thursday, August 15, 2013 – 6:30 P.M.
Eastwick Wellness Center
2821 Island Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19153

Submit comments to:

U.S. EPA (3HS21)
Attention: Joshua Barber
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Email to:  barber.joshua@epa.gov

Comments must be postmarked or emailed by September 30, 2013

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