Construction equipment (at top) at rest on the Spring Valley Farms site
LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A contractor who announced plans to begin explosive blasting for home construction at the Spring Valley Farms community on Bleim Road has been told by Lower Pottsgrove Township Manager Ed Wagner that it prematurely issued warning notice letters to area residents, and would not be allowed to proceed with any removal of subsurface rock until it met specific requirements to do so.
A meeting to review those requirements is scheduled for Monday (Sept. 11, 2017), the earliest scheduled day blasting could have begun.
The notices, distributed this week to residents near or within neighborhoods adjacent to the intersection of North Pleasant View and Bleim roads, alerted them that “controlled blasting and drilling” to prepare ground and “facilitate excavation of rock” in the approved subdivision was projected to begin Monday and continue for about two months.
Wagner called The Post shortly after noon today (Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017) to report the company, American Rock Mechanics of Zionsville PA, had submitted necessary permits to the state and township, but that township paperwork had not been fully reviewed or approved.
Additionally, the company has not met other compliance checks Wagner said Lower Pottsgrove will request be completed. They include prospective inspections and video-taping of some homes that could be needed if property owners later attempt to file claims for alleged blasting damage.
Wagner indicated letters were distributed to property owners within a quarter-mile of the site, but added some who might be affected by blasting activity may not have received any notice. The township will demand contractors provide a list of all property owners it suspects might be affected, he said, and demonstrate in advance they have been adequately notified.
The Post’s earlier story about the proposed blasting, published Thursday morning, appears below.
Spring Valley Farms Blasting Start Scheduled
LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Residents near or within neighborhoods adjacent to the intersection of North Pleasant View and Bleim roads in Lower Pottsgrove have been alerted that “controlled blasting and drilling” to prepare ground and “facilitate excavation of rock” for construction of the Spring Valley Farms housing community is projected to begin Monday (Sept. 11, 2017), and continue for about two months.
A four-paragraph letter describing the blasting activity, dated Tuesday (Sept. 5), was distributed Wednesday (Sept. 6) by hand to dozens of households within a radius of the construction site, the entrance of which is on Bleim just west of North Pleasant View.
It said an explosives contractor and engineering firm, American Rock Mechanics of Zionsville PA, sent the notice “as a courtesy to the home owners and occupant neighbors of this project.” The letter also thanked them for their “anticipated cooperation.”
According to the letter:
- “Controlled blasting” can occur Monday through Saturday between sunrise and sunset, weather permitting;
- The “blaster-in-charge” will signal blasting activity with three long horn signals one minute before the blast, and one short and one long horn signal afterwards to indicate the blast is all clear;
- “The work will be supervised and conducted by personnel who are well qualified and have extensive experience in this field;”
- Operations “will also be monitored with portable seismographs to ensure that vibrations generated by the blasting are within safe limits;” and that
- “It is likely and normal” that those in the vicinity may be able to “feel the vibrartions and hear the sound” from blasting activity.
Noxious gasses that may result from blasts will be controlled so they “do not affect the health and safety” of individuals, according to the company.
It requested that “everyone, especially children, stay away from work areas.” It did not address how, if at all, traffic along Bleim or North Pleasant View will be controlled during blast times.
Full Disclosure: Joe Zlomek, managing editor of The Post Publications, and his wife Debra own a primary residence on North Sanatoga Road within what would be considered a neighborhood adjacent to the blasting area.
Photo by The Post Publications