Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Ferguson Township development plan threatens water

The planned Toll Bros. development in Ferguson Township is threatening to corrupt our water supply.

The proposed project lies within the State College Borough Water Authority water well protection zone. A dye trace testing has demonstrated that two of SCBWA’s well fields receive some surface recharge from Slab Cabin Run, and any contaminants from the proposed housing project could drain into the wells.

Potential contaminants are oil, grease, fuel, glycol and de-icing agents from the site parking lots, weed killers used on site vegetation and waterborne pathogens such as coliform bacteria.

This development has been in the works for 16 years.

The land was originally zoned agricultural and owned by Penn State. In 2003, Penn State requested rezoning from agricultural to R-4 multifamily residential.

Ferguson Township’s elected officials ignored recommendations from the Centre Region Planning Agency to deny this rezoning on the grounds of potential water contamination, and rezoned it in 2004.

Penn State sold the land to Toll Bros. in 2011, which has since applied to rezone from R-4 to planned residential development.

Despite a hydrogeologist report from Aqualith Technologies that outlines the dangers of this development to the water and further opposition from CRPA in January 2015, the PRD has been approved.

Ferguson officials are risking water wells feeding into SCBWA, which supplies water to the entire region — State College and Patton, Ferguson, College, Harris and Benner townships — to please a few developers and Penn State and make a few bucks.

Smita Bharti

State College