Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Water at risk from development

The Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors on March 16 voted to “support” the Toll Bros. variance application to the Zoning Hearing Board, which heard the issue Tuesday.

If approved by the Zoning Hearing Board, the project plan could be approved after 90 days.

During public comments at the March 16 meeting, Wes Glebe raised the interesting possibility that governments of municipalities whose residents drink the water from the endangered State College Borough Water Authority Harter-Thomas wellfields might sue Ferguson Township for contamination.

Litigants could cite the lengthy record of hydrogeologists, regional planners and others recommending — since at least 2000 — that the township retain the rural agricultural zoning to protect the excellent natural water recharge and filtration process that occurs on and beneath the parcel.

Ferguson supervisors ignored those recommendations Sept. 7, 2004, rezoning the parcel from rural agricultural to R-4 (multifamily residential) by a 3-2 vote.

Every board since 2004 has endorsed Penn State’s asserted right to contaminate public drinking water supplies by not taking steps to reverse the 2004 decision, including the board currently in office: Drew Clemson, Dick Mascolo, Elliott Killian, Steve Miller and Janet Whitaker.

One key question: If a direct threat to the main source of regional drinking water isn’t enough to motivate local government officials to say “No” to a Penn State development plan, what would be?

Katherine Watt

State College