Robeson Township in Pennsylvania is investigating Gibraltar Self Storage owner Harold Steve after nearby residents noticed him dumping several truckloads of sediment on a forested piece of property close to their homes. The residents complained Harold disrupted the neighborhood and town officials say they are looking into the matter.
Mr. Steve doesn’t think he has done anything wrong. After a recent excavation, Harold began moving the dirt to a forested tract of land on the other side of the neighborhood. “As far as I know, I have not done anything wrong”, Mr. Steve said. He may have a point too as the land he was moving the dirt to sits next to his storage facility and he owns the land.
The problem arises because under state law, a land parcel can’t have more than 5,000 square feet of earth disturbance or displaced soil that has yet to sprout vegetation, without a plan in place. Conservation District Resource Conservationist (!!!) Eric Konzelmann said his team inspected the land and found that Mr. Steve’s sediment mounds exceed the 5k square footage. Konzelmann also stated that the plans are important as they prevent runoff from contaminating nearby waterways.
Robeson Township Manager Thomas Keim said Harold’s land use is under investigation though the findings are not yet available. Mr. Steve said he wasn’t even aware his land had been inspected but reiterated he didn’t believe he did anything wrong. “If I am, I’ll fix it”, he said.
Mr. Steve will have seven days to cover the dirt piles and 30 days to construct a plan to prevent runoff after he receives the official report from the district. Harold may have other issues as well. In order to get the dump trucks to his other land, he bulldozed a vehicle access lane and didn’t get permits for it. There is a chance the dirt is also stashed on federally protected wetlands which means Mr. Steve would also need a permit for that or will need to remove it completely.
The neighborhood bordered by Gibraltar Self Storage and the dump site has less than a dozen homes.
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