Minutes for the meeting held on November 26, 2007


The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, November 26, 2007 in the Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Donald McEachron Michael Kaner, Secretary and Jay McGuigan, member. Also in attendance was Planning Commission Liaison Dennis Fisher.

Call to Order

Dr. McEachron called the meeting to order at 7:30PM.

Approval of Minutes

Ms. Sciarratta noted that on page three, it should be noted that she had also spoken to John Duggan about leaf recycling.

Mr. McGuigan moved to accept the minutes of October 22, 2007, as corrected. Ms. Sciarratta seconded and the motion passed 3-0-1, with Dr. Kaner abstaining.

Chairman’s Report

Dr. McEachron reported that he had attended the Buxmont EAC Summit meeting. There was some discussion about leaf recycling. He said that there had been reference to a Pennsylvania State requirement that leaves be bagged in paper. He commented that some trash haulers are only picking up these paper bags on certain pick-ups, and that he has observed the bags sitting at curbs for long periods. These bags are beginning to disintegrate in the rain.

The members discussed leaf collection. There was some question about whether the leaves that are blown along road are collected by the Township, and if not, whether there have been any problems with clogging of storm drains. The members also discussed whether each of the various private trash haulers serving Township residents has different requirements for leaf collection, and if the residents are aware of the correct procedures. It was agreed that the EAC members would attempt to contact George Leck to discuss this issue.

Dr. McEachron reported that at the Buxmont Summit he learned that only Newtown Township has attempted to conduct an open space inventory, although some other municipalities have used consultants to perform inventories.

The members agreed that they would be willing to help the Buxmont group by serving as host for a future meeting.

Wildlife Management

Mr. McGuigan reported that he has submitted an article with the deer accident statistics to the Newtown Township Newsletter as part of an attempt to educate the residents about the frequency of auto/deer accidents, as well as times of day and locations where the accidents are occurring. He also asked that the recording secretary obtain a copy of the natural resources management report being conducted at Clark Nature Center. He said that information about damage caused by wildlife on the Clark property would be a good starting point for evaluation of conditions on other areas of open space.


Ms. Sciarratta said that she would contact Council Rock School District, which has been actively encouraging recycling among the students. She would learn more about this program and offer an ECOSTAR application to the administration. She will also contact Bucks County Community College, which has been involved in sustainable building for its new construction.

Open Space Inventory

Dr. McEachron suggested that, rather than planning a meeting to review maps, he would take the maps home first to do some preliminary work. He would then contact the other members via e-mail about meeting.

Liaison Reports

Mr. Fisher reported that the Planning Commission had reviewed the plans for development of the Woll Tract for an active recreation park. Bio-retention basins are being used for stormwater management, and there had been some discussion at both the Planning Commission and at the Board of Supervisors about monitoring the effects fertilizers used on the fields and/or the use of artificial turf would have on the bio-retention basins. The EAC might, at some point, be asked for input on this.

Dr. McEachron said that he would speak to Dr. Bernansky at Bucks County Community College about ways to monitor sensitive areas in the environment.

New Business

The members discussed ways to reach out to the community to educate residents on environmental issues. In addition to occasional articles in the Newtown Township Newsletter, perhaps information on environmental topics could be included on the Web site’s EAC page. There was some discussion about possibly hosting educational seminars and lectures on topics of interest, such as electronics recycling, wildlife management or leaf recycling.

Member Comments

Dr. McEachron said that he would like to research some smells he has noticed in the area of Newtown Business Commons. There is a release of certain fumes that he has noticed at regular intervals.

The recording secretary suggested that Dr. McEachron contact Mr. Boyle about some light manufacturing businesses inside the Commons, which have submitted applications to the EPA about release of vapors.

Dr. Kaner moved to adjourn at 9:00 PM. Ms. Sciarratta seconded and the motion passed 4-0.


Respectfully submitted by:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary