JANUARY 4, 2024

Citizens for Responsible Development – LST Speaks Out Against Landfill Expansion, Announces Filing of Residents’ Appeal of Land Development Approvals

Lower Saucon Township, January 4, 2024  – Citizens for Responsible Development – LST, a grassroots organization of concerned citizens in Lower Saucon Township, announces the filing of a residents’ land use appeal in the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, PA on January 3, 2024 challenging the recent approval of Bethlehem Landfill land development plans by Lower Saucon Township Council. This filing represents the fourth pending legal challenge to the landfill plans for expansion. The land use appeal raises numerous procedural and substantive flaws, and environmental concerns, in the land development plan approval. These include the following: 

  1. Resident Concerns: The resident appellants have expressed their justified concerns over the expansion, highlighting the impact on the local community, environment, and their quality of life.
  2. Approval Process Flaws: The appeal emphasizes the flawed approval process for the landfill’s expansion. It points to limited public participation, overlooking expert opinions, and the absence of a favorable recommendation from the Township Engineer as key procedural deficiencies.
  3. Environmental Threats: The group stresses the potential environmental hazards posed by the landfill expansion. These include risks to public waterways, conservation easements, and significant deforestation, leading to increased stormwater runoff and erosion.
  4. Ordinance and Zoning Violations: The appeal outlines numerous alleged violations of local ordinances and zoning laws and contends that the expansion is legally unsound and environmentally detrimental.
  5. Conflict of Interest Accusations: Serious concerns are raised about potential conflicts of interest between the Township and the landfill company, and challenges agreements between the Township and the Bethlehem Landfill Company that may compromise the lawful exercise of governmental authority.
  6. Call to Action: The land use appeal requests the Court to reverse the approval and to remand the land development plans back to the Council for a review that complies with local ordinances and state law. 

“We support the filing of this appeal by courageous residents of the Township and stand for responsible development that respects the environment and the well-being of our community. The landfill expansion would threaten both.  The landfill land development plan approval issued by Council in December continues the improper lockstep cheerleading and greenlighting of the landfill expansion plans and we call on the Township to reconsider and reverse its decision,” said Andrea Wittchen, spokesperson for the organization.

ATTACHMENTS: The full legal documentation surrounding this case, including the LAND USE APPEAL document and attachments, is attached to this press release.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES: For further details, interview requests, or clarifications, please contact either Andrea Wittchen at 610-730-8246, andreawittchen@gmail.com, or attorney for the Appellants, Gary N. Asteak, Esquire, at 610-258-2901.

About Citizens for Responsible Development – LST: Formed in response to concerns surrounding the Bethlehem Landfill expansion, Citizens for Responsible Development – LST advocates for the protection and conservation of the natural environment in Lower Saucon Township and for responsible development consistent with those values. The citizens’ group is dedicated to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all residents and the preservation of the area’s scenic beauty.