Ken­nett Twp. of­fi­cials urged to think green

Su­per­vi­sors hear pre­sen­ta­tion on re­new­able en­ergy sources

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Matt Free­man

A Sierra Club of­fi­cial said the or­ga­ni­za­tion wants town­ships to con­vert to re­new­able en­ergy sources by 2050.

KEN­NETT TOWN­SHIP >> The agenda for Ken­nett Town­ship’s monthly meet­ing last night could ar­guably have been edited down to one line: the en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists’ maxim, “Think glob­ally, act lo­cally.”

Sierra Club rep­re­sen­ta­tive Paula Kline told the su­per­vi­sors that the or­ga­ni­za­tion was ask­ing the na­tion’s mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to pledge to con­vert to en­tirely re­new­able en­ergy sources by 2050.

Kline said the emis­sions from fos­sil fu­els used by lo­cal gov­ern­ments con­trib­ute to the ris­ing tem­per­a­tures driv­ing the global cli­mat­e­change cri­sis. She men­tioned the Paris Agree­ment a year ago, in which nearly 200 na­tions agreed to try to limit tem­per­a­ture rise to 2 de­grees Cel­sius above prein­dus­trial norms.

Busi­ness as usual, Kline said, would al­low tem­per­a­tures to rise al­most six de­grees. “What we un­der­stand as life on earth will be ir­re­vo­ca­bly changed,” she said. “It’s ur­gent and our time is lim­ited.”

Flood­ing, drought, food scarcity and other ef­fects of cli­mate change will im­pose a bur­den on lo­cal gov­ern­ments, Kline said.

The steps Kline rec­om­mended were sub­sti­tut­ing re­new­able elec­tric­ity sources for those de­rived from fos­sil fu­els. Tech­nol­ogy has im­proved to where this is a rel­a­tively easy thing to do, she said, although con­vert­ing heat­ing to all-re­new­able en­ergy was more of a chal­lenge.

Kline said she would be glad to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion from the Sierra Club to help the su­per­vi­sors in their fu­ture en­ergy-use plan­ning.

“It’s ur­gent and our time is lim­ited.” — Sierra Club rep­re­sen­ta­tive Paula Kline, on the town­ship us­ing re­new­able en­ergy sources

Closer to home, Larry Knut­son made a pre­sen­ta­tion on ex­ist­ing and po­ten­tial trails and paths in the

town­ship and area. Knut­son, pres­i­dent of Pen­ntrails, said the town­ship had hired him as a con­sul­tant to gather in­for­ma­tion and make rec­om­men­da­tions about trail plan­ning.

Knut­son said he gave the su­per­vi­sors a re­port in May

with in­for­ma­tion about the re­sources in the area and his rec­om­men­da­tions for where to cre­ate trails, a term he re­stricts to re­cre­ational uses, and paths, which des­ig­nates some­thing more ori­ented to non­mo­tor­ized trans­porta­tion.

The in­for­ma­tion he gath­ered in­cluded pre­cise trail lengths, the type of ground in­volved, prox­im­ity to roads, wet­lands, and other fea­tures, the steep­ness of the ter­rain, width of po­ten­tial trails and other char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Now the in­for­ma­tion was avail­able, Knut­son said, it was up to the town­ship res­i­dents to de­cide how they were go­ing to man­age and use fu­ture trails and paths and de­sign them ac­cord­ingly.

Town­ship Man­ager Lisa Moore said they had ap­plied for grants to de­velop trails, but the state had de­layed its de­ci­sions dur­ing the re­cent bud­get im­passe. Town­ship of­fi­cials hoped to hear more about grant­ing de­ci­sions in the near fu­ture, she said.

The su­per­vi­sors also con­tin­ued to con­sider an out­line of a pro­posed soils or­di­nance re­vi­sion in the town­ship’s sub­di­vi­sion and land de­vel­op­ment or­di­nance that would re­quire de­vel­op­ers to do an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study and sub­mit a plan to re­me­di­ate prob­lems such as con­tam­i­nated soil. The pro­posed or­di­nance had been urged by lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cates after ar­senic con­tam­i­na­tion at a for­mer or­chard was found at a pro­posed con­struc­tion site.

After some dis­cus­sion about how much of a new fi­nan­cial bur­den the or­di­nance

would pose to fu­ture de­vel­op­ers, the su­per­vi­sors voted to have the town­ship’s en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee look over the pro­posal.

Town­ship So­lic­i­tor David San­der said he would have to re­vise the out­line, rewrit­ing it as a for­mal or­di­nance, be­fore send­ing it on to the plan­ning com­mis­sion for their re­view.

Most lo­cally of all, Moore said work should start within about two weeks on sta­bi­liz­ing an eroded stream bank that has threat­ened for some years to cave in and po­ten­tially take with it some road­way sur­face from a stretch of Mar­shall Bridge Road. She said the work would take about two weeks to com­plete.

Chair­man Scud­der Stevens said he was pleased with the news, be­cause the stream bank work had been a prob­lem and un­der study for most of his ten­ure on the board of su­per­vi­sors.

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