Kennett Twp. officials urged to think green
Supervisors hear presentation on renewable energy sources
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.