||Fishing Creek, a world-class trout stream in southern Clinton County, is at risk to the development and expansion plans of Nicholas Meat, LLC a slaughterhouse located just east of the Borough of Loganton.
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is currently seeking comment on an application by Nicholas Meat, LLC to permit one of their three new wells to withdraw up to 173,000 gallons of water daily from the aquifer that lies under Sugar Valley. The summary of their application notes that after plant expansions are completed the summer of 2020, their maximum daily water demand will go up to about 250,000 gallons a day. They also estimate in their application that in 15 years their maximum daily water demand will be 700,000 gallons a day.
The aquifer Nicholas Meat, LLC withdraws water from is an aquifer that also provides the cold alkalinized water that trout and other cold water species need to thrive. The rock that forms the valley floor of Sugar Valley is limestone, a porous and highly erodible rock that creates underground caverns and surface sinkholes. Subterranean openings in karst geology range in size from minute voids to large caverns. Ground water flow velocities are potentially very high and contaminants in karst can travel long distances with little dilution in comparison to contaminants in granular porous aquifers.
In the warmer dryer months of summer, parts of the mid-section of Big Fishing Creek sink into several sinkholes in or near the main channel of the creek in Greene Township. The creek is currently revived by springs near Loganton, on the Schrack farms and in Logan Township. Our nationally cherished coldwater fishery to the west of Tylersville is indebted to the cooling effects of this spring water.
Nicholas Meat, LLC paid a state college firm, Meiser & Earl, Inc. to complete a hydro- geological assessment of the potential impact of the water withdrawal on the stream. The firm concluded that the proposed withdrawals from Well-3 would not significantly impact the creek. However, the report makes no mention of climate change which makes rainfall less predictable. The report says that Nicholas Meat, LLC reintroduces waste water into the aquifer via land application, which they portray as mitigating the net loss of water. This is currently not true as the majority of Nicholas Meat, LLC waste water is trucked to a neighboring valley near the West Branch of the Susquehanna. The report also describes Nicholas Meat, LLC as a net producer of water yet they estimate that in 15 years they will need to withdraw 700,000. gallons per day. Hydro-geologists use technology, site specific data, science and their professional judgment to assess the likely impact of water withdrawal or use. Their assessments are based in part on information and context provided to them by their clients.
If you believe that the impact of this development would be detrimental to the trout of Big Fishing Creek, or that this situation merits further study by independent researchers, please submit your comments using the following link Click here to leave a comment
ANGLERS VISITING OUR AREA: Specifically those of you who just fished the Delaware River (or other streams in the NY Catskill Region), the Farmington in Connecticut, or Maryland's Gunpowder River, Please clean your boots and waders with a diluted bleach solution OR hot water(must be over 140 degrees f) and laundry detergent - It must soak for at least 30 minutes to be effective. DIDYMO has been identified in these watersheds. Another option is to purchase a second pair of boots and waders to wear only in infected waters. It's the only sure way not to spread DIDYMO. Please be responsible - Don't spread DIDYMO TO Central Pennsylvania!
Click here to learn more about DIDYMO. This is a real threat to the quality of our fly fishing!