Environment
2:28 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

In Sunbury, Drilling Waste, Politics and a Pile of Dirt

The dirt covers about an acre of a former industrial site in the city of Sunbury. It's in a floodplain next to the Susquehanna River and a residential neighborhood.
The dirt covers about an acre of a former industrial site in the city of Sunbury. It's in a floodplain next to the Susquehanna River and a residential neighborhood.
Credit StateImpact Pennsylvania

A pile of dirt has sparked controversy in the city of Sunbury, Northumberland County.

Recently, an otherwise civil city council meeting devolved into a shouting match. Councilman Joe Bartello and Mayor David Persing sparred over the city’s stormwater management rules.

“It’s already a law!” Bartello yelled. “Council doesn’t have to vote to get a stormwater plan!”

“Just bring us something that proves they need (a stormwater plan),” Persing fired back.

“I can’t give you more than you already have,” Bartello replied, “You have the codebook.”

“You never gave me a thing!” the mayor shouted back, “What the hell did you give me?”

It turns out shouting matches are not all that uncommon at Sunbury city council meetings, but the controversy over this dirt has been going on for months.

Read more of this story on the website of our partner StateImpact Pennsylvania.