Man Found With Cocaine at DUI Checkpoint, Police Say

An Easton man was arrested for allegedly possessing cocaine, after police say he was found with the drug during a traffic stop at a DUI checkpoint on Applebutter Road in Lower Saucon Township early Saturday. In a news release issued Wednesday, police said Todd Allen, 29, of the 400 block of Williams Street, was a passenger in a car that was stopped. Police identified the driver of the car as Todd Brunstetter, 29, of the 400 block of W. Grant Street, Easton, and said he was arrested for DUI. Brunstetter refused to provide a blood sample and will lose driving privileges for a year as a result of his refusal, police said. He has also been charged with DUI, they added.

Female Pit Bull Found on Applebutter Road

UPDATE: The dog has been reunited with her owner. Lower Saucon Township Police are seeking the owner of a brown female pit bull found on Applebutter Road at Lower Saucon Road Tuesday. In an alert posted on various channels, police asked anyone with information about the dog to call 610-759-2200.

DEP Announces Odor-Related Violations at Landfill

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced in a May 12 letter that a recent inspection uncovered odor-related violations at a Lower Saucon Township landfill that wants to expand, and which has been the subject of recent odor complaints by nearby residents. In a letter to IESI Bethlehem Landfill Acting District Manager Lee Zimmerman, DEP Waste Management Program Compliance Specialist Rachel Miller said an April 21 inspection at the Applebutter Road facility uncovered the following violations:

“IESI failed to maintain intermediate cover so as to prevent odors, and to cover solid waste after it is placed without change in its properties and without regard to weather, in violation of 25 Pa. Code 273.201(c)(2) and 273.233(b)(1) and (2) and Permit 100020 Part II Section III Condition 3-b. Specifically, slight to moderate landfill gas odors were detected along the southern slope where washouts were observed along the slopes and around landfill gas wells. Also, solid waste was visible through the intermediate cover on the southern slope.”

DEP: ‘No Landfill Related Odors Detected’ During March 26 Patrol

Following up on a complaint by residents of the 2100 block of Saucon Avenue, Steel City, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection conducted an odor patrol of the neighborhood and environs March 26, according to an April 2 email from DEP’s Chief of Compliance Monitoring & Enforcement Dean J. Fisher to Lower Saucon Township officials. However, the results of the odor patrol by solid waste specialists Jessica Wagoner and Amy Faulch were essentially inconclusive. “No landfill related odors were detected at the…residence or in Steel City,” Fisher wrote. However, “during the patrol, a light intermittent landfill gas odor was noted on Riverside (Drive) at the Hill Climb,” he said. “A light persistent landfill gas odor was noted along Applebutter (Road) west of the (IESI Bethlehem) landfill entrance at BRE.”

L. Saucon Residents Demand Action on Odor Issue

Several residents of Steel City–fed up with a foul odor that is under investigation by the Department of Environmental Protection–demanded swift action from Lower Saucon Township Council Wednesday. They also pointed the finger at IESI Bethlehem Landfill, even though the source of the odor hasn’t been positively identified. “I know where there’s a smoking barrel. Some people have been fined,” said Donna Louder–a landfill committee member who is running for township council–in apparent reference to an Aug. 23, 2014 DEP inspection report that noted violations at IESI.

Landfill Manager Resigns

IESI Bethlehem Landfill district manager Sam Donato announced his resignation Tuesday, according to a news release posted on the Lower Saucon Township waste facility’s website. “Donato is leaving the firm to pursue other career opportunities,” the announcement said. “Donato has served as the District Manager at the IESI Bethlehem and IESI Blue Ridge landfills since 2000.” IESI Blue Ridge Landfill is located in Chambersburg, Pa. “I have had the privilege of working with talented and hardworking teams here at IESI.

Residents Say They’re Sick of Steel City ‘Stench’

Several Steel City residents chided Lower Saucon Township Council members and officials for spending money on long-planned improvements to their neighborhood park, which they say is virtually unusable due to a bad odor that’s become pervasive in the area. The comments were made at council’s March 18 meeting, and provoked a discussion about the odor, which has been a frequent topic of conversation and under investigation in recent months. “Who is going to go to the park when you can’t even go outside…?” resident Sonja Miller asked council. “You have this stench,” she said. “It makes no sense—especially with the park.

Icy Road Factor in Crash, Police Say

Lower Saucon Township Police say an icy road surface on Applebutter Road was a factor in an accident Friday. In a news release issued Tuesday, police said the accident happened shortly before 1 a.m. in the 2100 block of Applebutter, when a 26-year-old Reno, Nev., man “slowed down for icy road conditions.” That man’s vehicle was subsequently rear-ended by Robert Torres Hernandez, 24, of the 1100 block of Broadway, Fountain Hill, police said. According to police, the impact from Hernandez’s vehicle propelled the other car into a stone wall along the side of the road. Afterwards, the driver of the vehicle that hit the wall complained of “all-over body pain” and was taken to St.

DEP Investigating Odor Complaints in L. Saucon

After several Steel City residents vocally complained again about noxious odors in their neighborhood at last week’s Lower Saucon Township Council meeting, council agreed to send a letter to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to ask for additional help with investigating the ongoing issue. In an emailed response to township and IESI Bethlehem Landfill officials Tuesday, Solid Waste District Supervisor for DEP’s Waste Management Program and Operations Compliance Enforcement, Dean J. Fisher, said his agency is now on the case. “PADEP (Air Quality and Waste Management Programs) is currently responding to reports of strong offsite gas odors in Steel City and the area of IESI PA Bethlehem Landfill,” Fisher said. Residents of those areas have regularly been complaining about foul odors in the area of the landfill–which is located on Applebutter Road in the township–since last year. The source of the odors remains a mystery, although residents have been advised to report them by calling the DEP whenever they smell them.

Landfill Files Application for Southeastern Expansion

IESI Bethlehem Landfill in Lower Saucon Township announced in a news release Wednesday that it has filed an application for an expansion plan that was first discussed last July. The Southeast Realignment major permit modification application was filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and notification of the filing was sent to township officials, the release indicated. The Southeast Realignment would add an estimated five years to the Applebutter Road landfill’s limited lifespan, landfill officials have said. Unlike the facility’s proposed western expansion–which would take advantage of newly-acquired property and require rezoning–the Southeast Realignment would make use of land already within the 201-acre landfill’s zoned boundaries. “The Southeast Realignment means continued operations of our facility, which in turn will result in continued benefits to Lower Saucon residents and surrounding communities,” said Sam Donato, IESI Bethlehem Landfill District Manager, in the news release.