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Meeting Minutes And Agendas

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Wednesday, April 17 2019



WEDNESDAY • APRIL 17, 2019 • 3:30 PM


In Attendance:

Authority Board

W. William Whiteside, III, Chair      

Joanna M. Furia Esq., Vice Chair                  

William Donnelly                                          

Dr. Curtis Griffin                               

Mark McCouch

HLRA Staff

Michael J. McGee

Tom Ames

Larry Burns

William Walker

Mary Eberle, Esquire (Absent)



Chairman Whiteside called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in the Horsham Township Library at 435 Babylon Road, Horsham PA 19044 and led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.  

Mr. Whiteside asked if there were any questions or comments from the public, there were none.

Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the Board regarding minutes of the HLRA meeting on January16, 2019. It was moved by Mr. McCouch, second by Mr. Donnelly to approve the minutes for the January 16, 2018 HLRA meeting. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside asked Mr. McGee for the Executive Director’s Report.

Mr. McGee stated that the HLRA staff have been involved in several recent meetings. Senators Robert Casey (PA) and Tom Carper (DE) hosted a roundtable discussion and heard from a number of municipal governments and individuals regarded the PFAS issue.  Also, Governor Wolf’s PFAS Action Team held a meeting on April 15, 2019 in Abington.  Representatives from the HLRA, Horsham Township and Aqua were on stage to present information to the PFAS Action Team.  It was interesting to hear comments from the public questioning why other municipalities were not invited to speak; Mr. McGee noted that the HLRA was there because we had requested to be there. He also noted that it was disappointing; all the right things were said but we are no further along than where we were many months ago and there are no time lines going forward.  Mr. McGee stated that the Navy is doing a lot which will be detailed by Greg Preston later in the meeting.  The HLRA is also working with OEA on a new grant to cover operational costs for the HLRA staff and consultants.   

There was no Solicitor’s Report but Mr. McGee noted that Ms. Eberle continues to support the HLRA on all routine items.

Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the Board regarding the list of checks. It was moved by Mr. Donnelly, seconded by Ms. Furia, to approve the list of checks in the amount of $72,914.69 covering the period from February 25, 2019 to April 17, 2019. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside indicated the next item on the agenda was the consideration of the lease and license between the Navy and the HLRA regarding the Delaware Valley Historical Aviation Association’s (DVHAA) facilities.  Mr. McGee remarked that these documents would continue the DVHAA’s presence for an additional two years.  Mr. Donnelly moved to approve the lease and license between the Navy and the HLRA. The move was seconded by Ms. Furia. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside indicated the next item on the agenda was the approval of sub-lease and sub-license between the HLRA and the DVHAA.  Mr. Donnelly moved to approve sub-lease and sub-license between the HLRA and the DVHAA. The motion was seconded by Mr. McCouch.  All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously  

Mr. Whiteside stated that the next item on the agenda was an update from the Greg Preston, head of the Navy’s BRAC Program Management Office East.  Mr. Preston began his remarks by addressing the critical question of when the property could be transferred.  He said that the target date keeps moving further and further into the future.  His current estimate is ‘late 2022’ and that is predicated on ‘things breaking right’.  Mr. Preston noted that the Navy is chasing a moving target and that the only ‘standard’ set by the regulators is a guideline of 70 ppt for drinking water.  He advised the Board that the Navy is currently undertaking a project to install a pilot groundwater treatment system in the area next to the boundary with the Horsham Air Guard Station. This system will withdraw groundwater, treat it with granular activated carbon and resin and discharge the ‘clean’ water.  The pilot project is focused on an area which is highly contaminated with the PFAS compounds. The pilot project will treat the groundwater at a rate of 20 gallons per minute. Mr. Preston expects the pilot will be the initial step towards a permanent pump and treat facility in that location.   A second pilot project, focused on the Horsham Road side of the base by Site 5, is about four months later in the schedule. Both pilot projects are expected to be in operation by the end of 2019. Mr. Preston answered several questions from the Board by confirming that there will be two pump & treat facilities, that both should be operational by the end of 2022 and that the actual discharge location is still under study.  Mr. McGee noted that the location of the pilot project by the HAGS boundary was close to the potential location of a water storage tank requested by the Horsham Water & Sewer Authority.  Mr. Preston confirmed that the pilot plant location was adjacent to but not inside the former Marine hangar.  He also noted that EPA is supportive of these pilot projects but has no input from them on how much data will be required by them in order to move to the permanent pump & treat facilities.

Dr. Griffin arrived at approximately 3:45pm.

Mr. Preston updated the Board on the soil removal project underway near the former base Fire Station.  Contaminated soils were removed and were planned to taken to a landfill in New Jersey but public pressure resulted in the landfill deciding not to accept the soils.  He noted that EPA Regions 3 and 2 had both approved the action before the landfill backed out of the deal.  He has recently authorized funds for a heavier temporary tarp to cover the soils while a new disposal location is identified.  The excavated areas have been backfilled with clean material and stone.

Mr. Preston also updated the Board on the upcoming steps on the Site 3 landfill.  A feasibility study has been published detailing four alternatives as a remedial action.  The alternatives range from ‘no action’, two versions of a permanent cap to complete removal.  A public meeting is being planned to brief the public on these alternatives and to accept comments.  Mr. McGee noted that the HLRA Board should formally provide input to the decision makers on this issue; he will insure that the information is provided to the HLRA Board.  He noted that a special meeting may be necessary for this step.

Mr. Preston noted that the process being followed at Site 3, the “CERCLA” process, is the same one that is being following to address the PFAS contamination. He noted that the actions being taken by his office (relating to the pilot projects and the soil removal) were the first ones in the nation being undertaken by DOD.  Mr. McGee agreed that these steps were a positive sign.

Mr. Preston closed his remarks by updating the Board on recent actions taken at the northern end of the base; the Air Force Reserve’s Red Horse Battalion used their construction equipment to connect two stormwater basins, thereby providing for additional retention on the base and lessening the impact of stormwater along Keith Valley Road.

Mr. Whiteside thanked Mr. Preston for his remarks and the encouraging words on the pilot projects.

Mr. Whiteside inquired whether there was any additional business.  Mr. McGee made note that the 2018 HLRA audit had been completed and copies were made available to the board in their package.  Also provided was the auditors letter of no findings.

Mr. Whiteside announced that the next Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority meeting would be on July 17, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. in the Horsham Township Library. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:15 pm.



William T. Walker

HLRA Secretary

HLRA – Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority

1025 Horsham Road, Horsham PA 19044 | Telephone: (215) 643-3131 | Fax: (215) 643-0448 | mail@hlra.org

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