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Meeting Minutes And Agendas

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Wednesday, October 16 2019



WEDNESDAY • OCTOBER 16, 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


Chairman Whiteside called the meeting to order at 3:33 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 July 17, 2019. It was moved by Ms. Furia, second by Mr. Donnelly to approve the minutes for the July 17, 2019 HLRA meeting. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside asked Mr. McGee for the Executive Director’s Report. Mr. McGee noted that the HLRA staff had attended an “Environmental Brownfields” seminar hosted by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission which focused on EPA’s efforts to assist with funding through grants in redeveloping former industrial sites.

Mr. McGee advised the Board that, in the near future, the Navy will be holding a public meeting to announce a proposed remedy for Sites 3 and 12 at the former base.  To better describe the background and process, he had invited Mr. Greg Preston, Head of the BRAC Program Management Office (PMO) East to the meeting.

Mr. Preston distributed a handout to the Board and noted that Sites 3 and 12 were two of the former landfills on the base where trenches were dug and waste was buried.  The Navy will likely propose a remedy which will include a soil cap, land use controls and continued monitoring.  He noted that the proposed remedy is ‘SOP’ (standard operating procedure) across the country and Horsham was not being singled out to cut corners.  The proposed plan cost estimate is approximately $6M (versus $17M for complete dig out and removal off base).  Mr. Preston noted that this remedy has been used at BRAC sites across the nation.

Mr. McGee asked if, after the soil cap was in place, could a parking lot be constructed over the cap?  Mr. Preston stated that such an action would require approval (which is not guaranteed).  Mr. Walker asked about a road; Mr. Preston said that approval would be required but that these types of improvements would be compatible with the remedy and had been very well received in the past. Mr. McCouch asked about future reviews; Mr. Preston noted that the remedy is part of the CERCLA process which requires regular regulator reviews including Five Year Reviews to ensure maintenance of the remedy continues to be protective; all costs would be at the Navy’s expense.  Dr. Griffin asked about vapor intrusion; Mr. Preston stated that the land use controls might restrict future buildings but the restrictions were still to be developed.  Ms. Eberle asked about future recreation uses; Mr. Preston noted that the recreation uses might only involve ‘passive’ recreation uses.  She also asked if a different remedy (such as complete removal of the waste pits) would change the land use controls; Mr. Preston stated that a different remedy would likely change the future restrictions. 

The Board also asked Mr. Preston about the pilot study to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the groundwater at the base.  Mr. Preston noted that the pilot study, which is designed to treat 20 gallons per minute, had been started and was awaiting regulatory review of the initial results prior to going into use full time. 

Mr. McGee recommended that the Board provide input to the Navy regarding the selection of the proposed remedy for the former landfill sites (Sites 3 and 12) of complete removal of the waste pits including off-site disposal.  The Board discussed this recommendation at length; Ms. Furia noted that the public might ask, ‘if the Navy put the waste there, why won’t they remove it?  (Mr. Preston noted that cost was a consideration and also noted that the land use restrictions involving future use would be taken into account during the negotiations on the purchase price of the base).   Mr. McCouch reminded the Board that our residents expect us to ask for ‘what is right’.  

Mr. McCouch moved, seconded by Mr. Donnelly, to authorize and direct staff to forward a letter advising the Navy, regulators and elected officials that the HLRA’s position on the remedial alternatives for Sites 3 and 12 is that the alternative which includes complete soil removal with off-site disposal for both landfills as described in the Feasibility Studies should be the remedial action selected. Additionally, the staff should advise the Navy and the regulators that remedial actions which are least restrictive regarding future development should be selected.  All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside asked Ms. Eberle for the Solicitor’s Report. Ms. Eberle stated that she continues to support the HLRA on routine matters including issues relating to the Aldie Foundation.

Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the Board regarding the list of checks. It was moved by Mr. McCouch, seconded by Mr. Donnelly, to approve the list of checks in the amount of $54,755.05 covering the period from July 18, 2019 to October 16, 2019. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside announced that the Board would hold a short executive session immediately after the meeting to discuss a litigation matter.

Mr. Whiteside announced that the next Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority meeting would be on January 15, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. in the Horsham Township Municipal Building.




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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