Sandy Run threat over (for now)

Two years ago, the LJRA joined with other local groups to challenge the proposal to build a Walmart Super center on a Pinecroft site in the Sandy Run watershed. Our concern was based on the knowledge that Sandy Run eminates from a very large, cold, limestone spring and contributes the largest shot of cold water in the upper “j”. SR is also a class “A’ wild brown trout stream which is used as a significant spawning tributary by browns from the river and is surrounded by a DEP designated “Exceptional Value” wetlands. Our objection was voiced in public hearings and in writing, at that time and contributed to a resulting DEP response which required the Walmart site to comply with the strict rules governing run-off. This meant that the run-off water from several acres of roof and parking lot had to be treated and cooled, before release into the stream and EV wetlands. This added a significant additional cost to the choice of this site. We are not anti-development and we accept the official explanation from Walmart that they cancelled their plans due to the economic conditions, (see attached Altoona Mirror article) however we believe that there are much better sites for development in Blair County than one which would add to stormwater run-off into Sandy Run Wetlands, the only EV wetlands in our watershed.

Bill Anderson