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Chester County Press

London Grove Township supervisors discuss local air quality and 5G wireless facilities

06/16/2020 12:33PM ● By Steven Hoffman

The London Grove Township Board of Supervisors consulted with township solicitor Kim Venzie for comment and advice on air quality and the installation of 5G wireless facilities at the June 1 meeting, which was live-streamed.

Members of the township’s Environmental Advisory Committee had asked what could be done about air quality concerns, especially those arising from mushroom composting, at several different meetings. Venzie said the committee was especially interested in finding out about controlling the odors in parks and playgrounds.

She said she first had to determine when the permits for the composting operations were issued, and those dates could affect whether they could be regulated.

She said she also consulted the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to see to what extent the township can control air pollution.

She added that she asked if there was any way the township could regulate pollution beyond the state’s regulations.

“ACRE is involved,” she said, referring to the state law that ensures that ordinances adopted by local governments to regulate normal agricultural operations are not in violation of state law. A farm owner can challenge the ordinance if the local ordinance inhibits his or her farm operation.

Venzie said also that the township could inquire into the actions of other municipalities that had been effective in dealing with composing odors.

“Your township could look at ordinances that have been stronger about composting. Some have said that Lower Oxford Township did have an ACRE challenge, but [their] provisions in the zoning ordinance that were stronger and more detailed than London Grove have been upheld. … Mandatory air and water sampling doesn’t conflict with ACRE. You could look into ordinances that make them more stringent,” she said.

Venzie added that in order to enforce standards of water and air quality, it is necessary to have the technology to measure them.

She had also been asked in January to investigate and propose responses to the coming installation of facilities to provide 5G wireless capacity.

“Wireless communication is being deployed across the United States, and you have outdated provisions in your ordinances [on the]. … I looked them up and updated them,” she said.

“About 20 percent of people in Chester County have been approached about putting them in,” she added.

She said she needed to address “small wireless facilities,” not the big ones on high towers.

“If you don’t have regulations, they can be put anywhere and look however they want,” she said.

She added the township can specifically control appearance and – to some extent – location on their roads, but not on state highways like Route 41, or if the facilities are underground.

She advised members of the board to drive to West Whiteland Township to see what the poles look like because they are there in great quantity.

Venzie said she was presenting them with a resolution for design guidelines sets forth on what the facilities would look like.

In other business, the supervisors approved a motion to spend $14,800 repairing the driving range netting at Inniscrone Golf Club.

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