Tinicum Creek Bridge Projects Challenged
PennDOT is pursuing two bridge projects over Tributaries of Tinicum Creek at Tettemer and Cafferty Roads in Tinicum Township, Bucks County, PA.
The Tinicum Creek basin is designated as an Exceptional Value stream because it has very high quality waters and healthy habitats. As a result, the law requires that the water quality of the Tinicum and its tributaries be maintained and protected.
The two bridge projects being proposed and pursued by PennDOT will result in water quality, habitat and other degradation of the Exceptional Value streams that comprise the Tinicum Creek. In addition to the damaging nature of the work to be done, when PennDOT submitted materials for the two bridge projects it represented that each of these projects would result in less than one acre of disturbance – the result was that PennDOT was granted waivers from having to pursue certain Clean Water Act permits (NPDES permits). But, expert reviews conducted by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network with the support of our local members now prove that in fact each of the projects disturbs more than one acre of land, and as a resultNPDES permits are required by law. That means that PennDOT is pursuing these two projects without the permits required by federal law.
Not only is the implementation of these projects without the necessary permits a violation of law, had this permitting been pursued there would have been more careful reviews into the degradation these two projects would inflict on the Tinicum Creek because of its Exceptional Value status.
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has been pursuing several legal pathways in an attempt to protect the creek.
The first was to file for an injunction to try to stop the project until necessary permits were obtained -- that effort was well fought but ultimately failed.
Second and concurrently the Delaware Riverkeeper Network filed the legal notice necessary to pursue a Clean Water Act challenge to the project.