Lehigh Valley

Judge to decide if Clean Air Bill will be on ballot

Judge to decide if Clean Air Bill will be on ballot

The ballots for November's general election have to be printed in less than two weeks.

"We are not going to reconsider our position," said board member Matt Croslis.

At an election board meeting Friday morning, members stood firm that the initiative doesn't have their approval.

"It's out of our hands right now," Croslis added.

Turning up the pressure for a Lehigh County Judge to decide if a clean air ordinance will go before voters. The initiative seeks to monitor emissions from Delta Thermo Energy's planned incinerator going next to the city's wastewater treatment plant.

"There's no legal standard that they met to deny the citizens the right to vote on this ordinance," shared Attorney Lawrence Otter.

Thursday four members of 'Allentown Residents for Clean Air' filed a lawsuit suing the election board.

"The election board is not really giving us the answers that we're looking for as to why we were kept from having this ordinance on the ballot," explained member Rich Fegley.

The board says the clean air bill is not legally enforceable.

"There is conflicting state law providing for clean air in Pennsylvania and the responsibility and authority of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection," Assistant Lehigh County Solicitor John Ashcraft described.

With the ordinance tossed out, and litigation on the line, some folks feel like their rights are being attacked.

"It's horrifying how you can do this to ordinary citizens."

The deadline to print the ballots is October 3rd. Otter hopes this will go before a judge sometime next week.

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