If the Lehigh County Authority has nightmares, surely someone like Jeanine Bauer is in them.
Tuesday night’s conditional use hearing before the North Whitehall Township Board of Supervisors was completely dominated by the township resident who is opposed with every fabric of her being to their designs to build a 200,000 gallon-a-day plant on a roughly 5-acre lot that would be subdivided from the KidsPeace campus on Jordan Road in Orefield.
Bauer’s razor-sharp testimony melded the buck of a billy goat with the sudden surge of a sprinter as she tenaciously weaved through a litany of documents that she claims show violations, lack of transparency, lack of efficiency and plain-old lack of honesty when it comes to how the LCA conducts business at their other water waste treatment facilities.
It will be, Bauer alleges, a foreshadowing of a sad, stinky, noisy and chaotic state of affairs to come for the tranquil section of the township should supervisors stamp their approval to LCA’s plans.
Bauer produced documents from enough governmental agencies to make a Tea Party member cringe – citing documents from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and even the National Register of Historic Places to illustrate how LCA has no business building anything, let alone a sewage treatment plant, in that part of the township.
“I don’t want to see them anywhere in the township,” she noted near the end of her testimony in response to a question from the audience if the LCA would be “good neighbors.”
During her testimony LCA attorney James Preston nearly grew hoarse from voicing objections to Bauer’s official submissions, at one point verbally mixing it up with Voice of the Jordan attorney John Roberts over the latter’s “coaching" of Bauer.
“C’mon John, you know better than that,” Preston admonished Roberts.
Roberts, whose eyes grew wide as flying saucers at the lecture, fired back with his own verbal assault and the donnybrook was on.
How supervisors felt about Bauer’s testimony is anyone’s guess. Vice Chairman Steve Pany and Supervisor Mark Hills peppered Bauer with a few questions, largely of clarification, periodically during her testimony, but mostly sat expressionless with Chairman Ronald Heintzelman until they called off the proceedings as the clock struck 10.
The drama continues at 7:30 p.m. on September 10th, when Preston will get his shot at Bauer during his cross examination.