Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hallelujah! - PPL Delivers

Hello Folks,

As you know, we have been anxiously awaiting the reopening of both the PPL Pequea Boat Launch and the York Furnace Boat Launch. There was an article written in our local newspaper describing this situation... PPL closed these ramps after the Flood of 2011 which was in September. These ramps have been closed for over 90+ straight days. And keep in mind, the PPL company also had thesw same ramps closed immediately before, during, and after the Memorial Day Weekend.

I'veve been in touch with both our State Rep, Scott Boyd and our Fish Commissioner, Dr. Bob Bachman.  Dr. Bachman passed my concerns onto Andy Shiels who is the PFBC representative for the FERC when permits are reissued for hydroelectric power companies along our rivers and streams.

So, yesterday, two of my friends received this very exciting letter:

Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2011 16:57:37 -0500
Subject: PPL Holtwood Boat Ramps Reopen

Holtwood Boat Ramps Reopen, New Safety Signage Installed
PPL Holtwood has reopened the Pequea and York Furnace boat ramps to the public on the Susquehanna River and completed posting new safety signage for boaters.
“We have repaired 2 strobe lights on the dam, repaired signage, and installed new signage at the Pequea and York Furnace boat ramps. The new signs alert boaters to high river flows and to avoid the area downstream of the one-mile warning signs in the river and that the marker buoys 1,000 feet upstream of the dam are not installed,” said John M. Levitski, PPL community relations director for the Lancaster region.
The signage also notifies boaters to use caution with portage access limited to the east shore of the river.
“We’re still dealing with high flows that prevent us from repairing the final two strobe lights,” Levitski said. “Hunters can enjoy the remainder of duck season in south central Pennsylvania, which lasts until Jan. 14, but it is very important that boaters be safe,  follow the information on the new signage, and review procedures for cold-weather boating.”
Updates regarding the reopening of the Pequea and York Furnace boat ramps will be available at, or from the Lower Susquehanna River Hotline at 800-692-6328.
Boat ramps operated by the nearby Safe Harbor and Conowingo hydroelectric plants remain open. 
Thanks to all who emailed their state reps, PPL, and newspapers regarding this issue. We cannot allow these large companies to control the access to our public resources. These, for profit, institutions are responsible in creating recreational opportunities according to their FERC permits. What PPL was doing was in violation of their permit and they were using "Safety" as their excuse. As we all know, their has been plenty of time that the river level was below the 5' level and they could have been taking care of their responsibility. But instead, they chose other activities for their employees. In fact, the week after the article appeared in out local newspaper regarding the ramp closures, PPL came out with their own "Boo Hoo" article relating the amount of damage they incurred due to the September flooding.
Well, guess what... You are enlarging a hydroelectric power plant that sits alongside... A RIVER!

Take Care and Be Safe!