I haven’t written about Tredyffrin in eons. But the news out of Tredyffrin is disturbing if true.
In July of 2012, then Township Manager Mimi Gleason resigned. In 2014, Tredyffrin relieved then Public Works Director Scott Cannon of duties. In more blunt terms, Tredyffrin fired him.
Tredyffrin Township released a statement at that time (TT Press Release 2014 02 10 ) which said in part:
In his capacity as Director of Public Works, Mr. Cannon engaged in conduct, himself, and directed vendors and subordinates to engage in such conduct, involving two instances of the improper disposal of materials on Township property in a manner prohibited by Pennsylvania’s environmental laws. Since the areas affected are not easily accessible to the public and, as addressed in more detail below, since no immediate danger was identified by DEP, we cannot disclose the locations until that agency’s investigation is complete.
Well apparently Mr. Cannon was arrested and is facing criminal charges on chemical dumping (MDJReport Tredyffrin Cannon ).
Tredyffrin issued a statement over the past few days (Tredyffrin Press Release Nov 2015 ) which states in part:
Former Public Works Director, Scott Cannon turned himself over to the Tredyffrin Township Police Department for processing on Friday, November 20, 2015.
The charges brought by the State Attorney General’s office arise from facts that were disclosed publicly in February 2014 during a meeting of the Board of Supervisors following the Township’s own internal investigation. The Township is unaware of any allegations of violations other than those disclosed in February 2014.
Walt Hunter at CBS3 was the first media to cover this story. Walt quotes Cannon’s lawyer on the charges:
In response to a CBS 3 inquiry, Cannon’s attorney, A.J.Chotkowski, emailed a statement that reads in part:
“Mr. Cannon was surprised and disappointed to learn that charges were filed against him today… the charges occurred less than a year after Mr. Cannon initiated a civil action against Tredyffrin Township stemming from his termination as the Director of Public Works… Mr. Cannon denies that he, or any other employee under his supervision, violated any law or caused any environmental harm. The substance alleged to have been released is magnesium chloride, which is merely a common salt product used to treat roads.”
Ok but according to the state, aren’t chemicals like this supposed to be disposed of properly? As in not just dumped on Tredyffrin Township owned property and allowed to spill into the Valley Creek?
Yes, the Valley Creek. You know where Tredyffrin had raw sewage issues? Remember groups filed suit against Tredyffrin this time last year over violations of the federal Clean Water Act?
To quote Penn Environmental at the time :
Last December 2014, Tredyffrin agreed to a costly clean up settlement in the raw sewage case .
And now this. The Philadelphia Business Journal says in their article:
Scott Canon, 56, of Glen Mills, is facing four counts of unlawful conduct and a count of prohibition against other pollutions for opening a large tank containing magnesium chloride, and releasing 1,000 gallons of the chemical into the township’s public works facility, according to the Office of the Attorney General.
Main Line Media News has a story today on this as well and the comments are as interesting as the actual article.
Political chess anyone? Mimi Gleason (so much for that pretty quote of “a job is not a life”, eh?) went to West Whiteland and Bill Martin came out of the polluted Bashore era in Radnor Township via problematic Bridgeport, correct? Is there culpability when it comes to Tredyffrin’s former Public Works guy and the current and former Township Managers of Tredyffrin when it comes to this case? Has anyone contacted Mimi Gleason in West Whiteland for her thoughts? Did she hire this Scott Cannon?
I can’t help but wonder what else will surface in the always politically charged muck and mire of Tredyffrin Township. Because can it said nothing there is ever simple?
But at the end of the day what disturbs me the most are Tredyffrin’s pollution problems. It’s bad enough when it’s a specific company in a certain municipality and all of this has been well, municipally caused has it not? First raw sewage, now this?
And how have these issues affected Tredyffrin residents as well as their municipal neighbors?
To all the sewage add a 1000 gallons of Magnesium Chloride.
What the heck, Tredyffrin Township? Well only time will tell where this case will go , especially given all the problems in the attorney general’s office in Pennsylvania.
Sign me glad not to live in Tredyffrin but I sure wish they would clean up their act (and pollution problems).