The housing development corporation, Toll Brothers, is planning a 264-unit development covering 32 acres at the intersection of West Whitehall Road and Blue Course Drive.
Nothing is more fundamental to the well-being of a community than its water and this project poses a serious threat to the Harter-Thomas Wellfields, which supplies State College with the majority of its drinking water. In addition to risks that come simply due to the planned location fo the project, the Toll Brothers, one of the largest homebuilding corporations in the nation, has an alarming record of Clean Water Act violations for which they did not pay fines, but a settlement. For over 300 EPA violations of the Clean Water Act, Toll Brothers paid about $720,000. This corporation has a reputation for not following agreed-upon stormwater management plans. Paying off the EPA on settlements is just the cost of doing business for them. Relative to the size of this corporation, the risk of fines has not proven to be a deterrent from reckless, destructive practices.
Penn State is responsible for selling this land for development. To continue to be a faithful partner in the preservation of health and quality of life afforded to the residents of State College--both permanent and student-- we urge President Barron, David Gray, and the Board of Trustees to reconsider their decision to sell this land for development. Penn State prides itself on sustainability, a principle hardly served by threatening drinking water.
We ask that Penn State partner with the community to think creatively about setting an example for responsible environmental stewardship. Put a halt to the sale. Talk to the community. Let's move forward responsibly, together.