Lawsuit filed against recycling facility after three years of pollution

The Upper Holmesburg Civic Association’s December meeting included an announcement on the suit Philadelphia is bringing against a private company and local construction updates.

TIMES FILE PHOTO

By Amanda Lien

Upper Holmesburg Civic Association president Stan Cywinski announced that Philadelphia has filed a lawsuit against Britton Industries, a mulch and topsoil supplier company with a site at 8901 Torresdale Ave.

The lawsuit comes after three years of resident complaints about debris and odor emanating from the plants, as well as citations and $12,000 in fines from the city’s Air Management Services office.

Residents were relieved at the announcement of a lawsuit, but they remain concerned that Britton’s legal counsel would try to delay the hearing by filing for an extension.

“Be forewarned, these organizations tend to play games with the court systems,” Cywinski told residents during the UHCA December meeting. “Typically, they’ll get [the extension] on the first go-round. We’ve been through this before. We need to get some heavy hitters involved, someone the judge will listen to.”

The hearing is set for Jan. 30 in courtroom 446 in City Hall. City attorneys are seeking three or four residents to testify at the hearing. Anyone interested should email scywin@erols.com with their name and phone number.

In other UHCA news:

The first phase of the Liddonfield construction project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2018, said zoning chairman Paul DeFinis. NewCourtland Senior Services purchased the former public housing site last May and announced plans to build senior housing, a community center and sport fields for Holy Family University on the land.

Construction on the Holmesburg Fish and Game Association is still ongoing. Several shooting ranges are operational on restricted hours, while others are closed until construction work brings them up to city code.

Councilman Bobby Henon’s office is still working with the UHCA to find entrance routes onto Frankford Avenue for commercial truck drivers that avoid residential neighborhoods. Linden Avenue was suggested for drivers going southbound, but a suitable route for drivers going northbound on Frankford Avenue has yet to be proposed.

The UHCA received a $1,500 grant from Councilman Henon’s office last month. There is no word yet on how it will be allocated.

The next UHCA meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, at St. Dominic’s Marian Hall. ••