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Opposition to Planned Bethlehem Landfill Expansion Continues | WDIY Local News

Tom Fisk

St. Luke’s University Health Network has joined the list of Lehigh Valley companies opposing plans for an expansion of Bethlehem’s landfill.

A new press release from the health network seeks to provide information to help residents of the Lehigh Valley better understand their concerns.

The statement relates to the recent approval by the Lower Saucon Township Council to rezone woodlands to landfill space, adding an additional 275 acres onto the Bethlehem landfill located between Interstate 78 and Route 22, right in what the statement calls “the heart of the Lehigh Valley.”

Included in St. Luke’s list of oppositions to the expansion is the proximity to the network’s Anderson Campus, which is known for its beautiful views and serene environment that helps provide a healing environment. They mentioned their relationship with the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, which would be heavily impacted by the expansion of a landfill so close to its trails.

Last November, the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor also sent a statement on the matter to representatives from Lower Saucon Township, in which they emphasized the trail’s designation by Congress in 1988 to preserve the natural pathway. They expressed their hopes that the river views and greenway surrounding the Lehigh River would not be damaged.

St. Luke’s shared that they’ve spoken with various experts, who have shared issues of resulting smells, impacts on water quality, blowing trash, and attraction of large scavenger birds.

The health network encourages people to contact both local and state leaders to share their opinions on the landfill, emphasizing the importance of every resident’s voice.

James is the News and Public Affairs Director for WDIY. He reports on stories in the Lehigh Valley and across the state which impact the region, along with managing WDIY's volunteers who help create the station's diverse line-up of public affairs programs.
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