WAYNE COUNTY—Discussion commenced between the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and the Wayne County Board of Commissioners regarding the potential breach of Hankins Pond Dam.
The Commissioners filed an injunction against PFBC in September to forestall the start of demolition while an alternative solution is sought.
The initial hearing took place on September 19.
There, Judge Raymond Hamill issued a 60-day continuance to allow for a settlement to be reached prior to a court ruling.
Wayne County Commissioner Joseph Adams reported on October 25 that the county, PFBC, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and engineers from both sides were able to sit down and initiate discussion.
“It was a very good meeting,” said Adams. “All the issues were put on the table and we're in the further negotiation process and further engineering process right now regarding the dam.”
Adams explained engineering studies in regards to the integrity of the dam are being completed to compile necessary data to reach a amenable solution.
Some of this includes hydrological studies, structural integrity analysis of the dam and spillway, rainfall totals and elevation considerations, he said.
Adams estimated it would take around a month to complete the requisite studies and ferry information to all necessary parties.
At the moment, the injunction hearing is set to continue on November 21.
Time will tell whether an agreement can be met by that time, another continuance would be needed, or a ruling would need be passed down.
For now, “It's in the negotiations process at this point and we will continue to work toward an agreement,” said Adams. “we'll continue to … come up with a more viable solution than tearing it down.”