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Opponents of proposed Rutter's in Huntingdon County plan to appeal DEP decision

A view of one of the seasonal ponds surrounded by grasses and flowers at Old Crow Wetland.
Anne Danahy
Turtles can sometimes be found sitting on the rocks of this seasonal pool at the Old Crow wetland in Smithfield Township, Huntingdon County.

The state Department of Environmental Protection approved a stormwater runoff permit for Rutter’s to build a gas station next to a wetland in Huntingdon County, but a local environmental group that's been fighting to stop the project plans to appeal the decision.

Claire Holzner, a founder of the Coalition to Save Old Crow Wetland, said the group was disappointed, but not surprised, by the DEP decision.

“Rutter’s does not need to build in that one particular spot, they can find another site to build. But the wetland can't move," Holzner said. "It's a public park for a lot of people. It's a place that a lot of birders use and naturalists and just people wanting to be in nature for a bit.”

She said the coalition will file an appeal with the DEP in February. The potential for runoff from the gas station and truck stop is one of their concerns.

“It would have a very big impact on our community," she said. "Traffic problems, trucks coming down and up the hill on Route 22. There would be 24-hour lights, there would be noise and litter and air pollution.”

The project still needs to get approval from the Smithfield Township board of supervisors.

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.
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