New Sheetz project held up

The project to build a new Sheetz convenience store at Frankstown Road and Amelia Avenue has been put on hold because of a wetlands issue at the site.

Sheetz had obtained an National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection to begin work but had not received a wetlands permit, said William Sauserman, Sheetz director of engineering and permitting.

“We needed to get some trees cut down prior to the end of March. We were able to do the tree work and some utility relocation but no major grading,” Sauserman said.

DEP said that Sheetz then voluntarily agreed to cease activity at the site.

“The reason why they stopped work is because they violated a condition of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit that stated they could not begin any earth disturbance [construction] at the site until they obtained another permit for proposed impacts to a nearby stream and wetlands at the site. They also failed to install erosion prevention controls before they started construction,” said DEP spokeswoman Lisa Kasianowitz.

“We had to stop. Part of the NPDES permit said we needed the wetlands permit before we could go any further. We acknowledged we couldn’t. It was a joint effort,” Sauserman said.

Sheetz needs to find another site to relocate the wetlands before it moves forward.

“We are not sure how long it will take. We need to rebuild about a half acre of wetlands. We need to relocate the wetlands somewhere else,” said Steve Augustine, director of real estate. “We felt we had a site at Legion Park in Hollidaysburg, but that was not adequate to relocate the wetlands. We are trying to find a site to relocate wetlands in Blair County.”

Sheetz had hoped to open the new store in late October or early November, but that time frame is now in question.

“Because of winter, if we don’t get started until October or November, we will run out of the paving season. We are trying to find something quick to get back on track,” Augustine said.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.