Charlestown Township
Acting Environmental Advisory Council (EAC)
Great Valley High School Library
Minutes of Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Minutes were recorded for the meeting on August 8th, 2018 at the Great Valley High School Library, 225 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA 19355. Meeting was held from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Attendees were Carol Armstrong, Richard Findlay, Veda Maany, Daniel Walker, and guests were Tom Heisey, Steve Kunz, and Jonathan Meyers from Schuylkill Township EAC.

Apologies from Pete Goodman and Greg Nesspor.

The meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm with Carol Armstrong as the Chair.

Meeting started with a presentation organized by two members of the EAC Schuylkill township, Tom Heisey (with a background in construction and site work) and Steve Kunz (with a background in ecology). In a PowerPoint presentation, they discussed their journey to find and name 13 streams in the Schuylkill township that have yet to give names to some streams. They had identified 13 streams in total (mostly tributaries of the Pickering, French, and Valley creeks), and with the aid of the township historical society and historical resources like Harman Rees’s book Historical Sketches of Charlestown Township to provide a historical context for the actual names chosen. Four of the streams actually start in Charlestown township- Buckwalter Run, Wheatley Mine Run, Lenape Run, Wersler Run. Two of these were actually documented in Rees Book. Although all streams are protected by Pennsylvania’s 1937 Clean Streams Law, the idea is that names give them an identity which then confers more interest in protecting and optimizing the health of local watersheds. Steve referenced a book by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass, which speaks to the importance of names providing identities. There are many small headwaters that are unnamed in our area, and they are very important as most of the water is actually in the headwaters itself, and headwaters provide healthy conditions and nutrition (from natural forest detritus) for downstream. Although all streams are protected by Pennsylvania’s 1937 Clean Streams Law, there is a waiver in PA for a permit to waive regulations if one wants to do work in less than 100 acres if there are no wetlands associated with it. This is concerning for health of aquatic life which needs trees and leaves for sustainability.

To know what streams are in your area, and if they already have names, there are two databases to consult. National Hydrography Dataset contains a digital geospatial dataset that maps the surface waters of the United States. The other database is the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), which is the official repository of domestic geographic names, and the source within the USGS to which one would apply to officially name a stream. Steve showed in his slides the specific criteria and considerations for proposing a name, for example, It must have some present or historical local usage, cannot promote commercialism, etc. There is an online application form in which all the information is entered, to be reviewed by the Board of Geographic Names. Following the BGN decision, the newly approved name is recorded in GNIS, thus making it official for Federal use. All Federal agencies (such as FEMA) are required to accept the BGN’s decisions and to update their maps, charts, websites, and other products before publication, or if already published, at the time of the next revision.

Schuylkill EAC members have already submitted an application for a stream they have named Potters Run, and approval is pending. For Charlestown township EAC’s own project of naming of streams, we would discuss whether to engage residents to participate in the naming process. Also it is an opportunity for inter-township educational efforts for the public to learn about stormwater management and stream health. Charlestown Township is supplied mostly by the Pickering watershed , which has been classified as high quality, and the portion in Charlestown was designated able to support aquatic life in the DEP 2016 report on water quality of streams. To proceed with a similar project to name the unnamed tributaries would be a great investment in protecting our waters.

We thanked Tom and Steve for their wonderfully informative presentation, and they offered to be a continued resource for us.

Minutes of Previous meeting: These had been previously circulated and reviewed electronically. Findlay made a motion approve the minutes and Armstrong second that motion.


  1. Findlay will distribute electronically a handout of approved suggestions for Eagle Scout projects for EAC members to vote.
  2. Maany described briefly her discussion with Lynda Farrell from the Pipeline Safety Coalition regarding the Adelphia Gateway pipeline. There is still the notice on the township website, and we are awaiting FERC’s response to our concerns. Linda Farrell suggests that residents refrain from signing documents pending FERC response as well. EAC at this time is maintaining vigilance to ensure that we do not miss any deadlines requiring any action.
  3. Armstrong has initiated contact with PJ Whelihans’ restaurant regarding their policies and knowledge about single use plastics, and sent them a set of information slides with suggestions for restaurant businesses, which had been reviewed by the EAC. Next step is to obtain a list of specific plastics that they use, and offer to meet with them to discuss environmentally friendly alternative products. We can approach The Office (restaurant) as well. Dan may have some resources to recommend for restaurant supplies to replace single use plastics.
  4. Goodman suggested by email that we form a small committee with folks from EAC, a BoS member, and one of the Stevens to meet with the Great Valley Association (GVA) about sound walls to address the Turnpike Sound wall issue. Findlay will inform the Stevens about this potential meeting projected to be within the next month after Pete Goodman returns in September. According to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission website, the Charlestown section, beginning at Exit 320 and going east, of the turnpike reconstruction is not scheduled to begin until Fall of 2021.
  5. We agreed to discuss and prepare for the project of improving the riparian buffer along Pigeon Creek on Brightside Farm (for preservation of Pigeon Ck’s status as PA Stream Supporting Aquatic Life (PA 2016 Integrated Water Quality Report) over the fall and winter so that we are ready for planning next spring, when is most optimal for new plantings.
  6. Armstrong reported that she made two trips to the Pickering Creek Trail as a response to the request for help from Sue Staas and P&R to control invasive plant species on Charlestown trails. It may require recruiting professional weeders. Mile a minute is about to bloom and is a particular concern, but Armstrong observed many other invasive species in many sections along the trail. A lot of work is needed for maintenance of our trails.


Charlestown Day on September 15th 10 am - 2 pm. We discussed our table set-up, which includes an information poster on the EAC (Veda), copies of EAC application form to recruit more members (Carol), information on watersheds and streams (Carol), pamphlets on rain gardens and rain barrels (Carol), demonstration on ways to use invasive species, e.g Carol will present recipes to cook with garlic mustard (alliaria petiolata), children’s games (Carol), reusable Wegman’s bags (Findlay), and display of native vs. invasive plants (Carol and Veda). Tredyffrin community day is on same day but later in the afternoon. Carol is planning on attending as a measure to enhance inter-township relations especially regarding resident stormwater management.

PennDOT’s use of herbicides on Charlestown roads. Findlay is approaching PennDOT to ask for what chemicals they use (their website shows a list of chemicals) and if it could be replaced with mechanical cutting. Dan thinks they are spreading a growth inhibitor.

Reminder for EAC members: get on Linda’s weekly email, that is posted on the township website. Also find out from Linda what are the deadlines for the township quarterly newsletter and EAC members can consider rotating and writing on a topic for each newsletter, which should be one full page, one half page, or one quarter page (communication from Linda).

EAC-initiated project: Our goal is to have something formed in the next 6+ months.


Township Manager Linda reported there is a County Recycling Meeting on 9/13/18. Armstrong will attend with Linda and will report any changes.

Next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 12th at 6 pm in the High School Library.