Broomall’s Dam Update: Ownership & Emergency Action Plan
On Thursday, July 16th, the seven members of Media Borough Council voted unanimously for a resolution declaring that the Borough was not the owner of Broomall’s Dam located on Third Street, next to Glen Providence Park. The resolution gave approval for the Borough to sign the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PA DEP) Emergency Action Plan (EAP) as the dam operator during the construction phase – but not to sign the ownership line of the required document as the dam owner. The vote was met with applause from a full audience.
The EAP is a formal document that describes procedures to minimize the risk of loss of life and property damage when potential emergency conditions threaten a High Hazard Potential Category 1, 2 or 3 dam. PA DEP has identified Broomall’s Dam as a Category 2 High Hazard dam. The Dam Safety and Waterway Management Act (Subchapter B 105.34) states that the owner(s) of a high hazard dam must sign the ownership line of the document. A properly signed and executed EAP is required for the PA DEP to issue a dam construction permit.
The ownership of the dam has been the subject of legal dispute between Broomall’s Lake Country Club, Delaware County, and Media Borough since 2006, following decades of inaction to repair or replace the dam, due to ongoing ownership questions since Broomall’s Dam was declared unsafe by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1980.
The 2011 Stipulation and Order signed by all three parties assigned tasks and responsibilities regarding the construction and maintenance of the proposed replacement dam and roadway on top of the dam. However, the Stipulation and Order did NOT resolve the issue of ownership.
While Media Borough Council has clarified that it will not sign the ownership line of the EAP, there have been no public statements or documents released by Broomall’s Lake Country Club or Delaware County that indicate if one or both of those parties will sign the ownership line of the EAP.
Media Borough Council also authorized the Borough to sign the dam construction permit application at the July 16th meeting, while adding an addendum that stated that signing the permit did not constitute any claim of ownership of Broomall’s Dam by the Borough.
The Friends of Glen Providence Park continues to support dam removal, stream restoration and a local discussion of an environmentally-sensitive bridge between Media Borough and Upper Providence.