June 8, 2022

Sharing Concerns About Environmental Impacts of Construction on PTS Property

To the Editor:

As a direct result of the 2013 construction of the Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) Library, garbage and gravel were washed into the culvert that runs through my property. I had to rake out what I could to prevent the stream being blocked. Any proposed construction on what has been PTS property has larger ramifications.

As I understand, the underground streams apparently begin right under where the proposed buildings are planned, coalesce with rain water runoff, and then continue down through my property under College Road to the golf course to what seems to be a still-operating water purification plant.

When I have tried to determine if my information was correct, and to ascertain if an environmental impact survey has been made, I have not received a reply from any of the pertinent (state, region, county) authorities with whom I have spoken: all point to Princeton municipality, which at last account could not reply that any such survey had been made. Has one now been made? Will such a study be made before potentially disrupting the underground water networks?

Although I pointed out the problem to PTS administrators several years ago, I have no indication that this issue has been taken into account in any of the decisions that are being made about the Tennent-Roberts-Wheatley property.

This is only one of the many problems raised by what seems to have been a process that may have great impact on the community but has been conducted with a minimal amount of transparency from any of the parties — including the Princeton Council.

Thomas Kaufmann
Mercer Street