September 30, 2019
TOWN OF EAST HAMPTON OPPOSES EXPANSION OF MIDDLE HIGHWAY SAND MINE, CITING ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS, INCLUDING THREAT TO GROUNDWATER
Sand Highway, LLC mine application for state permit to dig 110’ into groundwater constitutes an expansion barred by town code and should be denied, town says in letter to D.E.C.
In a September 27, 2019 letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, (see in the attached link), East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said the mining proposal “clearly poses the potential for numerous significant adverse impacts,” and does not comply with town laws.
The mine, currently operating under a permit that does not allow the proposed expansion, is in an area designated a Special Groundwater Protection Area where industrial activity, according to adopted policy, should be limited. The mine is also within proximity to wellfields for two public water supply wells for the Suffolk County Water Authority, which has also submitted a letter expressing its concerns.
The Supervisor’s letter to the D.E.C. opposes both the proposed mining activity and the plan for reclamation of the land, which would leave it with a deep, six-acre lake that would pose a safety concern in a residential neighborhood and would create a serious threat to drinking water by providing a direct route for pollutants to reach the aquifer.
The Town of East Hampton, through its attorney, has filed a request for documents from the D.E.C. surrounding the agency’s environmental review of the project, under the Freedom of Information Act. The receipt of those documents is pending, and more comments will be submitted to the state upon their review.
A D.E.C. public comment period on the mining application closed on Friday, and a number of concerned East Hampton residents submitted letters to the state opposing the expansion of the mine.
Supervisor Van Scoyoc’s letter was also submitted within the comment period, though the D.E.C. will permit the town to comment further after the environmental review documents are released by the D.E.C. The Supervisor’s letter sent last week questions whether the agency has followed proper notification and environmental review procedures, under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
Beginning last September, when D.E.C. officials first advised the Town of the mining expansion application, Supervisor Van Scoyoc and the Town Board have consistently expressed opposition to the proposal on both environmental and legal grounds.