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Oct 25, 2016 12:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sand Land Pulls Back On Agreement To Allow Health Department Access To Test Water

The Sand Land Mine was mulching on the premises earlier this week.
Oct 26, 2016 10:25 AM

The owners of the Sand Land mine in Noyac appear to have pulled back on an agreement to allow the Suffolk County Health Department to come onto the property and test the water for toxic chemicals.

A resident who lives near the mine, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a pond on the property was drained and then covered with fill earlier this month. The Health Department had found metals and pesticides when it did surface testing on the pond in May 2015, and the concern was that they are leaching into the below-ground aquifer that East End residents rely upon for drinking water.

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. confirmed last week that Wainscott Sand and Gravel, which operates Sand Land, had granted permission for the Suffolk County Health Department to test the water, and then rescinded that permission earlier this month.

“We’ve been in touch with the Health Department,” Mr. Thiele said last week. “I know they are looking at other parts of their authority that may allow them to enter onto the site.”

Calls to Wainscott Sand and Gravel for comment were not returned.

According to the resident, who supplied photos, on October 18 the pond looked smaller, and the owners had an excavator punching holes in the bottom to allow the water to run into the ground.

On Wednesday, Brian Matthews of the East Hampton-based law firm Matthews, Kirst & Cooley, PLLC said his client was not punching holes into the ground, and that anything his client is doing on the property is allowed under the certificate of occupancy. When asked whether his client was running a mulching facility, he repeated that his client is doing only what is allowed under his C.O.

Representatives of the Suffolk County Health Department said they are working with the owners of the mine to come up with a resolution that will allow them to test the water. Health Department officials also said Wainscott Sand and Gravel is being cooperative.

In September, a flier was circulated by Wainscott Sand and Gravel notifying residents that Sand Land would begin accepting materials such as leaves, brush, grass and wood chips on October 1—suggesting to some that the facility would resume operations that had been prohibited by a court decision in June. A State Supreme Court Appellate Division judge had denied an appeal to reargue an earlier ruling that the facility did not have the right to continue to operate a mulching facility, including storing, processing and selling vegetative waste.

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C'mon it's only drinking water!
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (740), southampton on Oct 25, 16 2:11 PM
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