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Apr 17, 2019 4:49 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Local Stakeholders Take DEC And Sand Land To Court, Seeking To Block Settlement

The Sand Land mining operation in Noyac.
Apr 24, 2019 7:33 AM

UPDATE: Friday, 1:30 p.m.

On April 18, one day after the petition was filed, Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O'Connor issued a court order enacting several measures that halt further actions related to its settlement agreement with the DEC and any mining operations until further proceedings take place. The petitioners jointly agreed to the measures.

The order stated that Sand Land will not mine in the 3-acre area known as the "Stump Dump" and that the public comment period for the application for Sand Land's permit modification will be extended for two more weeks until May 3. This extension temporarily prevents the DEC from granting Sand Land the proposed terms of the settlement agreement, which, mainly, allow eight more years of mining operations and 40 feet of vertical expansion.

All parties are ordered to appear for a conference on April 30 at the Albany County Courthouse, court documents state.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Multiple local stakeholders are pursuing litigation against the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the owners of Sand Land over a recent settlement agreement allowing the Noyac mine to operate for eight more years.

Thirteen parties filed a petition on Wednesday in Albany County Supreme Court urging the court to void the settlement agreement, as well as a recently issued mining permit renewal. They also asked the court to block the DEC from pursuing any further actions as part of the agreement, like processing Sand Land’s application to modify its operations.

Petitioners included the Town of Southampton; State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.; neighboring property owners 101CO LLC, 102CO NY LLC, Brrrubin LLC, and Bridgehampton Road Races LLC, the latter of which is owner of The Bridge golf club; nonprofit organizations Citizens Campaign for the Environment and the Group for the East End; the Noyac Civic Council and Southampton Town Civic Coalition; and neighboring residents Joseph Phair, Margot Gilman and Amelia Doggwiler.

As part of the settlement agreement, the DEC is seeking to issue a permit that would grant the mine another eight years of operation and an additional 40 feet of underground excavation. Sand Land submitted an application for the modification, which is now undergoing a public comment period before the DEC determines whether to approve it.

The public comment period will end this week, according to Robert DeLuca, president of the Group for the East End, one of the petitioners.

The settlement agreement was made behind closed doors on February 21 and was not publicly announced until over three weeks later, on March 15. It came as a shock to stakeholders, because they were under the impression that the DEC was seeking to shut down the Sand Land mine within two years, something the DEC said in a statement in September 2018.

“This settlement and the proposal are 360 degrees opposite from where the DEC itself was last fall, when they said the facility was out of sand, had contaminated the aquifer and had to close,” Mr. DeLuca said. With the new agreement, “they get to go closer to the aquifer, there’s no remediation of the contamination that we know is there, there’s no penalty for the contamination that we know is there,” he said.

A hearing on the filing, and a related request for a preliminary injunction, will be held on Thursday in Albany County Supreme Court, Mr. DeLuca confirmed.

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The mine has been there for at least 60 years now there is a problem? The spoiled suing rich
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Apr 17, 19 4:56 PM
3 members liked this comment
Yes there's a problem because it was just a sand mine for a vast majority of those years and not a compost/mulching operation that's contaminating the fresh water aquifer beneath it and contaminating the water affects everyone on the East End.
By stymps (2), Bridgehampton on Apr 25, 19 3:58 PM
Not in my back yard, again and again. Bet they're not locals, just complaining after they moved in...
By knitter (1865), Southampton on Apr 17, 19 5:48 PM
2 members liked this comment
What are you saying? If you're a local you don't complain? Or unless you're a local you can't complain? I think anyone would complain if the activities at Sand land were contaminating the fresh water aquifer beneath. And it is so residents have every right to complain whether they've lived in the area a long time or just came in recently. Everyone should be concerned and complain when our only fresh water is threatened by unsafe practices.
By stymps (2), Bridgehampton on Apr 25, 19 4:12 PM
Didn't they do that when the golf coarse was built??????????
By knitter (1865), Southampton on Apr 17, 19 5:49 PM
All of these "Stakeholders" are financed by the owner of the Bridge golf course. Group for the East End has their benefit hosted by the course. CCE receives thousands in donations form the course. Both Schniederman and Theile are financed by Bob Rubin, the owner of the course. The three neighbors have had the lawsuit initiated and funded by Bob Rubin. This is how the rich get their way. They not only buy politicians, they also buy civic groups and "environmental advocates" that in turn get municipalities ...more
By TPFL (4), East Quogue on Apr 17, 19 8:19 PM
3 members liked this comment
Here are the actual facts: the ZBA in 1962 (after the building dept. denied a permit) granted a prior owner permission to remove sand by a portable plant & then push back the over-story "so as not to leave a large hole" when the site was zoned industrial on only 25 acres. Take a look at it now. There are illegal structures, no Health approvals, no Town permits, who knows what's buried out there, and it was recently confirmed they have contaminated OUR only source of water.
By NoName27 (16), Southampton on Apr 18, 19 9:11 AM
noname, are you sure about your facts? Did you move into the area around the sand mine? Are we sure the pollution isn't coming from the golf course? Are you dumping your pool water into the ground water?
How about a moto cross track? There goes the tax rate in that neighborhood...
By knitter (1865), Southampton on Apr 18, 19 3:38 PM
The golf course had monitoring wells installed around its entire perimeter and monitored for the last 20 years ever since it was opened.

Pollution NOT coming from golf course
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Apr 18, 19 3:50 PM
See Zoning Bd. decision #833, dated 11-22-62, my family "moved into the area" (around the corner) in the late 1800s, I remember this site as well as the 2nd site at the other end of Middle Line, I cannot afford a pool, and Golf at the Bridge has been & is being monitored. Here are more fun facts: there have been at least 2 fires started from this site, see Town Code 330-167B concerning expansion of non-conforming sites, and (my favorite) according to the Health Dept.'s report after analyzing 21 ...more
By NoName27 (16), Southampton on Apr 22, 19 1:32 PM
The report from Suffolk County noted high levels of Toluene. An additive found in race fuel. They are concerned about mulch contaminating the water but not Toluene. Read the golf course results carefully. They are adding plenty of nitrogen to the aquifer, just not enough to trigger the alarm. Thousands of pounds of nitrogen added to the course every year.
By Morty (4), east hampton on Apr 18, 19 4:25 PM
Can you please explain how the nitrogen enters the groundwater.

My nephew worked on the excavation there.

There are plastic liners underneath the greens which capture the irrigation and rain water, direct it to containment, and then re-use for irrigation.
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Apr 19, 19 8:20 AM
Nitrate levels from fertilizer run off from a golf course? How dare you imply that high but not over 10 ppm/l causes thyroid cancer and other metabolic diseases. Just because New York City drinking water is less than 1 doesn't mean 8 or 9 levels here will have adverse health consequences. In any event you can just drink Chablis or install a state of the art water filtration system in your house.
Let them drink Chablis!
By dfree (786), hampton bays on Apr 19, 19 5:50 AM
The cabal filing the suit is the perfect storm of well funded NIMBYism , not dissimilar to the group suing our Trustees over the residents and Freeholders exercising our rights to access our ocean beaches or the tools trying to shut down East Hampton airport. They move here because they love this place , then try to change it, arrogant and obnoxious .
By bigfresh (4548), north sea on Apr 19, 19 6:28 AM
Racing fuel, where might that come from? They recycle all the water from the greens and reuse it again> How much water do they use from the auqafer do they use? What do they use to control the bugs in the greens? How much fertilizer is poured on the golf course?
By knitter (1865), Southampton on Apr 19, 19 10:31 AM
from 2002: "No amount of monitoring is going to prevent the force of gravity from working," Jan Rieger, a member of the town's conservation board, said on Saturday. "Right now it's an environmental issue; 10 years from now it will be a public health issue."

How about in 20 years? By the way, Mr. Rubin made his money from AIG, you know that company that the US taxpayer gave $180 billion in 2008...
By dfree (786), hampton bays on Apr 19, 19 4:46 PM
Groundwater monitoring at the golf course began 20 years ago--in 1998
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Apr 21, 19 11:23 AM
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