We Want A Hearing - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1677005

We Want A Hearing

The State Department of Environmental Conservation is once again letting down East End residents by not protecting our water.

As of January 2020, the Sand Land mine is applying to the State DEC for another permit to allow “importation of finished products, such as crushed stone, crushed concrete aggregate and compost created off-site.” These operations are illegal under the town code and three appellate court rulings.

How could the DEC entertain another application? Look at the history: Bringing these materials on site violates the DEC’s own promise that these materials would all be removed from the site permanently as of September 11, 2018, in a “Notice of Intent to Modify.” This letter also indicates that “mining activities at the facility cease and reclamation activities begin.”

In this notice, the DEC cited the Suffolk County Health Department’s June 2018 test results of the aquifer beneath the mine as a reason for its modification. The Health Department found arsenic, excessive iron, manganese, other heavy metals, radioactive elements and other contaminants in the aquifer, the source of drinking water for everyone on the East End.

Yet, in March 2019, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said that the mine would be allowed to excavate 40 feet deeper for another eight years and have an additional two years for reclamation. Why the flip-flop? How can the DEC ignore the contamination found in the aquifer? Why has the DEC done nothing to clean up this contamination?

And now we have another permit application being considered by the DEC. We demand to know why the DEC reversed its decision and why the DEC has not addressed the contamination in our groundwater. Before any permit is issued, we demand a public hearing — an opportunity to voice our concerns and have our questions answered.

The Noyac Civic Council has set up an online petition. If you want to drink safe water, please sign the petition by 9 a.m. on February 14:  https://www.change.org/demand-clean-water.

Elena Loreto

President

Noyac Civic Council

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