Representatives oppose gravel pit expansion

Apr 18, 2024 at 01:27 pm by Observer-Review

Representatives oppose gravel pit expansion
ALBANY--Joining opposition from local citizens and communities, Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning) last week submitted a public comment to the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in opposition to an application to expand the Padua Gravel Pit in the town of Dix, Schuyler County.
The DEC’s public comment period on the proposed, 61-acre expansion of the quarry operation near Watkins Glen closed the following day.
In their April 11 letter to the DEC, they wrote, in part, “It is our understanding that you are in receipt of resolutions approved by the Schuyler County Legislature and the village of Watkins Glen, as well as public comments provided by individual citizens and/or their designated representatives, opposing the current application and requesting its revision and further review, through the aforementioned requirement of an Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (sEIS), to address myriad and legitimate areas of concerns prior to any final decision on the proposed expansion of the Padua Gravel Pit. We unequivocally support the need for the DEC to reject the current application and undertake an sEIS.”
It concludes, “We also renew our request that your department provide us with copies of all pertinent records and correspondence between your department and the project applicant during the 16-year period that this application has been under review by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Additionally, we request copies of any and all contracts that your department, the state Department of Transportation, or any other state entity has with the applicant for the purchase of aggregate or other materials from the Padua Gravel operation.”
At the regular meeting of the county legislature, Monday, April 8, a resolution was also passed opposing the current application. The resolution cites a public comment submitted by the law firm Rupp Pfalzgrafby on behalf of Michael Lausell and Oscar Neff, both Schuyler County residents, that raises multiple areas of concern regarding the project.
On Jan. 10, the DEC issued a combined Notice of Complete Application, Notice of Public Comment Period and Notice of Legislative Public Comment Hearing. Comments were originally due Feb. 28 with virtual and in-person events hosted by the state to receive comments Monday, Feb. 12 and Tuesday, Feb. 13. The comment time was eventually extended to April 13.
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