Riverhead Town has joined with other East End towns in an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief supporting the Southampton Town in defending an appeal brought by a Noyac sand mine operator.
The appeal by the mine operator, Sand Land Corporation and Wainscott Sand & Gravel Corp., is now pending before an appellate court in Brooklyn. Sand Land is asking the appellate court to vacate an injunction granted by the trial court that prevents Sand Land from processing trees, brush stumps and other debris at the 50-acre mine site while the litigation continues.
The Sand Land mine has a long history of litigation with Southampton Town and residents who live near the site, where a sand mining and gravel business has operated continuously since at least 1963, according to court documents. Sand Land Corporation bought the property in 1990. Wainscott Sand and Gravel conducts the mining and reclamation operation under a mining permit issued to Sand Land by the State Department of Environmental Conservation. The site is also registered by the DEC to conduct certain solid waste management services, including the receipt of uncontaminated concrete, asphalt, brick, soil, rock and untreated wood. The site today operates as a pre-existing, non-conforming use under the current zoning ordinance. Zoning on the site was changed from industrial to residential in 1972.
The Sand Land operation illustrates the need for more local control over mining operations on Long Island, in order to protect the island’s drinking water supply, according to Assembly Member Fred Thiele and State Senator Ken LaValle.
Suffolk County had to go to court to gain the right to test the groundwater at the Sand Land site and ultimately “found pollution well in excess of drinking water standards,” Thiele said.
LaValle and Thiele got legislation passed in 2018 authorizing local laws requiring groundwater monitoring to determine … [more]