Sand mine accused of illegal dumping, defying court order

Residents in Bridgehampton say a local sand-mining company could be contaminating water sources and going against court orders.

Many residents say they are concerned that the company is contaminating the area's water.

Many residents say they are concerned that the company is contaminating the area's water. (4/18/16)

BRIDGEHAMPTON - Neighbors say a sand mine in Bridgehampton that was ordered to stop accepting solid waste is continuing to do so in violation of a court order.

Wainscott Sand and Gravel, also known as Sand Land, has a state permit to mine and sell sand and gravel, but environmental groups have been complaining for years that the company operates more like a solid-waste facility. Environmentalists say the company's sand mine sits on top a special groundwater protection area, raising concerns about the types of materials the facility accepts.

"We are concerned that this type of debris that this company Sand Land is taking in has and does contaminate drinking water," says environmental activist Adrienne Esposito.

A lawsuit against the company has been underway for more than a decade, with several decisions and appeals along the way. At the end of last month, the state appellate court ruled that the owners cannot continue to operate as a solid-waste facility, and that any storage, sale or processing of such materials is illegal.

In the nearly three weeks since that decision, neighbors say the illegal activity has continued and has in fact ramped up into overdrive.

John Tintle, owner of Wainscott Sand and Gravel, declined to be interviewed, but said in a statement, "We believe that the court's decision is based upon fundamental errors of law, which we intend to have rectified through the available appeal process."

Southampton town officials served the company with a notice of violation yesterday, which does not have attached fines. The town attorney tells News 12 he is considering a temporary restraining order against Sand Land, but is waiting until after a meeting with the lawyers on Tuesday.

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