CALVERTON - A Calverton animal shelter’s plan to upgrade and expand depends on a waiver from the New York State Central Pine Barrens Commission.

At issue, the Kent Animal Shelter sits on top of the Pine Barrens Core Preservation area, which protects underground drinking water. Dick Amper, of the Pine Barrens Society, says any expansion plans would not be permitted under state law. He says if the shelter gets an exception, the law would be weakened.

“If the commission gives them permission…then there is going to be a parade of other people who say they have good causes until the Pine Barrens are run over,” said Amper.

Shelter Director Pamela Green says the newly modified site plan includes a state-of-the-art septic system, and would be better for the environment than the current building.

“We are about 20 feet from the Peconic and that is where the antiquated septic system is located,” said Green. “The plan calls for it to be moved back 300 feet, which is the length of a football field.”

The Pine Barrens Commission will hold a hearing on the Kent Animal Shelter expansion project Wednesday.