Plan to expand oil tanks on East End property met with opposition

Posted: Updated:
RIVERHEAD -

Some residents on the East End say they are against the expansion of large oil tanks used to store biofuel on the property of United Riverhead Terminal.

The property already has a series of oil tanks, and there is a proposal on the table that would add six more. The tanks have been in the area since the mid-1950s.

A new state law will require all home heating oil in Nassau and Suffolk to contain at least 5 percent biofuel by July 1.

Residents and farmers in the area say they are against the plan to expand, saying that building new tanks would open the door to storing gasoline at the facility.

“An explosion hazard would be terrible, but on top of that, gasoline is very volatile,” said Chris Kaplan-Walbrecht, the co-owner of Garden of Eve Farm. “There's going to be some outgassing, I'm sure. And when it does enter into the water it moves very quickly, and often contains other additives.”

News 12 reached out to United Riverhead Terminal for a comment, but so far has not heard back.

The issue was discussed at a Town Board hearing on Tuesday, but no decision was made.

Officials say they will accept written comments from the public until June 29.

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