Environmentalists blame state DEC for not halting work at East End sand mine
Environmentalists are blaming the state Department of Environmental Conservation for not halting the mining that is still happening at an East End sand mind.
According to environmentalists, the work at Sand Land mine in Southampton is not legal following the most recent court ruling.
The facility has been the center of controversy since 2015.
"It's a sand mine operating without permits," says Bob DeLuca, of the Group for the East End. "And DEC knows and has inspected the sand mine since the decision and taken no action.
Back in 2018, the Suffolk County Health Department found contamination in the groundwater below the mine. DeLuca says the state DEC initially ordered all sand mining activity there to stop, but then reversed its decision. Environmental groups and residents sued and won.
The 16-page Appellate Court decision dated one week ago states that all sand mining permits for the facility are null and void.
"The activity is the same. Mining is going on. Hauling and dumping is going on," says DeLuca. "Sales appear to be going on and these are all the things that were supposed to be stopped."
Environmentalists like DeLuca say the DEC is not doing its job.
"It's ridiculous and it's absurd that you can't get a state agency to follow the decision of an Appellate Court," says DeLuca.
The DEC issued a statement saying, "On June 1, DEC conducted an inspection of Sand Land in response to a complaint alleging that the facility was mining outside of their permitted hours of operation and deeper than allowed by permit conditions. DEC is conducting a comprehensive investigation to assess compliance with New York State Mined Land Reclamation Law. This investigation is ongoing and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
Attorneys for Sand Land didn't respond back to requests from News 12.
Environmentalists say they are worried about the groundwater contamination that hasn't been cleaned up and could be getting worse. They say they may have to go back to court to force the DEC to uphold the Appellate ruling.