Public Comments Needed Today to Stop the White Lake Granite Quarry
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is taking public comments until September 17th for the new proposed granite quarry in White Lake, in the western Adirondacks in the Town of Forestport. The project is called the “White Lake Granite Quarry” by the DEC (Application ID 6-3038-00081/00003 Mined Land Reclamation). At this juncture, the DEC has deemed the application complete, and their public comment period is now open. To date, the DEC has received very few letters in regards to this proposed project, and we need over 100. It is critical that you mail or email substantive comments to the DEC by Thursday, September 17, 2021.
While many comments have already been submitted to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), it’s important that we also submit many comments to the DEC to demonstrate the high level of public concerns and raise important issues.
We need to get as many individual letters/emails as possible that call for the project to be denied by the DEC. Now is the time that public comments count the most important! Please help us protect, conserve, and safely regulate White Lake by participating and making your voice heard. Encourage each and every member of your household to send an individual letter or email. Every voice counts.
Health of the watershed, water quality, threats to the aquifer, water flow restrictions/interference, possible outlet blockage, storm water runoff, on-site processing of water, federally designated wetlands, proximity to White Lake (less than 1000′ in some places), etc.
Noise, potential blasting, boring, and crushing; seismic implications; extensive hours of operation.
Traffic; large vehicles (up to 20/day), safety of road(s) leading in and out; suitability of Stone Quarry Road over outlet.
Environmental concerns like pollution/dust (esp. from dry crushing) and animal habitats/migration.
Residential density in close proximity to proposed quarry (over 100 homes within 1000′ of site); tourism/local tourist businesses.
Here’s the DEC determination under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR):
“The project was considered under SEQR and met the requirements for a Type II action per 6 NYCRR 617.5(c)(45) (actions subject to the class A or class B regional project jurisdiction of the Adirondack Park Agency or a local government pursuant to sections 807, 808 and 809 of the Executive Law, except class B regional projects subject to review by local government pursuant to section 807 of the Executive Law located within the Lake George Park as defined by subdivision one of section 43-0103 of the Environmental Conservation Law). While the action is classified as Type II under SEQR, it must still comply with all relevant local laws and ordinances and meet all the criteria or standards for approvals.
Persons wishing to inspect the subject application files, including all relevant supporting materials, and all other materials available to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) (the permitting authority) that are relevant to this permitting decision should contact the NYS DEC representative listed below.”
Send in Your Public Comment Today
See “Talking Points” below to help organize your letter. There are three ways to submit your public comments:
1. Write your own email to: Zachary Goodale, NYS DEC Region 6 Utica Sub Office, Division of Environmental Permits, 207 Genesee Street, Room 1404, Utica, NY 13501. Make sure to note White Lake Granite Quarry/DEC Application ID Nos.: 6-3038-00081/00003 Mined Land Reclamation. His email is: Comment.WhiteLakeGranite2021@dec.ny.gov
2. By sending in an automatic email by using the form below. With this you sign your name/address to a pre-written email that is automatically submitted to the DEC.
3. By U.S. mail. All Comments must be received by September 17, 2021. Make sure to note White Lake Granite Quarry/DEC Application ID Nos.: 6-3038-00081/00003 Mined Land Reclamation. Mail letters to:
NYS DEC Region 6 Utica Sub Office
Division of Environmental Permits
207 Genesee Street, Room 1404
Utica, NY 13501.
Talking Points for Letters to the DEC
Dear Zachary Goodale, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Please accept these comments as part of the public comment period on the proposed Thomas Sunderlin/White Lake Granite Quarry/DEC Application ID Nos.: 6-3038-00081/00003 Mined Land Reclamation.
- The site of the White Lake Granite Quarry project in Forestport has been dormant for over 90 years and the White Lake area has grown into a tourism/resort community since then. When it was used it hauled out stone on the railroad and there were few local residences. The DEC should deny this project.
- The proposed project is a burden on the local government because the current access road is inadequate for the proposed level of truck traffic and the intersection on Route 28 is inadequate for 40 truck trips (20 per day) entering and exiting that road. The Route 28 intersection will need to be rebuilt. The application was inadequate on a highway intersection study.
- There is no adequate hydrology study for the impacts of blasting and mine operations on White Lake and Little Long Lake. The application has inadequate data on hydrology.
- The project is located in an APA Moderate Intensity Area, which is principally an area zoned for residential uses. Further, the property has long been enrolled in a NYS Preferential Forest Tax Law program, which has provided a tax subsidy to maintain these lands in working forest open space. White Lake is an Adirondack resort area that has built a thriving tourist economy. This project threatens the residential quality of life in the area. The location is not an industrial use area and the proposed activities should only be sited in a secluded and pre-determined Industrial Use Area where mining activities will not negatively affect local residents.
- The noise study provided by the applicant is inadequate. The noise from this project will burden local residences and businesses with two loud blasts per day and “aggregate processing” between 9AM and 3PM. This project threatens the tourist economy and residential quality of life of the area with highly disruptive industrial noises.
- Dust and particulate matter will be generated on-site and will be carried by the wind to off-site locations. The data on particulate matter impacts provided in the application is inadequate.
- There is no traffic study about how 20 truck trips, which means up to 40 incidents of trucks entering and exiting the mine. How will large, heavily loaded trucks impact traffic on Route 28? What impacts will there be to local residents and businesses. There is no acknowledgement of a local crosswalk in the area.
- The site currently does not have an adequate electricity supply. The application does not have information on how the site will be powered and how this will affect local residents and nearby properties.
- The application proposes a schedule of 11-hour mining days Monday to Friday from April to October, all through the summer tourism season, and on Saturdays from 7 to 12 noon. Given the negative impacts of a new industrial operation in a residential area, which will be the only industrial operation in the general White Lake area, these long hours proposed by the applicant will be burdensome to local residents. These hours of operation are simply unfair to nearby residences and local tourism businesses.
- There are other quarries in the Town of Forestport that are isolated and are not surrounded by residences. Those are appropriately sited. This is a poor site for a mine.
- The application had no information about how an industrial mining operation will impact local property values. This is important information that must be evaluated. There is no survey of local longstanding business owners who stand to see their tourism businesses undermined and negatively impacted by a new industrial mining operation.
- The landowner has viable economic alternatives for the site other than granite mining. First, the land is enrolled in a Preferential Forest Tax Law program that minimizes carrying costs and helps to make forest management viable. Second, the property could easily be subdivided for residential purposes. Third, the property could be sold to another timberland owner.
- This project should be denied. Thank you very much.