The Sand Land mine has dug its hole even deeper.
The company has been continuing illegal operations, and Southampton Town issued a cease and desist order last week, along with code enforcement delivering notices of violations.
Town attorney Jim Burke said he contacted the state Department of Environmental Conservation at the regional office and in Albany to express town concerns over the modification of a permit to allow Sand Land to bring in stone, concrete, and aggregate to sell. Those issues were reinforced when Noyac Civic Council President Elena Loreto sent a letter to the town asking, “What is being done to stop the Sand Land mine from continuing its illegal operations?”
“The tickets are not doing anything to stop them,” she said.
But Burke assured her the town is preparing to continue to take the issue up with the Supreme Court if necessary. He said he has a phone call scheduled with Sand Land operators to discuss the issue.
“We’ve been working pretty closely with Elena over the years on this,” Burke said. “She’s been terrific.”
The town has gone to the Appellate Division twice, and came back with two positive decisions about the specific issue of bringing in the materials.
“They eliminated the implication of the vegetative waste, so I guess from the DEC’s point of view they did that as a positive for environmental concerns,” Burke said. “But as far as the importation of the stone and the concrete and aggregate, that is in direct violation of years of town actions both by the zoning board hearings, and then this office.”
Burke continued, “I reached out to DEC to say the permit given to them, although it is conditioned upon them obtaining other approvals, is unlike the town’s, where we don’t give a building permit until they get all their other approvals. Here, the DEC gives them the permit and says, ‘Now you have to get the other approvals,’ which our position is that Sand Land ignored that and at this time is bringing in the stone, the concrete, and the aggregate.”
The town attorney said he informed the DEC of the town’s position and asked the state group to do its own investigation.
“We gave them the information we have if they want it to look at whether they should be doing something on that permit, maybe revoking that permit,” Burke said. “If they don’t comply, we’ll take the next action.”