Activists oppose Bridgehampton sand mine expansion

Environmental and citizen groups, along with officials from the Town of Southampton, called on the state Department of Environmental Conservation to stop Sand Land Corp. from expanding its sand mining and mulching operation on the north side of Middle Line Highway in Noyac. The groups met Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in the Old Noyac Schoolhouse and then went to see the open pit mine as they called for water testing after the company applied to enlarge the operation. (Credit: Newsday / Chuck Fadely)

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Environmentalists and local activists called on the state Monday not to issue an operating permit to allow the expansion of a Bridgehampton sand mine they say is a nuisance and a threat to drinking water in the aquifer under the land.

The Sand Land Corp. operation causes groundwater contamination, noise pollution, dust and odor, they said. The facility is seeking to expand its 50-acre site by 5 acres and to mine an additional 40 feet deep, to 200 feet below ground, the activists said.

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The request that the Department of Environmental Conservation block the permit was made at a news conference in Sag Harbor attended by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Group for the East End, the Noyac Civic Association and others.

Sand Land owner John Tintle said in an interview later that he is in compliance with all environmental regulations, that the water meets standards and that he has a certificate of occupancy from the Town of Southampton.

"I had an independent [water quality] study done. One well was tested by Suffolk County Health Services last June. To be doubly certain, I had the other well on the site tested privately and I've shared the results with the Town of Southampton and the DEC," he said.

The activists said the testing was inadequate and called on the DEC to do a complete environmental review before allowing the expansion. The DEC has already ruled that the expansion will not have a significant adverse environmental impact and does not require an environmental impact statement.

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An aide to Assemb. Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) said at the news conference that he has introduced legislation that would lead to the installation of a groundwater monitoring system at Long Island mining sites that sit above an aquifer serving as the sole source for local drinking water.

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