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Islandia's mayor takes exception to Suffolk County's review of an LIRR second-rail project

Allan Dorman, Mayor of Islandia, stands with his

Allan Dorman, Mayor of Islandia, stands with his grandson Collin Inga, 5, while listening to TAPS during a veterans ceremony at the Islandia Veterans Memorial Triangle in Islandia on Nov. 8, 2014. Credit: Steve Pfost

Islandia Village Mayor Allan Dorman is battling Suffolk County by criticizing a wetlands agreement between the county and the Long Island Rail Road tied to a second-rail project.

In a letter sent Monday to the county's Council on Environmental Quality, Dorman said Islandia officials were concerned about the second-rail project's environmental impacts and effects on traffic on Johnson Avenue in the village.

The 17.9-mile second track extends along the Ronkonkoma Branch between the Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma stations. One part of the project involves filling in 0.14 acres of freshwater wetlands on LIRR-owned land next to Lakeland County Park on Johnson Avenue in Islandia, according to the project application.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are requiring the LIRR to offset the loss of wetlands by providing a total of 0.15 acres of new freshwater wetlands in the park, at two sites near Honeysuckle Pond. The LIRR will also build a 300-foot boardwalk in the park.

Dorman called for an environmental impact statement before allowing the deal to go through. In the letter, he also threatened to ticket the county's heavy trucks if they travel over village roads while exceeding weight limits.

At its Monday meeting, the Council on Environmental Quality board voted unanimously that the second-rail project has no adverse environmental impact.

Council board member Michael Kaufman said Dorman's claims were off-base. "They need better legal representation than they have been getting," he said in an interview after the meeting.

Kaufman said no environmental impact statement is required because minimal filling will be done on the railroad's own property and said any effort by the village to use ticket enforcement efforts to block the project would be illegal.

"They are looking to traverse over village streets, not destroy them," he said of the LIRR.

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