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Riverhead Town Board approves impact statement for EPCAL

The EPCAL site in Calverton. (Jan. 31, 2008)

The EPCAL site in Calverton. (Jan. 31, 2008) Photo Credit: The Nature Conservancy / Trish Pelkowski

The Riverhead Town Board yesterday took a small but important step toward developing its vast Enterprise Park at Calverton, voting 4-0 to adopt a draft generic environmental impact statement for the planned development of the 2,323-acre property.

The statement outlines all major issues the town must examine as it goes through with its plans to break the town-owned property into 50 separate parcels. Officials hope they will eventually be purchased by private developers for a wide variety of uses.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio abstained from the vote, saying she had received the 22-page document only on Friday and did not have time to study it.

Town officials want to have a single environmental review for the entire site because, they say, it will eliminate the need for every firm that wants to build there to perform their own environmental assessment. That process that could add months to their efforts to develop the land.

The town environmental statement calls for a minimum of almost 60 percent of the property to remain undeveloped, creates a 1,000-foot buffer around designated wetlands and commits nearly 600 acres to habitat restoration.

Because the EPCAL site is within the Central Suffolk Special Groundwater Protection Area, special emphasis is given in the environmental review to groundwater monitoring and possible contamination caused by development and future commercial, industrial and recreational uses.

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