Groups call for Gov. Cuomo to shut down Sand Land mine

Posted: Updated:
NOYACK -

Long Island environmentalists, civic leaders and lawmakers are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to shut down the controversial Sand Land mine in Noyack.

Last Friday, the state Department of Environmental Conservation sent out a release stating the owners of Sand Land can operate for another eight years, with two years to reclaim the mine. The settlement also allows the mine to excavate an additional 40 feet underground.

MORE: Controversial Sand Land mine to close within 8 years as part of state agreement

In exchange, the operators must stop composting vegetative waste at the site and implement a groundwater monitoring program by an independent monitor.

Community leaders say they're furious and baffled by the DEC's decision, which is contrary to a decision the state agency made last year. In September 2018, the DEC shut down the Sand Land mining operation, citing groundwater contamination.

In July 2018, the Suffolk County Health Department reported significant groundwater contamination to the aquifer underneath the site.

DEC spokesman Sean Mahar told News 12 over the phone that the settlement was made to avoid a lengthy legal battle. He says the DEC will be monitoring the site.

But civic groups say their only option will be litigation if Gov. Cuomo does not step in and shut down Sand Land.

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