Foil: Your right to Know.
This piece is from the CUPON’S Column which appears regularly in the Rockland County Times on their editorial page.
In our prior column, we chronicled how our regulatory agencies are failing to protect the residents from situations that endanger their health and the environment. With a minimum of research, the dysfunction of a major agency, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is obvious. The following public information is given as an example.
CUPON’s research has revealed the failure of the DEC and EPA to enforce the law in the Hillside Ave vicinity in Airmont and Ramapo seems to be a pattern established years ago in the Hudson Valley. (https://preserve-ramapo.com/why-are-the-epa-and-dec-allowing-developers-to-destroy-the-airmont-and-ramapo-wetlands/)
In South Blooming Grove, Orange County, NY, a 600-acre housing development is under construction at the site of the former Lake Anne, now known as Clovewood Estates. (https://www.recordonline.com/story/news/local/2022/12/13/south-blooming-grove-developer-clovewood-project-ordered-dec-stop-ground-work/69711326007/ ) The project has been cited for violations by the DEC 5 times with a Cease and Desist Directive on May 24, 2022, and subsequent directives on June 17, 2022, July 20, 2022, September 30, 2022, and December 1, 2022.
Although the DEC issued the orders, they have not enforced them. As of this writing (Jan 19, 2023), no fines have been issued and construction continues as far as we can determine..
Edy Johnson’s article in Chronicle, from Sept 29, 2011, states that although numerous springs at Lake Anne had become too polluted to drink from, the water from these springs had been so pristine, it had been one of the sources of the Great Bear Spring Company’s bottled water.
Former South Blooming Grove Mayor James Mullany stated pollution from illegal dumping had long been a concern in the Lake Anne area, yet their efforts to get the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to deal with the problem have come to nothing. The agency said it did not see any significant problem even when confronted with numerous pictures of X-ray machines, trucks, and tires with trees growing through them.
The DEC has enforcement authority beyond issuing letters, yet the agency has failed to take additional steps in Airmont and South Blooming Grove.
When considering these examples of the DEC’s failure to do its job, it could appear as if the very agency that is entrusted to safeguard NY State natural resources is enabling the contamination of its water.
This question must be asked: “When will the Department of Environmental Conservation agency step up and collect fines and stop illegal projects?”
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