Foil: Your right to Know.
May 9, 2022 Sewer overflow at the base of the hill near Hillside Ave
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗖𝗨𝗣𝗢𝗡 𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘀’ 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗬𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗗𝗘𝗖 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗘𝗣𝗔 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘄𝗲𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀. (The CUPON Column appears weekly in the Rockland County Times).
The United States has numerous governmental agencies to preserve and maintain the environment. As often happens, the names of the agencies have lots of initials and it can be confusing to know which agency is responsible for what. The following is an explanation of 2 of the agencies CUPON deals with, the EPA and the DEC. To fully explain all of the responsibilities these agencies have would fill a book. Here is a short version.
The Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) and the NY State Dept. Environmental Conservation Agency (DEC) were both formed in 1970 to protect our natural resources in response to the growing concern about the negative impact human activity can have on the environment. The EPA is an independent Federal Agency given the responsibility by the United States Congress to enforce Federal environmental laws. The DEC was formed by the State of New York to consolidate and better organize smaller state environmental agencies. Both agencies have the authority to enforce environmental laws.
Numerous laws protecting the environment were passed in the 1970s. The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 was in recognition of the vital importance of maintaining clean water sources. In response, both the DEC and the EPA developed laws and systems to prevent contaminants from entering drinking water sources and to protect wetlands from development. Wetlands are a place where groundwater comes to the surface. Wetlands generally drain downhill to river systems and protect us from flooding by providing a natural sponge to soak up excess water from storms & snow. The vegetation that naturally grows in these areas filters water of impurities helping to ensure water quality. Wetlands areas contain 40% of all of the world’s species and absorb large amounts of CO2. Maintaining wetlands is considered to be a crucial component to slow down global warming.
One of the biggest sources of water pollution is stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as parking lots and roads as well as contaminants from construction sites. It is the DEC’s responsibility to approve and monitor stormwater plans from construction sites to ensure proper plans are in place and are being maintained. The New York State DEC requires a Storm Water Permit and a Storm Water Protection Plan (SWPP) for building projects if:
– it drains to a city-owned sewer system
– disturbs 20,000 square feet or more of soil
-adds 5,000 square feet or more of new impervious area.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗮𝗿 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗺 𝗖𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝗶𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗕𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭.The plans called for most of the property to be eventually developed for 10,500 gravesites. The 2 existing wetlands and its buffers were protected by law and not to be developed. Shortly after the application was approved, the property was sold for $6.5 million dollars and the Cemetery was renamed Mechon Hoyroa by the owner Congregation Mischknois Lavier Yakov 168 Maple Ave Monsey NY 10952. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘆, 𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝘁 𝟰𝟰 𝗛𝗶𝗹𝗹𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗔𝘃𝗲, 𝗔𝗶𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗮 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘆 𝘄𝗲𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗲𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘁.
𝘾𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙗𝙚𝙜𝙖𝙣 𝙞𝙣 𝙅𝙪𝙣𝙚 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭 The property the cemetery is built on is 19.2 acres, was heavily wooded and contained 2 separate wetlands areas. Due to the size of the property, it required a Storm Water Protection Permit and a Storm Water Protection Plan (SWPP). 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗩𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝗶𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝘃𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱.It is customary for cemeteries to be built in phases. As additional land is needed, trees will be removed.
𝙁𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙟𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙫𝙞𝙤𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙨𝙨𝙪𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙘𝙘𝙪𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙤𝙘𝙖𝙡, 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙚, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙛𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙡 𝙡𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙨. Despite what the building plans stipulated, the majority of the 19.2 acres were clear-cut. A primary component of almost all SWPPP’s, the silt fence wasn’t installed nor was a cache basin. The extensive tree removal caused significant water runoff issues compounded by the failure to install the required silt fence and catch basin caused silt-laden water runoff. The pavement of Hillside Ave has been severely damaged by erosion, as well as properties, driveways, and flooded basements downhill of the cemetery. The silt-laden stormwater drained directly into the wetlands near the Hillside bridge and into Saddle River part of Rockland and Bergan County’s drinking aquifer.
The NY State Dept of Environmental Conservation issued 3 violations letters for lacking a silt fence, no catch basin, and an insecure entrance on the following dates:
𝗔𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗖𝗨𝗣𝗢𝗡 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗛𝗶𝗹𝗹𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗔𝘃𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗘𝗣𝗔 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝗿𝗺𝘆 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗽𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗘𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝟭𝟰𝘁𝗵, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮. The EPA issued a 21-page report stating a berm, (a raised ridge) constructed of wood chips (likely from the clear-cut trees) had been built between the 2 sensitive wetland areas on the cemetery property. The Berm is 3-4 feet high and covered approximately 1.4 acres. Constructing a berm out of wood chips is generally frowned upon as it isn’t as stable as soil. The berm has changed the water drainage pattern away from the wetlands, causing its destruction. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙙𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙚𝙩𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙣𝙤 𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙧 𝙚𝙭𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙨. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙚𝙬 𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙧𝙢 𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙖 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙜𝙞𝙧𝙙𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝟯-𝟰 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙬𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙥𝙨, 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙣 𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙠𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙨.
𝘼𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙡𝙚, 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝟮 𝙗𝙞𝙜 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙩 𝙃𝙖𝙧 𝙎𝙝𝙖𝙡𝙤𝙢, 𝙈𝙚𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙣 𝙃𝙤𝙮𝙧𝙤𝙖 𝘾𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙮:
The wetlands will most likely be destroyed, as will the plants & wildlife that depended on it.
The cemetery has more buildable land to use.
The plots for this cemetery are approximately $7,000.00. The simple arithmetic of $7,000.00 x 10,500 graves is more than $70 million dollars. The number of graves was based on buildable land, which has increased. It doesn’t seem like much of a reach to see the financial incentive to dry out wetlands.
𝗡𝗲𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗗𝗘𝗖 𝗻𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗘𝗣𝗔 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝘄𝗻𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗮𝗿 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗺 𝗠𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗻 𝗛𝗼𝘆𝗿𝗼𝗮 𝗖𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗼 𝘀𝗼. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗲, 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗼𝗿 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗱 𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝘄? 𝗜𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗻𝗼𝘁, 𝗼𝗿 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗲𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝘄𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹? 𝗔𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗹, 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝘀𝗼 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗶𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗯𝘃𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘂𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗹𝗮𝘄𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗯𝗿𝗼𝗸𝗲𝗻? 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗯𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗷𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝘀𝘆𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗺 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲𝗱𝗴𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗼𝗹𝘃𝗲.
𝙄𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙙 𝘾𝙐𝙋𝙊𝙉’𝙨 𝘾𝙤𝙡𝙪𝙢𝙣 𝙞𝙣𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚, 𝙬𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨. 𝙋𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙚 𝙨𝙚𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢 𝙩𝙤:𝙅𝙤𝙚 𝙆𝙪𝙝𝙣 – 𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙩𝙤𝙧@𝙧𝙤𝙘𝙠𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙮𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚𝙨.𝙘𝙤𝙢 𝙤𝙧𝘾𝙐𝙋𝙊𝙉 𝙄𝙣𝙘 – 𝙘𝙪𝙥𝙤𝙣𝙧𝙤𝙘𝙠𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙@𝙜𝙢𝙖𝙞𝙡.𝙘𝙤𝙢
𝗧𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗖𝗨𝗣𝗢𝗡, 𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘁 𝘄𝘄𝘄.𝗰𝘂𝗽𝗼𝗻𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱.𝗼𝗿𝗴.𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱.