State Legislation Would Prohibit Co-Location Of Mining And Waste Facilities Over Sole Source Aquifers

Thiele/LaValle Bill Would Protect Drinking Water Supply from Contamination.

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Long Island, NY - May 22, 2018 - Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle have introduced legislation (A.10635/S.8564) that would prohibit State agencies, such as the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, from processing or approving permits or permit renewals for sand mining, where the sand mine is co-located with a waste facility including facilities for the receipt, processing, sale, storage, or transfer of waste. The legislation would apply only to Suffolk and Nassau counties, because they are primarily served by an underground sole source aquifer.
The legislation is in response to documented cases of groundwater contamination where sand mines and waste processing facilities have been co-located in areas designated as special groundwater protection areas.
Assemblyman Thiele stated, “We are confronting drinking water contamination problems across Long Island from a multitude of sources, including emerging chemicals such as PFOS, PFOA, and 1, 4 dioxane; industrial uses; sand mines; and waste processing facilities. We must protect our only clean source of drinking water. When it is determined that the co-location of high intensity land uses are contaminating the environment, we must end those practices to better protect our water. Sand mines over our drinking water supply strip away the buffer and filter for clean drinking water. When waste facilities are co-located with sand mines, it is inevitable that pollution from waste facilities is likely to occur. The co-location of sand mines and waste facilities is a risk we cannot take.”
Senator LaValle said, “It’s critically important that as we continue to take steps to keep our waters clean we also stop contaminants whenever we can from entering our aquifer. The measures we have undertaken to keep our waters pristine are meaningless if we continue to allow the processing of waste directly above our primary source of drinking water. This bill would halt that incomprehensible action.”
The bill is currently before the Environmental Conservation committees of each respective house of the State Legislature. If enacted, it would take effect immediately.