Riverkeeper joins challenge to Eldred Preserve permit

By FRITZ MAYER
Posted 7/24/19

EDLRED, NY — The Delaware Riverkeeper Network announced on July 19 that it is joining a challenge to the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) decision to issue a permit allowing the …

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Riverkeeper joins challenge to Eldred Preserve permit

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EDLRED, NY — The Delaware Riverkeeper Network announced on July 19 that it is joining a challenge to the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) decision to issue a permit allowing the Eldred Preserve to discharge 17,000 gallons per day of treated effluent into Halfway Brook.

There was no public hearing on the permit, though there have been objections.

The new Eldred Preserve, which is currently under construction, includes a 4,000 square-foot restaurant and bar, 28 lodging units in nine buildings and an event space. The Halfway Brook is a pristine stream that challengers—including Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum—say deserves more protection than that which is afforded by the permit.

“Halfway Brook is a beautiful, healthy stream that supports both resident and stocked trout populations, is used by residents for swimming, and provides important and beautiful habitats enjoyed by residents and visitors alike,” van Rossum said. “The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is tremendously concerned about the impacts of this wastewater discharge on both the health of the stream and supported natural resources, as well as the way people view and use the stream and its surrounding habitats. Despite the outpouring of comments and concerns, including expert reviews, the NYDEC did not even do the community the courtesy of holding public hearings as required by law. This is the wrong treatment option in the wrong location,` and it was wrong of NYDEC to not give the public the hearing we are entitled to. We believe there are absolutely other alternatives that would support the proposed development and best protect the stream, NYDEC just didn’t require them.”

The DEC did accept written public comments on the project, and received 145 letters and emails with the vast majority of them urging the department not to approve the permit. The permit was approved on May 22.

In a previous statement provided in March, developer Dan Silna said, “When considering wastewater on the site, we rejected other options that, although more cost-effective, would have required the removal of five acres (or more) of trees.

“Instead, we are making the additional investment in a full wastewater treatment plant that requires that fewer trees be removed and ensures that the waste will be thoroughly treated so that there will be minimal impact on the Halfway Brook.”

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