Sand Land Suffers Setback In Court

Loading up on mulch from John Tintle’s Sand Land pit, as seen from one of Sam and Keith Christiansen’s surveillance cameras.

The New York State Supreme Court Justice presiding over the legal battle between the Sand Land Corporation and its owner John Tintle and the Town of Southampton may have taken a decisive turn last week after she issued a temporary injunction preventing the company from processing mulch on the property at 585 Middle Line Highway in Noyac.

The order, signed by New York State Supreme Court Justice Denise Molia, prohibits Sand Land from “processing trees, brush, stumps, leaves and other clearing debris into top soil or mulch and from storing, selling, or delivering mulch, top soil, and wood chips.” The restraining order goes further, in that it also prohibits “the receiving and processing of concrete, asphalt, brick, rock, and stone into concrete or a concrete mixture.”

The temporary order which Molia signed on June 11 will be in effect until a hearing is held next month on the years-old dispute between the town and Tintle.

In her decision, Molia also found the company appears to have violated previous court decisions, as well as a decision by the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, restricting the use of the property. Molia writes in her decision, “Although defendants may want to return to the days of old and continue preexisting operations at the subject premises, the Second Department decision and the ZBA determination limit the scope of activities at the subject premises.”

Assemblyman Fred Thiele applauded the judge’s action this week. “This decision is a major victory for the environment, the Town, and our community at large. However, there is still plenty of work to be done with regard to the mining operations at Sand Land that have posed a real and continuing to threat to our environment and the viability of our drinking water,” Thiele said in a press release.

He continued, “I have recently introduced legislation that provides for the regulation of mining and the reclamation of mines on Long Island.”

The legislation implements Suffolk County grand jury recommendations to better protect water quality, by providing new regulatory authority to counties and local governments over mining activities and eliminating current permit exemptions for mining relating to construction activities and agricultural activities.

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