DEC Loses Latest Round in Sand Land Court Fight

Surveillance camera footage of crews operating at the Sand Land mine in Noyac on June 7. (Courtesy of Noyac Civic Council)

An appeals court panel has rejected a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation motion to stay a ruling that nixed the DEC’s permit for a Sand Land, a controversial Noyac sand mine.

The Appellate Division, Third Department panel ruled by a 3-2 margin against a motion, which would have allowed the mine to continue operating while the case proceeds. It is unclear if the DEC will ask the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, to hear the case.

“It is now time for the state DEC to respect the rule of law,” state Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) said. “Instead of wasting time and money on continued litigation, the more prudent course of action would be to enforce the law, protect water quality and the environment, and close the mine.”

The appellate division previously ruled that the DEC erred in granting the permit allowing Sand Land to operate in a town where mining is prohibited.

The mine has raised concerns that it could impact drinking water quality by removing sand that filters water seeping into the aquifer from where water is drawn. Neighbors have also raised concerns that the mine has been operating after the court ruling and the town issuing a stop-work order.

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