DEC Plans Coal Tar Borings at Boat Club

ZBA notice time reduced

By Michael Turton          

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) notified the village that it will collect soil samples at the former manufactured gas plant (MGP), now site of the Cold Spring Boat Club, on Oct. 8 and 9. That came as a surprise to Cold Spring Village Trustees at their Sept. 30 workshop since at their meeting Sept. 4 they moved to ask DEC to reconsider its Record of Decision (ROD) regarding the removal of coal tar from the site. Coal tar is a highly toxic by-product of the MGP that operated there in the 19th century.

A letter requesting that the ROD be reopened was subsequently sent to DEC which had proposed removing only about 20 percent of the toxic substance, mainly from beneath the parking lot located on the  west side of the boat club building. The Village Board and a number of residents favor a more complete remediation, including removal of coal tar deposits from under the building. The work proposed for early October includes only the parking lot area – giving the impression that the Village Board’s request to reopen the ROD is perhaps being ignored.

It seems more likely that it is simply state bureaucracy at work. Campbell said that after the Sept. 4 meeting, DEC officials told him that the village request to reopen the ROD would take about two months to process. Campbell thinks the work proposed for October is associated with DEC’s original ROD and doesn’t take the village request into account. He will contact DEC to clarify the situation. Trustee Matt Francisco said that he is concerned with how the October works would dovetail with work undertaken later – if the expanded remediation proposed by the village becomes a reality.

The DEC notice states that the October borings, 30 in all, will not include any excavation and are intended only to more precisely locate the foundation of the MGP building.

ZBA notices reduced from 10 to five days

Following discussions at a number of previous meetings, trustees passed a resolution to amend the Village Code, reducing the minimum requirement for publication of notices of public hearings of the Zoning Board of Appeals from 10 to five days. The amendment applies only to notices published in the official newspaper, in this case the Putnam County News and Recorder, and does not affect notices sent directly to nearby property owners. The vote was unanimous. Mayor Ralph Falloon had supported the amendment in the past.

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