Newsday: Glen Cove Group calls Garvies Point example of “unaccountable governance”

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/glen-cove-government-overhaul-1.19159661

 

…years of audits by the state comptroller’s office critical of the city’s financial practices and the approval by the IDA of large tax breaks — including more than $200 million for the Garvies Point development in 2016 — as examples of what he called unaccountable governance. The mayor appoints members of the Industrial Development Agency.

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CSW Updates on Garvies Point Waterfront

March 13, 2017

Construction Begins on Garvies Point Road and Parcel B of the Site.

 

April 5, 2017

Committee For A Sustainable Waterfront (CSW) files a second lawsuit based on the City of Glen Cove’s adoption of a different stormwater management system which was not subjected to environmentally required studies.

Just as we alleged in our new lawsuit, the development began to cause contaminated discharge into the Creek.

 

May 17, 2017

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was notified of heavy muddy discharge into Creek on the north seawall of Glen Cove Creek.

 

June 9, 2017

Preliminary testing of the discharge show contaminants above legal limits. Water samples from the discharge showed contaminations were present in excess of legally permitted levels.

 

July, 9 2017

CSW Issues a Notice of Intent to file suit under the Federal Clean Water Act against the City of Glen Cove regarding violations of the Clean Water Act and NY State law (“SPDES”). The purpose is to put the owners and/or operators of the development on notice of the ongoing and continuous violations of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.

 

July 21, 2017

The DEC issues a stop-discharge Order.

 

August 3, 2017

The DEC grants developer RXR’s request to allow discharge of PCE (tetrachloroethene) limits above previously imposed limits “for the short term” during construction. However, the DEC makes clear that at no time can this discharge cause a visible plume in Glen Cove Creek.

 

August 21, 2017

RXR’s consultant states that six sampling events conducted from May 26 to June 8, 2017 indicated several consistent exceedances of the effluent criteria for lead, manganese, TDS, and tetrachloroethene (PCE). As a result of eight sampling events on the southern portion of the Site conducted from June 27 through July 20, 2017,

“Water quality was found to be like that of the French Drain System with slightly higher concentrations of chlorinated VOCs (CVOCs), TSS and PCBs.” The “discharge was ceased on July 21, 2017.” (This information and these quotes are from the developer’s “new” Dewatering Plan [and the emails between the Developer and the DEC contained therein]) that the Developer was required to submit to the DEC before construction could continue. While the DEC is looking at the contaminated discharge, the law requires the lead agency of the project, which is the City of Glen Cove Planning Board, to examine all of the environmental impacts of a project and not to push off that review to a regulatory agency, such as the DEC or the EPA.

 

Specifically, the law states the following:

While a lead agency is encouraged to consider the opinions of experts and other agencies, it must exercise its own judgment in determining whether a particular circumstance adversely impacts the environment. Though the SEQRA process and individual agency permitting processes are intertwined, they are two distinct avenues of environmental review. Provided that a lead agency sufficiently considers the environmental concerns addressed by particular permits, the lead agency need not await another agency’s permitting decision before exercising its independent judgment on that issue.

The arguments that are presently before the court in the new lawsuit and that were also made in the first lawsuit challenging the City’s approval of the amended project plan, is that the City of Glen Cove never sufficiently considered the environmental concerns addressed by project’s particular permits, including the stormwater management plan and that is why the problems and contamination is continuing and is discharging into the Creek. Thankfully, we have been watching them and are on top of this, otherwise it could be a lot worse.

 

August 29 and September 1, 2017

The CSW apprises the Court of the Stop Discharge Order and submits additional legal briefs to the court in support of its lawsuit.

 

September 1, 2017

The CSW requests a hearing from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). We seek a hearing regarding RXR’s permit to evidence the alarming deficiencies in the Environmental Impact Assessment Process conducted by the City of Glen Cove Planning Board. This is also currently subject to an Article 78 hearing in New York State Supreme Court. The USACE was informed that the County of Nassau and the City of Glen Cove are in violation of the Clean Water Act for failing to adequately implement the “Minimum Control Measures” for the Garvies Point Development which are required by the State.

 

September 7, 2017

Appeal of the first Article 78 lawsuit filed by the CSW. A good part of the appeal is based upon the false statements made by the City which concern the clean-up status of several parcels of the Project Site. The City has falsely stated that all parcels of the land were in DEC clean-up programs. The DEC repeatedly, in writing, admonished the City for making these false statements.

In response, rushing to get the Project approved, the City changed the deed on those parcels of land. After the City then approved the Project, it changed that same deed again, this time citing errors in the boundaries and lot lines – proving that the boundaries and lot lines in the first changed deed, which were the basis of the City’s approvals, were erroneous. It also demonstrated the likelihood that the City changed the deed to circumvent the DEC who would not allow any more parcels into a clean-up program due to lack of funding.

All of this is shown to the court with the DEC’s written statements admonishing the City along with the deeds that specifically state that the first changed deed was “erroneous.”

 

On-Going Monitoring at Garvies Point by CSW and the Future

The CSW is investigating bringing a federal suit. We will continue to monitor and submit written challenges to all the State and Federal agencies who have to approve permits for this project and we will continue to issue Freedom of Information requests from all relevant agencies.

CSW has also shown up with many of its members at Nassau County legislative hearings when County approvals have been considered – we will continue to show up and to present our opposition to County approval of this project. The issues regarding sewer hookups, water, and coastal erosion, to name a few, are issues that the County has ignored with regard to this project.

Our on-going fight to protect our environment – both our legal efforts and our public outreach – is the best and only way to stop the overdevelopment and environmental destruction of our neighborhood. We ask you to pass this letter to your friends, neighbors, and family so more people can be informed about our cause. We ask you to write letters to the editor expressing the facts of the development and our legal efforts.

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RXR proceeding with development in an unlawful & dangerous way

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) has released the results of testing of discharges that were recently observed to be flowing from the RXR construction site at Garvies Point into Glen Cove Creek. They found:

  • carcinogenic volatile organic compounds (chlorinated solvents)
  • heavy metals
  • PCBs
  • suspended solids (particulate matter)
  • radioisotopes (radioactive material)

were being discharged into the creek in excess of legally permitted levels.

This contamination emanated from drains that were installed on the site during construction activities for RXR’s development.  Instead of seeking a solution to this troubling problem, RXR instead sought “relief” from the DEC and begged to be permitted to continue to poison our waters.

RXR has just been caught red-handed proceeding with the Garvies Point development in an unlawful & dangerous way. These impacts highlight the negligent approach of the City of Glen Cove and RXR – build first and ask questions later. How do you feel about that?


Take a moment to write or call our officials in opposition to this development – cite the news of these toxins.

  1. Contact Governor Cuomo’s Office using this link
  2. Contact Nassau County Executive’s Office using this link
  3. Contact Senator Marcellino’s Office using this link
  4. Contact Assemblyman Lavine using this link
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Meet us at Sunset Serenade – every Thurs evening

Volunteer members of the Committee for a Sustainable Waterfront will be at a table set up in the front of the Sunset Serenade, held in Sea Cliff’s Veteran’s Memorial Park (off Prospect Ave), each Thursday evening from 7:30 – 9:30 PM.

Stop by and discuss all of the actions we’re taking to try to keep development at Garvies Point something reasonable and complementary to our North Shore. Volunteers and and ideas always welcome!

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Read our Legal Appeal

Congratulations to all CSW members who worked so hard over the past six months in fundraising and of course the legal and technical experts who assisted with our new legal appeal. We just filed and invite you to read it:


New York Supreme Court Appellate Division – Second Department
In the Matter of the Application of
Docket No.: 2016-10030

Our favorite part? The verbatim quotes from Glen Cove’s own Planning Board Members:

  • It “is three times bigger in the footprint;”
  • “everybody is worried about the complete mass of the westerly building. It just seems overwhelming;”
  • “[i]t just looks very, very big;”
  • “the building to the west is a lot bigger;”
  • “I understand the twelve-foot story — the twelve-story building on the waterside creates the greatest amount of views, but it’s creating the greatest amount of views for people living there, not the people who have to look at it;”
  • “as you are so close to the water, you are on top of it;”
  • “holy cow that western building is going to be huge right on the Point.”

 

Also read our new Notice of Intent to File Suit under the Federal Clean Water Act

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Newsday: “Nassau launches new study on contamination at Glen Cove beach”

FROM NEWSDAY:

 

Nassau County is conducting a study on what is causing the water contamination that has kept Glen Cove’s Crescent Beach closed since 2009.

But don’t expect the beach to open this summer. The study likely won’t be complete until the end of June. Even if the source of contamination is found, cleanup could take months or years, said Brian Schneider, assistant to the deputy commissioner of public works.

The county health department will decide when the beach is safe.

The main reason swimmers and bathers have been barred from wading into Long Island Sound from Crescent is high levels of bacteria. The county has tried before to determine the reason for the contamination, but it’s still a mystery.

“This is like finding a needle in a haystack,” Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello said at a recent City Council work session discussion on the problem.

Schneider said the current study, by Woodbury-based D&B Engineers and Architects, is more detailed than previous ones.

“We’re looking at pathogens and bacteria, and we’re looking at nitrogen,” Schneider said. “We’re looking at any potential contaminant that would reduce the water quality.”

D&B will begin taking groundwater samples this month. Samples will also be taken from a stream after rainstorms. Holbrook-based Long Island Analytical Laboratories will analyze the samples.

The $51,000 for the study is from $12 million in bonds the county approved in 2014 to look into expanding sewer systems on the North Shore. Schneider said the problems in the Crescent Beach area could stem from groundwater that has been contaminated from septic systems that are faulty or not properly maintained.

Even if that is not the source, the septic systems may be causing other contamination or could do so in the future, Schneider said. That is why the county is looking into alternatives.

A sewer system in areas near Crescent Beach would cost about $37.5 million for 152 homes — or $247,000 per home, plus homeowners’ costs to connect with the sewer system, Schneider said. The high cost is due in part to the neighborhood’s hilly topography.

“That’s just not economical,” Schneider said. “There have to be other — and there are other — mechanisms that are being explored.”

One much cheaper potential alternative the county is examining is installing technologically advanced sewage-treatment equipment in residents’ basements or garages, Schneider said.

 

Read article on Newsday.com

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Garvies Point Contaminants – notes from DEC Application

(3) SVOCs

Fifteen (15) of the samples analyzed had results that exceeded the Protection of Groundwater SCO, with some results also exceeding the Restricted Residential Use (RRU) SCO. Protection of Groundwater exceedances were noted for benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, and pentaclorophenol. RRU SCO exceedances were benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, and indeno(1,2,3-cd) pyrene. These SVOCs are typical of petroleum related compounds, with concentrations generally increasing to the east.

 

Metals

Metals were detected above the Protection of Groundwater SCO in thirty-four (34) of the samples, and above the Restricted Residential Use SCO in seven (7) samples. Exceedances included arsenic, cadmium, chromium (III), manganese, nickel, and selenium.

 

(5) Pesticides / Herbicides

Pesticides and herbicides were detected above the Protection of Groundwater SCO for alpha-BHC in two samples, LT-T-007 and LT-T-008. Samples LT-T-002 through LT-T-012 all exceeded the RRU SCO for aldrin.

 

TOGS 5.9.1

In addition to analysis of samples in accordance with Part 375, analysis was performed in accordance with the NYSDEC Technical & Operational Guidance Series (TOGS) 5.9.1: In-Water and Riparian Management of Sediment and Dredged Material. Forty-five (45) of the forty-seven (47) samples had exceedances that result in classification of the sediments as Class B: Moderate Contamination – Chronic Toxicity to Aquatic Life. Twenty-seven (27) of the samples had exceedances that qualify those sediments as Class C: Acute Toxicity to Aquatic Life.

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