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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