An application to re-open the gravel mine at lower end of the Oblong Valley has been filed with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC has given notice that the application is complete. The town and neighbors of the Kent Hollow Mine were taken by surprise. They were unawares that the mining company had renewed its application. The DEC issued a Negative Dec on a prior application in 2012, but after a public outcry, and subsequent legal action, the application was withdrawn.
The town and the Oblong Valley Association have not had a chance to review the newest application or to make comments to the DEC which is the lead agency for the environmental review. Late last week the neighbors were scrambling to find out the details and to marshal a team. Neighbors were already writing letters expressing fears of an industrial activity in a bucolic, scenic and residential area.
The DEC again granted the applicant a Negative Dec, which means the department has concluded that the project is a Type I action “and will not have a significant effect on the environment”. The DEC, in a notice dated Nov. 10, claims “A coordinated review with other involved agencies was performed and a Negative Declaration is on file.” It appears that notice of the filing had been given to the Amenia Planning Board that failed to alert the town board, the CAC or other interested parties.
The officer at the DEC who is handling this application is Scott Ballard at the NYSDEC Region 3 Headquarters in New Paltz. His phone number is 845 256 3054.
There was no notice of the completed application posted in the Millerton News of November 17. After notice is made in the November 24 edition, there will be 30 days for comment unless the DEC agrees to extend the comment period.