Quarry representative addresses concerns about noise, traffic
By Megan Plete Postol
A proposed pink granite quarry has residents in the White Lake region of the southern Adirondacks distraught.
Public outcry began when property owner Devan Cornish posted in the Forestport NY Community Facebook group regarding a letter he received from the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), informing him as an adjoining landowner that the APA had received a permit application for a quarry on the east side of White Lake, in the Town of Forestport in northern Oneida County.
The news set in motion a wave of action from concerned citizens.
BECOME AN EXPLORER: Your support helps power nonprofit journalism for the Adirondacks
An online petition was created at savewhitelake.org and circulated heavily on social media. The collected signatures are submitted to the APA, Department of Environmental Conservation and area politicians.
“Our voices are strong,” Michelle Gardner of Forestport said. “Preserving this area is so important.”
The top concerns noted by locals were blasting noise, traffic and water quality.
“The news of a quarry on White Lake is devastating,” said Chelsey Foley, whose family has a cabin on Capron Road near White Lake. “Not only will it make it loud, dusty and busy, but our beautiful lake will never be the same. We spend every weekend at the lake with our family and this quarry will ruin that for years and years.”
Quarry representative responds
The quarry application was submitted by Thomas Sunderlin and prepared by David Shank of Strategic Mining Solutions LLC. It seeks an APA project permit and a DEC mined-land reclamation permit for a proposed site on Stone Quarry Road.” The road is off state Route 28 about 9 miles north of the hamlet of Forestport.
Sign up for news updates
Our “Adk News Briefing” newsletter sends out the top stories of the week.
Catrina Sunderlin, daughter of applicant Thomas Sunderlin, offered some clarification on what exactly is being proposed.
There are two different types of quarries, she said: aggregate quarries and dimensional quarries.
An aggregate quarry, for pulverized stone, is the most common type and can create a lot of dust if the mining is above ground. This type often mines well below the ground by using large blasts, Sunderlin said. An example she offered is the Hanson quarry in Forestport.
What is proposed in White Lake is instead a dimensional quarry to produce large blocks. That type involves “surgical extraction” to remove the stone, according to Sunderlin. This includes some small blasts, or “micro-blasting,” but the primary mode of extraction is through the use of drills, expandable grout and diamond band saws.
Regarding traffic concerns, Sunderlin said, “This permit requests no more than five trucks per day or 25 trucks per week; this has an insignificant impact on local traffic. There will not be hundreds of trucks per day coming in and out of the quarry.”
Some residents had expressed frustration that the permitting process had happened in secret. Sunderlin said there will be a public comment period, but the application was not formally submitted until April, and the APA has yet to determine that it has received enough information to consider it complete. “Once the application is deemed complete, the public comment period begins.”
Officials from the APA reiterated that the project application is still being processed, and declined to comment further. “APA does not comment on projects that are pending review,” spokesman Keith McKeever said.
McKeever said that the project application files have been uploaded to the APA homepage at www.apa.ny.gov. Click here to go directly to documents detailing the project.
Subscribe to the Adirondack Explorer app for only $8!
Access a year’s worth of content from Adirondack Explorer magazine
on your mobile device, which includes our annual Outings Guide.
Use the code EXPLORE at checkout