Controversial project to appear before APA board this year
By Megan Plete Postol
The White Lake quarry project application has been deemed complete and is being reviewed by the Adirondack Park Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
“APA continues to coordinate with DEC on this project and anticipates bringing the proposal to the Agency Board for their consideration in 2022,” APA Public Information Officer Keith McKeever confirmed.
The Adirondack Park Agency is slated to meet on January 13 and 14. The board could vote on the proposed mining operation near White Lake in Forestport. The project has caused a stir among residents and APA records show more than 1,200 public comments were submitted. It is not clear if the board will take action, though the APA’s agenda includes a presentation during the regulatory programs committee. Staff have recommended approving it with conditions. You can view the agency’s agenda and records here: https://apa.ny.gov/Mailing/2022/01/index.htm.
The application, originally filed in the spring of 2021, is to create a pink granite quarry on Stone Quarry Road in northern Oneida County.
The project has significant opposition from residents of the White Lake area. The Adirondack White Lake Association, a group of landowners, hired an outside expert to review the quarry application. That expert reported the application to be substantially lacking in crucial studies of the impact to adjoining wildlife populations, water quality, and more.
At the APA’s monthly board meeting, held virtually on Dec. 16, 13 residents spoke against the project.
“I’ve been a resident of White Lake for 45 years and have done several projects and had to comply with the rules set by the APA and DEC,” said Sheila J. Cuccaro of Woodgate. “While my projects have had direct impact on the shoreline, being construction of boathouses, nothing I’ve done has had a direct impact on the population, human or animal, much less the environment. We were made to follow the letter of the law but that doesn’t seem to apply to the quarry project.
“During the course of the public sessions we have asked dozens of questions,” Ralph Cossa of Woodgate, stated during the meeting. “Has anyone read the mining expert’s report outlining the many application deficiencies? Has the APA done due diligence on Red Rock Quarry Associates? Have the APA and DEC standards changed since 2000 when a similar application was deemed incomplete? Where is the hydrology study? Where are the actual ambient noise measurements? To date, we have received no answers. All we hear is ‘thank you for your comments, who’s next?’ Our lawyers wrote to the DEC and APA asking that the Adirondack White Lake Association be granted party status regarding this application weeks ago; we have yet to receive the courtesy of a response. So I repeat, where is the transparency? Please answer our questions and tell us what’s going on and what comes next.”
The FOIL documents on the APA’s website were last updated Dec. 10, 2021.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add the Quarry is on the agenda for the APA’s upcoming January meeting.