Statement From Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. on the Court of Appeals Decision in the Sand Land Case

Today, the New York State Court of Appeals unanimously annulled the mining permits illegally granted by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to expand the sand land mine in my assembly district. The court found that the DEC violated the state law regulating mining on Long Island, which is designed to protect our groundwater. The DEC illegally ignored the home rule authority of the Town of Southampton to regulate land use and to protect the environment through its zoning power. Instead, the DEC sided with industry at the expense of the environment and the public.

Today’s state court of appeals decision upholds the intent of the state legislature to protect our drinking water by striking down the illegal expansion of industrial uses which threaten our environment.This is a victory for the public and for clean water. With the mining permits annulled, the DEC must now immediately close this illegal mine. No further delays can be tolerated.