Assemblymember Cahill: Assembly Passes Mining Permit Process Extension

April 30, 2004

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) announced the Assembly passed a measure that would extend the allotted time a municipality can react to the Department of Environmental Conservationís decision relating to local mining permits (A.8315).

The legislation extends from thirty to ninety days the period allowed for municipalities to react to a proposed mining project. "By offering local governments more time to respond to public comments, this progressive measure allows the municipality the opportunity to better formulate a response to the DEC regarding local mining proposals," said Assemblymember Cahill.

Concerned citizens and local governments alike have expressed their frustration with the current mine permitting process set forth by the New York State Uniform Procedures Law. When a mining permit is received, there are many items that need to be reviewed regarding the effect of the proposal. "Thirty days is not enough time to absorb all the details submitted with a mining project," said Mr. Cahill. "And when you add the publicís right to voice their concern and be heard, itís impossible for any entity to make sound decisions in such short time. The impact this can have on a community and on the environment is too important to shortchange the process"

Just recently, owners of property in the Town of Ulster raised public concerns with their plans to activate their limestone mining operation in the hamlet of Eddyville. "All sides of the debate should be heard," said the Assemblymember. "This measure will provide more time to each side to make their case Ė thus upholding the integrity of the process."

However, it is important to note that this bill still needs to pass the Senate and be signed into law by the Governor. "Itís time for my colleagues in the Senate and for the Governor to come to the table and agree to update this antiquated law," concluded Assemblymember Cahill.