Back in November 2009, when O&G first presented its plan for using the old railroad bed as a truck route from the quarry to the deep-water dock before the Greenport Planning Board, it came as a surprise to everyone that O&G's Patrick Prendergast had in hand a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation. How could the DEC have issued a permit for work in the freshwater wetland without doing an environmental review?
One of the people present at the November meeting was Mark Wildonger of Scenic Hudson, and a month later, Scenic Hudson challenged the permit on a number of grounds with the Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board. The DEC moved that Scenic Hudson's appeal be dismissed because it was not filed in a timely fashion. The permit was issued on October 30, 2009. Scenic Hudson's appeal was filed on December 24, 2009. The DEC argued that Scenic Hudson had 30 days to appeal the permit, and the 30 days started on October 30--the effective date of the permit. Scenic Hudson maintained that there was no public knowledge of the permit until November 24, when Prendergast waved it about at the Greenport Planning Board meeting. (A point of interest: The cover letter, signed by Michael Higgins and dated October 30, indicates that copies of the permit went to the Greenport Planning Board and to the Mayor of Hudson.)
Yesterday Sam Pratt reported that on February 2, 2010, the Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board denied DEC's motion to dismiss Scenic Hudson's appeal. Click through Sam's report to download the FWAB's decision and order.