Protect Our Windmill Water

    The quality and protection of our local water resource is a top priority and we believe there is a clear and present danger to our community's most precious natural resource. Together we need to take action to stop reckless behaviors that threaten our delicate drinking water supply. Inaction could potentially lead to disruptions to current and future water needs, negatively impact property values and threaten public health.

    We have been trying to get the attention of Supervisor Schiliro concerning illegal activities taking place within the gravel pits, 84-acres of Town-owned wetlands located between Windmill Road and Middle Patent Road. The gravel pits are where the wells that supply drinking water for Windmill Farm and Coman Hill School are located.

    There is currently a large stockpile of asphalt millings that we discovered has been continually dumped here and growing in volume since 2017.

    This is a threat to our drinking water because highway millings, commonly called "Reclaimed Asphalt Particles" (RAP) have been shown to leach toxins that can contaminate ground water. Such toxic components include petroleum hydrocarbons as well as heavy metals including lead, which can be a significant source of ground water contamination.

    None of the standard environmental protections are employed to prevent contaminated runoff. The RAP pile sits within the wetlands buffer, designated as a "Critical Environmental Area" by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, with no impervious barrier beneath, above, or surrounding it. No tarps are used to help prevent storm water from infiltrating; and no hay bale or silt fence surrounds the RAP mound to prevent runoff from contaminating the groundwater or the west branch of the Mianus River which is less than 30' away.

    The heavy equipment pictured above is used by a private contractor to process debris into mulch and topsoil which it sells to local commercial nurseries. The Town Board has permitted this activity rent-free and without a contract. The wood debris pile (left) and fill piles (right) that have been dumped by the Town as well as by private landscape companies to supply the recycling operation have not been tested, so there is no way to know if this material contains impurities that could further erode the gravel pit environment.

    Supervisor Schiliro said that he would stop the recycling operation and have the mulch and heavy machinery removed by the end of June. To date, much of the mulch has been taken away (good news) but no attempt has been made to remove the RAP or other debris piles.

    I have been trying for weeks, without success, to get the Supervisor to publicly commit to remedies including:

    (1) Immediately stop dumping millings and other debris at this site and the highway yard downtown,

    (2) Begin removing the RAP pile and other debris piles immediately - and publicly commit to a timetable for completing the job,

    (3) Hire an environmental consultant to determine the extent of residual contamination at both sites, and

    (4) Remediate any environmental damage that may have been done.

    Please help us by signing this petition to send to Supervisor Schiliro, and please forward this email to your Windmill neighbors and anyone that you know who has a kid at Coman Hill School. We all drink the same water.
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