Why aren't environment objections being investigated?

Vincent Ferri, the Goshen environmental activist, has written a letter further questioning the claims that the county will have less than an acre of soil disturbance in reconstructing the Orange County Government Center. He is questioning the claim that an acre and a half of parking will result in zero square feet of soil disturbance when it will be taking place on a known flood plain.

After having received the “Site Map” from Ms. Turturro yesterday, I commenced research on the contents of the document.

In particular, I was troubled by the quantum of soil disturbance [0 SF] at the location of the new parking facility, a 64,000 SF area partially located over the site of the old jail. It was my belief that although the specified “TUFFTRACK GRASSROAD PAVERS” are considered by the DEC to be a “GREEN” product when used properly. My contact with the NDS Corporation’s Technical Services Department indicates that the specification in this location and for this project is completely inappropriate.

The product is not designed for regular municipal parking facilities, and daily use will not maintain the growth of the grasses that would be planted there.

The manufacturer therefore does not recommend the use of this product for MUNICIPAL PARKING.

Additionally, the presence of relatively impervious soils under the proposed installation area, which is a site-wide condition, and the concomitant presence of a 100/500 Year Flood Plain contraindicates this product for specification in the application proposed for the OCGC new parking facility.

The manufacturer’s technical expert, indicates that while the product is very pervious to the passage of water, the use of the product in the proposed application would cause storm water to pool at the boundary between the subsurface base materials and migrate laterally to the area of least resistance which would be the Rio Grande, a tributary of the Wallkill River, a Federally Protected Waterway of the United States.

Further, milled “urban rubble” as described by CPL and construction rubble is NOT a suitable base material. In the type of installation proposed here the manufacturer recommends a consistent sub-base of a certain sized stone mixed with sand to make a stable and homogeneous mixture below the product.

The technical staff recommends, that if this product is used in this application significant storm water mitigation would be required, just as the two soil engineering firms have reported in the past. That mitigation would be in the form of significant areas for collection, such as catch basins and underground collection chambers connected by adequate piping to distribute the storm water.

It is clear that the DEC has turned a blind eye to the technical issues here and the reasons for that seem suspicious. It is also clear that Mr. Phil Clark will improperly specify materials that will create a significant liability for the County in order to illegally segment soil disturbance from the project at the expense of Orange County taxpayers. His actions in the light of the information I have found should place his actions in the area of criminal misrepresentation of the facts, and the filing of false documentation in order to criminally evade Federal and State oversight.

As the DEC seems to be determined to collaborate with Mr. Clark in his criminal endeavors, I recommend an immediate referral of this matter to either the NYS Attorney General for prosecution, or in the event that the corruption extends to Albany and the state Unified Court System under the influence of the Office of Court Administration, a Federal criminal complaint be filed with the U.S. Attorney’s office in White Plains.
— Vincent Ferri