Lowe’s Property – What Has Been Left Behind?

Filed under: Around Town,News |

Now that Lowe’s has pulled the plug on its Huntington project we must ask the question what has been left behind?. Essentially we have a 17 acre piece of land that has been denuded of vegetation and a steep slope destroyed. In its present condition this land area is now ripe for erosion, especially along the steeper slopes, and now there is an increased risk of sedimentation and contaminated stormwater runoff entering the surrounding roadways.

Storm water runoff is a major pollutant of concern according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Runoff from construction sites carry pollutants that include sediment, floatable debris, and increased nitrogen and phosphorus loading. These types of contaminates adversely impact surface water quality in area ponds, lakes, streams as well as our tidal waters. Sediment also fills local street catchbasins, which creates the need for increased maintenance activities that are costly to municipalities. Dust from the associated site may also affect air quality within the surrounding area.

In an effort to ensure that these problems are minimized at this facility, the Town of Huntington should engage Lowe’s to take appropriate action. First the property should have an existing storm water pollution prevention plan in place, that complies to the EPA’s Phase II stormwater regulations. The Town of Huntington and the State of New York should ensure that such a plan exists, and has been updated, for the Lowe’s property and that this plan is being adhered to.

Heavy fines are possible from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for non-compliance. Immediate steps that should be taken include stabilizing all steep slopes with erosion control matting and vegetation.  All disturbed areas should be stabilized through hydroseeding, etc. A grass cover will reduce dust concerns as well as erosion and sedimentation which, in turn reduces the amount of runoff from the site.

All silt fence around the site should be properly installed and routinely checked. This fence should be trenched in about 6 inches deep to ensure sediment will not travel underneath the fence, a situation that is seen all too often on other construction sites. The Huntingtonian will continue to monitor the environmental concerns at this location and will report as to the progress of the site in future articles.

Facebook Comments must be signed into Facebook

You must be logged in to post a comment Login