Avalon Bay Soil Management Plan Raises Concern
Many have been wondering what specifically is happening at the Avalon Bay property in Huntington Station as major land clearing has commenced. According to the Town Public Information Officer, A.J. Carter, the sites soil remediation program has begun. The Town Planning Board gave clearance for this phase of the project at it’s January 18th, 2012 meeting. The soils management plan was prepared by the environmental consulting firm of Nelson Pope & Voorhis. The first phase of the Avalon Development is to remove contaminated soil (Arsenic) and bury the material on site. Arsenic is a pesticide compound that was frequently used in the past on many Long Island farmlands including the Avalon property. More specifically the plan calls for the clearing and grubbing of the entire 26.58 acre site and scrape anywhere from 1-4 feet of the uppermost soil layer from the entire site. It is estimated that 165,000 cubic yards of soil will be scraped. According to the plan, the contaminated soil will be buried on-site directly beneath the proposed storm water pond that will be installed in the middle of the Avalon development. There will be a period of time that the excavated contaminated soil will be stored on-site and remain above ground prior to burial. The sequence of operations of the plan include:
Clearing and Grubbing the site in order to remove all trees and vegetation (currently underway).
Once the site is cleared the surface soils from the area of the proposed pond/surface pit would be scraped and stockpiled on-site.
Contractor will then excavate the pond/disposal pit where the contaminated soil will be buried.
Once the pit is excavated the stockpiled soil will be pushed into the excavation. Then the arsenic contaminated soils from the remaining areas will be scraped and pushed into the excavation (165,000 cubic yards of material).
Once the Soils Management Plan is completed, the pond will be formed and a liner will be installed in order to cap the contaminated soil.
Once this component is completed then the rest of the construction will commence to include the installation of foundations, roadways, home construction, turf, etc. This of course providing all building permits are in place at this point.
Some concerns based upon our initial field observation include no sediment and erosion control in place on the site even though it is mandated as per the Environmental Protection Agency’s Phase II stormwater regulations specifically as it relates to areas of soil disturbance greater than one acre. Sediment and erosion control is specifically mentioned in the soils management plan including construction fencing, silt fence, catch basin inlet protection, etc, however none is evident on the site as June 27. Additionally, surrounding neighbors are concerned about the increased noise from the railroad as the vegetative buffer is being removed. Concerns have also surfaced regarding no imminent notification to the surrounding community especially due to the fact that contaminated soils are now being disturbed and sediment dust may potentially become airborne.