BALLSTON SPA – It’s been a long journey for Dolomite Products Company Inc., an asphalt mixing company, to fulfill its desire to set up shop at the Curtis Lumber Industrial Park. Dolomite has faced critical residents and sparred against Ballston town leaders in court but now, it looks as though Dolomite has yet another obstacle to face.
Attorney Claudia K. Braymer of Caffry & Flower Attorneys at Law in Glens Falls, recently submitted a letter on behalf of Citizens for a Clean Environment (CCE) to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), Ballston Town Supervisor Patrick Ziegler and Planning Board Chairman Richard Doyle, urging all parties to “stop unpermitted activities within the Curtis Industrial Park adjacent to, and within, the Dolomite site.”
In the letter, obtained by The Ballston Journal Online, Braymer alleges members of the CCE discovered new, private railroad tracks laid on the lands owned by Curtis Industrial Park, adjacent to the site of Dolomite’s proposed asphalt plant.
“Upon information and belief, the bed and the new tracks were installed without the necessary approvals from the proper authorities,” Braymer writes.
The CCE is a local grassroots movement started in part by David and Ann Pierce. The group believes Dolomite’s proposed project, if it comes to fruition, will damage the surrounding environment and Ballston Lake.
The group also claims in the letter that they believe material is now being stored on the Dolomite site, a violation of the town’s zoning code and a violation of applicable wetlands regulations, since the railroad tracks appear to be located in, and/or immediately adjacent to, DEC-regulated wetlands and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdictional wetlands.
“Therefore, due to the potential violations shown above, and the prior wetlands violations in the Curtis Industrial Park, the Town, DEC, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should issue cease and desist orders to Curtis Industrial Park LLC, and to Dolomite, to stop the unpermitted activities within the Curtis Industrial Park adjacent to, and within, the Dolomite site. All involved agencies should rigorously investigate these matters and initiate enforcement action,” writes Braymer.
Braymer, on behalf of the CCE, also believes Dolomite’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement must consider and contain an assessment of the environmental impacts from the use of the railroad next to the Dolomite site.
Dolomite first applied for approval to construct a hot-mix asphalt plant in the Curtis Industrial Park on Route 67 in 2011 and has faced significant opposition from residents and board members since then; including what Dolomite’s legal team call an “illegal spot zone” a couple of years ago, where the Town of Ballston passed a new local law which re-zoned the property encompassing the Curtis Lumber Industrial Park, essentially blocking the asphalt plant from moving in.
In response, Dolomite’s legal team filed a lawsuit against the Town of Ballston in the summer of 2014. State Supreme Court Justice Ann C. Crowell ruled in favor of Dolomite, which meant the town had to resume environmental review of the company’s site-plan application.
Last fall, Judge Crowell issued a restraining order against the town that requires review to resume while she considers the lawsuit, meaning the last law the town passed related to banning heavy industry, cannot be applied to Dolomite’s application.
Ballston Town Attorney, James Walsh, could not be reached for comment.
Dolomite is a division of Callanan Industries of Schenectady, a leading supplier of paving materials and construction services in the state.
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