UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) –The owner of the proposed White Lake Granite Quarry, Thomas Sunderlin, has composed a letter to White Lake residents addressing their concerns and clearing up any misinformation they may have about the proposed mining site.
“We are not digging hundreds or thousands of feet into the earth to extract our material,” Sunderlin explained. “This project will not quarry below 10 feet above the high ground water level.”
Sunderlin also stressed that the application is not yet complete, to get a mining permit an application must be approved by both the Adirondack Park Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Since sending their initial application in early April the DEC and the APA have requested additional information from Sunderlin and his business associate, David Shank from Strategic Mining Solutions based in Frankfort. When I reached out to the APA for a comment, they said that they do not comment on projects that are pending review. I reached out to the DEC as well and they sent a written statement saying, “DEC subjects all permit applications for proposed projects to a rigorous review to ensure public health and the environment are protected.”
Many residents of Forestport were alerted to the proposed quarry after Devan Cornish, whose grandmother owns property next to the project site on White Lake, posted to the Forestport Facebook community group informing residents about it.
“We’ve had tremendous outpouring of support,” Cornish said. “Folks don’t even know this is going on, we wouldn’t know if we weren’t adjoining landowners so that was the biggest part of this was to call attention. You know if we don’t stand up, get this out to the people we’ve basically been told by the agencies that this will slide right through.”
The proposed quarry would be located on Stone Quarry Road approximately nine miles north of the Forestport town center. There is already an existing quarry on the property. It was operated by the Oneida Pink Granite company based in Utica in the 1920s. White Lake residents came together to create a petition to stop the mining permit from being approved two days ago and already have over 300 signatures.
“We started the petition on short notice,” Sheila Cuccaro, a White Lake Homeowner said. “The APA told us we had until this coming weekend to have 100 signatures or it was a done deal.”