04/17/14 3:00pm
04/17/2014 3:00 PM
Traces of chemicals harmful to humans and wildlife have been found in the Peconic River in the area of the Connecticut Avenue boat launch in Calverton. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Traces of chemicals harmful to humans and wildlife have been found in the Peconic River in the area of the Connecticut Avenue boat launch in Calverton. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A multimillion-dollar chemical treatment facility currently pumping toxic contaminated groundwater from the Enterprise Park at Calverton — left over from years of pollution at the former Grumman site — is meeting its goals thus far, officials said last week. And while the large plume is not traveling underneath the Peconic River, as feared when it was first reported five years ago, it will take several more years of treatment before it is cleaned up.  (more…)

04/15/14 11:12am
04/15/2014 11:12 AM
Youth lacrosse players scramble for a ground ball in Riverhead. Parents are proposing an artificial turf field be built at EPCAL. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Youth lacrosse players scramble for a ground ball in Riverhead. Parents are proposing an artificial turf field be built at EPCAL. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

A group of about 15 parents asked Riverhead Town’s recreation advisory committee to build a multi-purpose artificial turf field for lacrosse, soccer and football at the EPCAL site in Calverton.  (more…)

04/04/14 10:00am
04/04/2014 10:00 AM

EPCAL_sign

Sewer district superintendent Michael Reichel rightly calls the paradox in improving the sewer infrastructure at the Enterprise Park at Calverton a “chicken-and-egg type of thing.” With relatively little development on the 2,900-acre parcel, it’s hard to pay for upgrades. And with no upgrades, it’s tough to draw new development.

(more…)

04/03/14 6:00am
04/03/2014 6:00 AM
EPCAL Sandy cars

The western runway at EPCAL in June 2013. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

To the editor:

I would like to state my agreement with George Bartunek’s Guest Spot last week about positioning the solar farm on the runway at the Enterprise Park at Calverton instead of destroying 30 acres of natural beauty and, at the same time, an important asset in climate control. (more…)

04/01/14 9:49pm
04/01/2014 9:49 PM
EPCAL is home to at least two endangered species. (Courtesy photo)

EPCAL is home to at least two endangered species. (Courtesy photo)

Despite striking out at the lower court and appellate court levels, Riverhead Town can challenge a set of new state Department of Environmental Conservation regulations that established stringent new rules for the protection of endangered and threatened species, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday.  (more…)

03/30/14 8:00am
03/30/2014 8:00 AM
EPCAL Sandy cars

The western runway at EPCAL in June 2013. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The Riverhead Town Board recently passed a number of resolutions that “pre-qualify” a several firms to submit proposals for the construction of a solar photovoltaic plant at the Enterprise Park at Calverton. The location of such an installation would be the proposed subdivided lots located near the south end of the 7,000-foot runway.

Although the North Fork Environmental Council certainly supports the use of such green technology to meet our energy needs, we have to wonder why this project cannot be considered for construction on the runway itself. The western runway at EPCAL occupies approximately 30-plus acres and would certainly provide more than a substantial base for the infrastructure for the solar panels.

Extrapolations based on power generation from the BP/Met Life Long Island Solar Farm at Brookhaven National Laboratory indicate that a power plant constructed on the 7,000-foot runway would conservatively supply 7.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. This would provide enough renewable power for approximately 800 homes, with maximum solar energy generation occurring during the summer months when the demand for electricity is greatest due to air-conditioning loads. Data provided for the 200-acre solar farm at BNL indicates that a solar farm on the EPCAL runway would offset approximately 5,400 metric tons of carbon annually.

In order to allow the town to subdivide and partially develop land at EPCAL, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is requiring that the town cover the 7,000-foot runway with soil to partially compensate for the clearing and removal of grasslands and trees.

The NFEC questions the wisdom of this proposal.

If my calculations are correct, covering the 30-acre runway with six inches of soil would require depositing approximately 24,000 cubic yards. Assuming an average dump truck capacity of 20 cubic yards means this would require something on the order of 1,200 truckloads. Needless to say, this mandate would be a very expensive endeavor with questionable environmental benefit. One must also ask where all this valuable topsoil would be transported from.

Naturally, the North Fork Environmental Council supports the town’s interest in establishing a solar farm at EPCAL. Such an installation would help meet increasing demand for electricity and help New York reach the goal of producing 30 percent of its energy needs through renewable means by 2015.

But why not use the runway for the solar farm and preserve 30 acres of trees or grassland elsewhere?

bartunek_George Bartunek is a Riverhead resident and vice president of the North Fork Environmental Council.

03/25/14 6:00am
03/25/2014 6:00 AM

EPCAL_sign

Wading River Civic Association will hold a meeting Thursday, March 27, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Wading River Congregational Church auditorium.

The guest speaker will be Riverhead Town Councilman George Gabrielsen, who will discuss a proposal for a 90-acre energy park at EPCAL. The meeting is open to the public.