EPCAL rail spur hits snag with state

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The section of the rail spur that ends at Metro Terminals of Long Island which store and distribute eco-friendly heating oil in EPCAL should be completed by the fall..

Riverhead Town’s plans for a commission to fast-track development proposals at the Calverton Enterprise Park isn’t the only thing being held up by the state.

Supervisor Sean Walter said the state Department of Environmental Conservation isn’t allowing the newly built EPCAL rail spur to be extended over areas that lie within the protective boundaries of the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers.

“This does not make me happy,” Mr. Walter said.

The so-called Rivers Act puts restrictions on development near the Peconic River, which flows south of EPCAL, as well as other rivers in New York. The boundaries extend onto the southern portion of the former Grumman property, including parts of the rail spur.

The town was able to get “credits” for sections of the old spur that were not rebuilt in the new one, and town officials plan to use those credits to allow the Eastern Wholesale Fence company to extend the spur onto its property at EPCAL, Mr. Walter said.

But, he says, the DEC is not permitting the town to expand the spur to other areas of EPCAL, as he had planned, because of the Rivers Act. Mr. Walter feels the rail spur as currently built helps only two businesses at EPCAL, Eastern Wholesale Fence and Metro biofuel. He said he’s hopeful a solution can be worked out with DEC.

A message seeking comment from the DEC was not immediately returned.

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