United Riverhead Terminal is requesting a two-month adjournment of the public hearing on its proposal to convert two tanks at its Northville property from fuel oil storage to gasoline storage.
That public hearing is scheduled for the Town Board’s meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.
Members of the Northville Beach Civic Association, who came out in force to oppose the plans at an Oct. 21 public hearing, have been urging their supporters to do so again at the Dec. 16 continuation of that hearing.
The civic association also has an online petition running in opposition to the proposal.
Vic Prusinowski, a former town councilman who is representing United Riverhead Terminal as a consultant on the application, said Wednesday that they are asking the Town Board to adjourn the public hearing for two months so they can better answer the questions and concerns raised by residents to the project.
“We want to do our due diligence,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “We don’t want to have everybody come out to the hearing for nothing.”
He said he believes it will be discussed at the Town Board’s work session Thursday morning.
Asked if the Town Board planned to adjourn the hearing as requested, Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said in a text message, “I think we will consent.”
United Riverhead Terminal owns the 287-acre property, which was previously owned by Northville Industries, Tosco, Conoco Philips and Philips 66, among others. United Riverhead Terminal plans to convert an 2.7 million gallon tank and a 2.1 million gallon tank north of Sound Shore Road from oil to gasoline storage.
As part of this transition, they also plan to build two new 19,000-gallon tanks to store ethanol, which would be blended into the gasoline as it is being readied to be trucked off the property.
According to Mr. Walter, the special permit is only required because of the proposed new ethanol tanks. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has already approved the conversion of the existing tanks for gasoline storage.
Neighbors, meanwhile, fear the move will lead to further expansion of the facility in the future and say it will increase truck traffic, noise and possibly pollution in their neighborhood. They want the town to require an environmental impact study for the project.
Scott Kamm, the general manager of the facility, said at the Oct. 21 hearing that the change will result in 12 additional trucks coming to and from the Northville facility. He said the facility has stored gasoline in the past, and was last stored there in 2000.
“We’ve been doing everything we can to get the word out to have everybody show up for Tuesday night,” said Neil Krupnick, the president of the Northville Beach Civic Association, who had not heard of the request for adjournment Wednesday.
He added, “they might as well postpone it to the spring when all the snowbirds come back.”