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Town tables consideration of United Riverhead Terminal biofuel tanks

The Riverhead Town Board voted unanimously last Wednesday to postpone consideration of a special permit that would allow United Riverhead Terminal to construct a pad with biofuel tanks on its Northville property.

URT met with the board in September to advance the application, which would allow it to build a new 28-by-45-foot pad with six biofuel tanks that could carry 108,000 gallons. The tanks are intended to facilitate compliance with a state law implemented in July that requires home-heating oil sold in Nassau and Suffolk counties to contain at least 5 percent biodiesel. 

A special permit is needed because the pad is being placed in an area that does not conform with zoning requirements, as previously reported in the News-Review. 

Trucks typically enter the URT facility from Northville Turnpike via Pennys Road and are “forbidden” to drive on Sound Avenue, URT representative Vic Prusinowski said in a previous interview. Residents who have voiced their frustration about the potential for increased traffic on Sound Avenue at previous meetings appeared in front of the board again last week.

Northville Beach Civic Association president Linda Prizer said a traffic study conducted at the intersection was flawed because it was done in November, when the area has the lightest traffic of the year.

“We need time for a hearing. We need time for our people to come back so they can be present for this hearing, because this concerns all of us on this road,” she said. 

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said Highway Superintendent George Woodson has been working closely with URT because the tanks would be placed in a “problem intersection.” Until Mr. Woodson accepts the company’s plan and addresses drainage problems in the intersection, she said, a decision on the permit will be postponed. 

“He has met with them and delineated where drainage needs to occur to not affect the highlands,” Ms. Giglio said. “But it has to go back to the drawing board, because I don’t believe in taking people’s property.”

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