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Recent News

Appellate Victory in Southampton “Sand Land” Mine Litigation

Zachary Murdock of the Firm’s Appellate Practice group was a member of the victorious team including counsel for the Town of Southampton, environmental and civic organizations, and neighbors of the “Sand Land” sand and gravel mine in Noyac, in obtaining a reversal in the Appellate Division, Third Department, in what appears to be the first reported decision applying a 1991 statute to annul mining permits. In Town of Southampton, et al. v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Sand Land Corporation, et ano., — A.D.3d — (3rd Dep’t May 27, 2021), the court reversed an Albany Supreme Court judgment that had dismissed the petitioners-appellants’ Article 78 proceeding challenging renewed and expanded permits for the mine, including one allowing a 40′ vertical expansion.  The court agreed with the appellants that Section 23-2703(3) of New York’s Environmental Conservation Law, enacted to provide special safeguard’s for Long Island’s sole source aquifer where local zoning laws or ordinances prohibit mining uses within the area proposed to be mined, had prohibited the DEC from processing and granting Sand Land’s applications for mining permits, where the Town’s code prohibited mining. The court granted the petition and annulled DEC’s determinations granting the subject permits. Mr. Murdock, representing neighbors of the mine, has advocated for application of the statute to Sand Land’s permit applications since 2014.