New ULI Wetland Petition Sent to DEC

Posted by on Oct 9, 2016 in Featured, News & Events | 1 comment

New ULI Wetland Petition Sent to DEC

One of the most time consuming and costliest ROSA projects this year was work spent on coordinating and supporting a new municipal led petition to the NY State DEC to ask that the western wetland system on the Patrick Farm site be added to the NY State DEC Wetland Maps due their Unusual Local Importance ("ULI").

On August 29, 2016 the Village of Pomona submitted a new Petition to the NYSDEC requesting that the wetlands be added to the NY State maps under a statutory provision that states that wetlands hydraulically connected to an aquifer used for public water supply are to be designated NY State wetlands of Unusual Local Importance. This Petition was (obviously) supported by the Village of Pomona and ROSA 4 Rockland and was further through letters and resolutions by:

  • The Village of Airmont
  • The Village of Montebello
  • The Village of Suffern
  • The Village of Wesley Hills
  • The Town of Clarkstown
  • Hon. Edwin J Day, Rockland County Executive
  • Hon. David Carlucci, NY State Senator 98th Senatorial District
  • Hon. Ellen Jaffee, NY State Legislator 97th Legislative District
  • Hon. Kenneth Zebrowski,  NY State Legislator 96th Legislative District
  • Torne Valley Preservation Society

ROSA's prior efforts to request that the DEC take over the wetlands under ULI provisions had not worked for various reasons but with the new expert testimony that arose out of our fight regarding the Findings Addendum of September of 2015 coupled with various admissions from the developer's experts in that lawsuit as well as a lawsuit against the DEC, a new strategy was formed and the Village of Pomona agreed to pursue this petition with ROSA's support.

One of the most egregious errors in the original base planning for the Patrick Farm proposed development was the omission of many acres of wetlands around the Patrick Farm pond area which is the area included in the January 2010 zone change to allow for Multi-Family development. ROSA uncovered the error and has been steadfastly advocating for the wetlands on the property whose streams flow down stream to the area surrounding multiple United Water wells.

After years of battling, the developer finally received an ACOE Jurisdictional Determination ("JD") on December 4, 2014 proving that the prior maps understated the wetlands on site by over 8 acres. The JD also showed that the wetlands were closer together than previously mapped. This new evidence led ROSA to submit a simple request in January of 2015 to the DEC to take over the wetlands due to the combined size of all the wetlands in this wetland system on the new maps. The DEC finally rejected that request for specious reasons on September 1, 2015 which led to the Town adopting the updated Findings Addendum and it led to a lawsuit against the DEC.

In the updated Findings Addendum the Town of Ramapo had the audacity to find that the Patrick Farm was not over an aquifer. This led to our hiring an aquifer expert - hydrogeologist Paul Rubin of Hydroquest - to argue that the Town was wrong. In examining the legal issues related to requesting the DEC take jurisdiction over the wetlands we realized that the DEC was not going to make any discretionary decisions; we needed to make a request on statutory grounds that ensured that the DEC decision makers could not be politically influenced. This is what led to a five month effort leading to this Petition. We are now awaiting a DEC decision.

One Comment

  1. It’s about time that the “Political” influences in Ramapo could not get in the way to destroy another aquifer. Thank you!
    I’m on a fixed income, and wish I could afford to make a donation but I will pass ROSA’s info on my facebook page.

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