Thursday, August 14, 2014

NYCO Arguments Postponed Till Late October

plumley lot 8Arguments in State Supreme Court over NYCO Minerals’ plan to drill for wollastonite on Lot 8 in the Jay Mountain Wilderness have been postponed until October 24.

In July, Earthjustice obtained a temporary restraining order to block the test drilling. At the time, Justice Thomas Buchanan scheduled arguments for August 22 on whether the ban should remain in effect for the duration of a lawsuit filed against NYCO, the Adirondack Park Agency, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg said the state attorney general’s office requested the postponement due to scheduling conflicts. Meantime, the ban against drilling has been extended until the October court hearing.

In the lawsuit, Goldberg contends that state officials ignored state laws–including the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan–when they authorized the drilling to go forward. At the October hearing, she will be seeking a preliminary injunction to keep the drilling ban in place until the suit is resolved.

Ordinarily, industrial activity would not be allowed in the forever-wild Forest Preserve. In November, however, voters approved an amendment to the state constitution authorizing the state to give Lot 8 to NYCO for land of equal or greater value. Before the swap is done, NYCO wants to drill to make sure there is enough wollastonite beneath the surface to warrant moving forward.

APA and DEC contend that the constitutional amendment supersedes other laws. Earthjustice insists that the agencies must still adhere to a number of laws and regulations.

Photo: Dan Plumley of Adirondack Wild on Lot 8.

 

 

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Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack.

Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing.

He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.

Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.




2 Responses

  1. Dave Gibson says:

    Phil,

    While your facts are correct, your short piece should mention the organizations involved in this Article 78 suit: Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Protect the ADirondacks! and Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. We are the litigants who have coalesced around the fundamental problem created by the State in issuing a permit for mineral exploration without regard to other non-constitutional laws while the land is still Forest Preserve-Wilderness. Earthjustice Inc, with co-counsel Mintz, Levin, et.al., P.C., are the coalition’s attorneys.

  2. phil says:

    Fair enough. This was a brief update, but I should have mentioned the litigants.