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Residents, officials say they oppose gravel pit expansion in Watkins Glen

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  • Staff Report 

Schuyler County community members expressed strong opposition at a public hearing on February 13 regarding the proposed expansion of the Padua Ridge Gravel Pit. The expansion, proposed by It’s Green Now, seeks to increase the mine’s size to 75.28 acres from the existing 14.33 acres. Critics argue that the public review period for the 764-page application, which has been dormant for 16 years and was only made public in January, is insufficient with a looming comment deadline of February 28.

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Concerns raised include potential detrimental impacts on the community, environment, and local tourism attractions such as Watkins Glen State Park. Watkins Glen Mayor Laurie DeNardo and other residents fear the expansion could have catastrophic effects on the village and town’s beauty and tranquility. Additional worries include proximity to local cemeteries and potential risks to water runoff, which could threaten homes and lives.

State Parks and local legislators have requested more detailed environmental impact statements and clarification on mining operations’ proximity to sensitive areas. Despite the outcry and requests for extended comment periods, It’s Green Now has not responded to media inquiries about the project, leaving the community anxious about the future.

RELATED: DEC Kept Local Officials in the Dark for 16 Years As It Weighed Versions of Plans to Expand Padua Ridge Gravel Mine