Ballston requires more stringent review on asphalt plant

— The Town of Ballston will be requiring the developer of a proposed asphalt plant to undergo a draft environmental impact statement, amove that could affect the time and cost of the approval process.

The majority of the town’s Planning Board voted in favor of theDEIS at their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 29. The development team gave a presentation to the board at the meeting that outlined how the 10-acre site atthe Curtis Industrial Park would be able to accommodate asphalt production by Callahan Industries Inc., which is a sister company of Dolomite Products Inc.

The meeting followed a Dec. 14, 2011 Planning Board meeting in which experts and officials from Dolomite Products Inc. presented their plans for the site for a third time.

No other uses for the site had been considered, as far as Planning Board Chairman Richard Doyle is aware.

The Planning Board’s decision is part of the state’s environmental review process. If the town had issued a negative declaration it would been the end of the review process under SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review Act). Instead, Callahan will have to provide a much more detailed analysis of potential environmental impacts in the draft environmental impact statement.

Stephanie Farradino, a lawyer with Jones Farradino said, “We got a positive declaration back which led to a DEIS. This will push out the process several months,”

Farradino said the factory, if built, would produce 30,000 tons of asphalt per year.

“The site would be in operation for 150 days a year from mid April through mid November,” she said.

She also said wetlands on the site would have buffers built to protect them and that the entire site would not be developed. The plant would occupy roughly two acres of the 10.

The purpose of SEQR is to incorporate the consideration of environmental factors into an agency’s decision-making process at the earliest possible time. Environmental factors may include land, air, water, noise flora/fauna, features of historic or aesthetic significance, population patterns and community character. Agencies, such as local planning boards, may not act before complying with SEQRA.

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