North Castle Road Millings No threat to drinking water: report


The North Castle environmental consultant reported last week that the storage of road mills in the town yard of Middle Patent Road and at the Highway Department site in downtown Armonk poses no threat to the potable water.

Ryan Manderbach, vice president of Langan Engineering, said sampling that was done from the wells closest to the Middle Patent Road site dating back to 2015 never showed detectable levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ( PAHs), chemicals found in grindings, which are also known as recycled asphalt product (RAP).

The nearest wells are about half a mile, about 2,700 feet, from where the grinds were stored, he said.

“Best management practices are in place, there are more and with drinking water all the evidence indicates that there is no impact of RAP batteries on the drinking water supply,” said Manderbach said.

There is also no threat to Water District # 4, which encompasses downtown Armonk, where the Highway Department site is located.

Manderbach said the properties of PAHs cause them to adhere to soil and the chemicals also have very low water solubility. Therefore, even when they escape materials, they do not move very far.

“So for these two factors, only the potential for leaching from the soil is already very low,” Manderbach said.

The issue of the city’s storage of the RAP at both locations turned into a real controversy this summer when former Town Planning Council Chairman and Windmill Farm resident Robert Greene began circulating emails throughout. the city indicating that the water supply for the development and the nearby Coman Hill Primary School could be compromised.

Municipalities are encouraged to recycle the millings by using them for repaving roads. Over the past six to eight years, North Castle has aggressively repaved most of its 93 miles of urban road.

Manderbach said several studies, including from the University of Florida in 1998 and a 2017 report from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, concluded that asphalt waste does not pollute groundwater.

Despite the encouraging results, several speakers, including Greene, urged the city to allow a second expert that he and other residents would hire to have access to the Middle Patent Court to perform their own tests. Greene said protecting a water supply is a serious enough problem to take that extra step.

“Most people say you have to get a second opinion,” he said. “We all love our family doctors, but when we get bad news, we like to go get another opinion. So here we have an opportunity, the board has an opportunity, to get that second opinion at no cost to taxpayers, and that’s how concerned our group is. We will foot the bill for it.

Another resident, Susan Shimer, a former city judge, asked why there shouldn’t be another expert. During her legal career, she said there was often disagreement between experts on issues and that she would be more comfortable with another report.

Council members indicated that they would reject suggestions for another environmental consultant to have access to the Middle Patent site; However, Langan Engineering’s report is available to anyone, including any consultant hired by residents, supervisor Michael Schiliro said.

Manderbach also said that the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently carried out a site visit to both locations and that no action, violation or other regulatory action is planned.

“The DEC can sometimes be very painful to work for people who are developers, municipalities; tough sense so strict, ”said Schiliro. “We are following their guidelines. They inspect our properties. They do it continually.

City Councilor Barbara DiGiacinto said any suggestion that authorities were not taking issues raised by residents seriously was irrelevant.

“Do you think that as a member of city council and the whole city council we would sleep at night thinking that we had this serious water contamination problem and we would just try to ignore it?” or hide it? Said DiGiacinto.

In the short term, Manderbach recommended that the city strengthen perimeter controls around the piles, have staff carry out bi-weekly inspections and provide ongoing training to city staff on how to manage shredding. Many controls have already been put in place, he said.
He also suggested a long-term written control plan that would describe the frequency of inspections, training and maintenance obligations and that would require any future recipient of grinds to file a report.

City Councilor Jose Berra suggested Greene have an environmental consultant for residents to hire, get and analyze the Langan Engineering report.

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