Will the Sewage Treatment Plant impact Trails and Open Space in Hither Woods

Yes. First, the land the Town wants to acquire is just east of the closed and capped Montauk landfill - one of the most scenic locations on Eastern Long Island. Sewage would be pumped up to this area, which is about 150 feet above sea level, through a force main from the Downtown Montauk area about 1-1/2 miles to the east.

On what is now County parkland the Town would build a 22,500 square foot (1/2 acre-plus) indoor treatment building to digest sewage. Effluent from the STP would then be piped to 146 separate leaching pools, into which the wastewater effluent would be discharged, eventually to reach the groundwater table. Almost all of the 14-acre site would be cleared of trees, to accommodate the STP building, one or more maintenance buildings, parking and access roads and driveways, and the 146 leaching pools and their own access driveways. Second, the STP will have a devastating effect on part of the Paumanok Path known as the Laurel Canyon Trail. 

The Town’s original plan showed some of the leaching area actually obliterating a section of the Laurel Canyon Trail. The latest plan seems to show that the 14-acre site has been shifted slightly north. In this position, riders coming onto the Laurel Canyon Trail from the west will see the STP and associated clearing only 50 feet off the trail to their right, as they crest the high hills on this section of trail. After dropping down into Laurel Canyon itself, riders will eventually see the clearing for the sewage leaching field ahead of them and to their right as they climb up through the ravine. Riders emerging from Laurel Canyon at its south end will again be within 50 feet of the STP property, which will presumably be surrounded by chain-link security fencing. Swinging around to the west, toward the Panorama viewpoint, riders will continue to see the facility’s cleared, fenced land and buildings close on their right side. In short, this will be more like riding in an industrial park than in an actual park.

To add insult to injury, it appears the gravel road on the east side of the former landfill site - which offers a shortened bypass of the Laurel Canyon Trail - will be taken over by the access road to the STP and mostly obliterated.

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