Callanan Industries, Mining in Town of Ulster

For many decades East Kingston in the Town of Ulster has openly complained about the effects of blasting for road aggregate on both sides of Route 32.  In July 2019, our town declared a state of emergency after a dangerous rockslide from an old mine tumbled rocks into the hamlet of East Kingston.  Mining ceased for a few months so that studies could be conducted.  A concrete retaining wall was built by Callanan, but they took no responsibility for landslide.  Our town hired a national consultant to examine the ten most recent blasts prior to rockslide and concluded that blasting was conducted within normal ranges.  The citizens researched this company, conducted two Freedom of Information Law requests on 1) their 5-year permit applications, mined land use plans and reclamation plans for the past 20 years, and DEC responses to the same; and 2) NYS Mapped wetlands, particularly KE-3 and KE-7, on their properties.  Boxes of maps and other documents revealed that Callanan can do almost what it wishes in its mining. In the 20-year period, NYS DEC Region 3 did not even issue formal permits.  Rather, the regulator said to us that it’s all in the Supreme Court 1995 Consent Order that exempted Callanan from being required to comply with the State Environmental Quality Review Act.  Because SEQR was implemented in 1976, and Callanan and its partners were already mining in the town before then.  Their longevity gave them grandfathering status.