SOS donates to quarry fight


By Patsy Nicosia

Save Our Schoharie upped the ante on donations to the town’s legal fight with Cobleskill Stone Products by $10,000 with a donation in June.
The $10,000 donation to the Town of Schoharie’s Legal Defense Fund in the 14-year battle over quarry expansion follows another $10,000 donation in August 2018 and a $7,000 donation in ’17.
Cobleskill Stone is seeking to expand its Schoharie quarry onto adjacent land the company bought in 2000.
Under Schoharie’s Land Use Law, however, the land was zoned agricultural and residential, prohibiting quarry operation—a law Cobleskill Stone is challenging in court.
“We’ve tried to settle that lawsuit,” Supervisor Alan Tavenner said in accepting the check from SOS’s Peter Johnson.
“We’ve failed. So we’re very grateful for this.”
In addition to the check, Mr. Johnson presented the town with a dye study commissioned by SOS that he said shows that the original studies mischaracterized the geology and hydrology of the proposed quarry expansion site, underestimating its “adverse and irreparable” impact on stream flow through the historic Palatine House Spring and the wells of nearby properties.
Mr. Johnson said a copy of the study, conducted by Paul Rubin of Hydroquest, has also been forwarded to DEC.
If the expansion were to go ahead, not only could it “behead” the spring and Becker’s Cave, it could lead to collapsing sinkholes if the aquifer’s not recharged, Mr. Johnson said.
“We think it’s very significant,” he said of the study’s findings. “If Cobleskill Stone [continues], then it may become very important.”