By Nathan Mayberg
WURTSBORO July 30, 2004 On Tuesday, the Town of Mamakating Planning Board gave the public until September 27 to comment on a draft environmental impact statement by Yukiguni Maitake Manufacturing Corporation of America.
A public hearing was set for August 31 to discuss the statement, which the board has yet to review, regarding the proposed mushroom plant near Wurtsboro.
The corporation submitted the statement, hundreds of pages long, to the board on Tuesday evening. According to the statement, a 925,000-square-foot plant will rest on a property that encompasses 47 acres.
However, the company did not make any copies for the public, which wont be available until early next week, said Yukiguni lawyer Charles Bazydlow. That was after assurances by Planning Board Chairman John Piazza that the statement would be ready for public viewing before Sunday.
Even before that, Piazza was ready to put off the public comment period until the statement was available to the public. However, he eventually agreed with Bazydlow, who said the board could legally set the comment date regardless.
Opponents of the project protested the proceedings and demanded the company provide copies to the group. Bazydlow said he would do so for a price but didnt know how much it would be.
Area resident Andrew Weil said 107 people had asked the company to place the document on a CD-ROM, but the company refused to do so. Bazydlow said he was concerned that the statement could be altered. He also claimed that the maps would not show up on a CD-ROM.
I know mushrooms are grown in the dark, but it doesnt mean we have to be in the dark, Weil responded.
Eileen Weil, Andrews wife, pointed to Bazydlows own words at a previous meeting when he stated that a CD-ROM would not be in my clients best interests.
Opponents of the plant, which include the Basha Kill Area Association, attacked the plant on another front after the meeting.
Tish Moore, whose home is right next door to the proposed plant, pointed to the plant owners own words during a public hearing, saying 400,000 gallons of water would be released into the atmosphere every day.
Moore and members of the association believe that amount of water would enlarge an existing fog problem in the area that could cause a large spike in the accidents on the dangerous Route 17 highway curve near Wurtsboro.
Andrew Weil also said the plant would only be a few feet away from the historic Delaware and Hudson Canal path, which the county has poured more than a million dollars into.
Bazydlow and his client refused to respond to the attacks.