02/09/21 Email exchange w/Smithtown Planning Dept. re: rail spur

Allyson, good evening,

First, thank you for taking time out of your busy life to attend and be a major contributor to the Kings Park ZOOM call regarding the proposed master plan.


As mentioned, the residents of Fort Salonga have considerable concerns in respect to the Industrial Zone to the north end of Town Line Road and Old Northport Road. 

I am going to break down each area of concern, in order that I do not intermingle each area.


Issues with installing a rail spur.

  • By doing so, there would be an increase of truck traffic bringing in both organic waste and garbage from all over Long Island

  • Being that the LIRR does not operate freight anymore, a separate company would have to be hired to operate on LIRR/MTA tracks

  • In hiring an outside rail contractor, typically they would only be able to access COVANTA et al during off hours

    • This would mean operations typically between 11pm and 5 am (assumption on times)

  • If during off hours (5am-11pm), the traffic tie-up on Townline Rd. coming from Pulaski Road would be a significant traffic hazard as trains on rail spurs operate at a significantly reduced speed.

  • The noise that would be attributed to rail diesel engines, especially in colder months when they need to keep them running

  • Odors and ash produced by locomotive engines next to a residential community

  • The current geographic elevations are not favorable to building a rail spur

COVANTA, other than rail spur

  • It would need to be cost efficient. This would have to include bringing in significant increase of garbage being transported in, whether truck or rail.

    • As other towns investigate, if they turn down a plan for their community the COVANTA could potentially be bringing in all their waste.

    • If you have 2 or more towns that reject a plan, it would be even more disastrous for the Fort Salonga and surrounding communities

  • Our understanding is that Brookhaven had looked at doing the same and determined that it would not be cost efficient for their township.

    • Instead, they are shutting down accepting waste ash in the near future.

  • The current odors are unacceptable. By increasing operations at COVANTA, and the possibility of the OWPF, Fort Salonga would be overwhelmed by odors 24/7


Organic Waste Processing Facility

  • Odors, odors, odors

    • Would significantly add to the existing air pollutants COVANTA and other business operating in the area.

  • As with other businesses operating (many illegally) in the area, wold dit on top of long Islands only source of drinking water.

  • As experienced with the current property owners, promises made are rarely kept.

    • Result - increased pollution, including the existing plume emanating from that area, causing severe health issues to Fort Salonga residents

      • Cancer, breathing difficulties, eye irritation et al.


We ask that you please listen to not only what Fort Salonga has said, but the other surrounding communities as well.

What Smithtown (and Huntington) has allowed to happen can not be added to. Instead, this industrial area has been allowed to poison our community.

PLEASE, do not allow what is already bad to get worse and worse.



Dear Mr. Macartney:


Thank you very much for your email and thank you for your participation in the Commack and Kings Park community outreach meetings.  With regard to the industrial zoning recommendation along Townline Road/Old Northport Road, the Planning Department intends to propose an addendum to the draft to modify this recommendation.  The public hearing will be scheduled after the addendum is presented.  Both the acceptance of any addendum and the scheduling of a public hearing will be done by Town Board resolution at a Town Board meeting.  Also, we will be posting this information on the Town’s Comprehensive Plan page.


With respect to the rail spur, the Comprehensive Plan does not address or make any specific recommendations for a rail spur.  Construction of a rail spur would require site plan approval and an environmental review of its own.  I’ve copied David Barnes, the Town’s Director of the Town’s Department of Environment and Waterways (DEW), on this email.  DEW oversees the SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) process as well as solid waste management for the Town, and can provide much better information than I can with respect to the waste management issues addressed on the calls and in your email.


Thank you again for your comments.  Please feel free to reach out at any point.






Allyson Murray, Principal Planner

Town of Smithtown Planning Department

99 West Main Street

Smithtown, NY  11787


Phone: (631) 360-7540

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