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EPCAL Runway To Store Cars Damaged By Hurricane Sandy

Cars will be brought to EPCAL from across the New York area.

The much-debated 7000 foot runway at Enterprise Park at Calverton will be used to temporarily store hundreds of cars damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

On Thursday, the Riverhead Town board voted unanimously to authorize the Riverhead Community Development Agency to enter into a license agreement for the use of the runway and taxiway areas at EPCAL for the temporary storage of cars damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Due to flooding that led to the damage of over 200,000 cars in the New York area, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Nov. 6 mandating the removal of debris in regions devastated by the storm.

To that end, Insurance Auto Auctions Corp., a public salvage auto auction company, will be using the runway, taxiway, and other paved areas at EPCAL for the temporary storage of the damaged vehicles.

The area in questions encompasses 52.14 acres; IAA will pay $3200 an acre per month for the use of the area for an initial period of six months, with two, three-month extensions possible.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said because the vehicles will be placed on asphalt and concrete, the proposal poses no problem; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, he stressed, has said damaged vehicles should not be placed in yards, or on any impervious survace.

It has not yet been decided if auctions will be held on the property; the company may just screen sales at its Medford location, depending on the town's wishes. Cars will be brought to EPCAL from across New York's five boroughs, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Approximately 150 cars should be able to fit on an acre.

For months, motorsports advocates have expressed their wishes for a drag strip at EPCAL.

Robin November 15, 2012 at 06:31 PM
"Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said because the vehicles will be placed on asphalt and concrete, the proposal poses no problem; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, he stressed, has said damaged vehicles should not be placed in yards, or on any impervious survace." Yes, but what happens to the run-off after rain? I suppose the mentality is such that since the area is already polluted then why not make some money? Sheesh - it only sits on an aquifer - what could go wrong??
Jack Mcintyre November 15, 2012 at 06:42 PM
great job well done to robin when your car is parked in your drive way are you harming the environment ??
Pete Scalzo November 15, 2012 at 07:44 PM
WOW. Happy to see that the residents of Riverhead will receive income from this unused runway. I wish the income was from our proposal for a temporary drag strip on a small portion of that taxiway/runwaybut $3,200 per month per acre x 52+ acres (166,000 per month) that IAA is going to pay is much more than we could ever afford. The good news is that the town will still be able to work on long range plans for the site. At the very least, the site is being used.
Robin November 15, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Jack, My car is not damaged, therefor the answer to your question is "no."
mike foley November 15, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Pete--your math is spot on. I hope they keep the 52 acres occupied for the next 5 years--10 Million in the coffers while a plan is finalized. Good job,Sean + Board!
L.I.M.A. November 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Cars can use the runway, amazing ..... But cars using the runway to prevent accidents causing death by the lack of a safe area that can not use the runway. Where are the east end enviros to freak out about a REAL enviro nightmare... I hope they wash those cars really good. Robin there is no aquifer area there, but Robin what about everyone's cesspools all over the island, you're worried about this though, amazing.
Robin November 17, 2012 at 04:08 AM
LIMA, Of course there is an aquifer in the area "The site is located above the Long Island groundwater aquifer, which serves as the sole source of drinking water for Long Island. " see http://www.epa.gov/region02/waste/fsnwirp.htm That said - at least cesspools do not produce metals, PCBs and other semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). I apologize - I assumed that people understood what happens to gaskets and seals after exposure to salt water ... and the resulting leakage of those fluids. Perhaps I expected too much.
L.I.M.A. November 17, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Robin you're saying that then the other pine barren area are Not aguifer areas ? Robin you do know the area that is polluted is no where near the runway and not the area of supposed aquifer. Cesspools are a major concern and you shrug it off to "its not heavy metals" You know what everyone puts in there drains!?? Sole source of water for long island, dick has like 4 locations for the sole source of water. I understand the break down of seals, I understand what can be done to combat it thru plants and other of natures tools, but why don't the enviros that all scare everyone with big bad wolf stories ever tell the truth, and why is it they say every area has a aquifer, and why do they never say how it can be fixed, only nothing can be done. .
L.I.M.A. November 17, 2012 at 02:18 PM
If racing cars, cars that are constantly watched after and maintained and crews on location to handle any slight minor issue is a enviro nightmare as claimed by the president of the east end group, then why is something that isn't good ok. ALSO people , why is it sean walter LIES and says the DEC says the runway can not be used for people and YOUR kids so they can practice there sport safely instead of taking it to streets and endangering themselves and you, but sean Walter LIES and says that racing there can not be done, but the storage of contaminated cars CAN and no one objects... Remember the lies from this man, what lies will be next. The 160k. Is nothing to the 40mil offer he turned down, for a seasonal use sport. Where are the enviros, I expect they'll be laying across the runway and taxi way in protest!?! Imagine that, let's see the real enviro concerns.
Robin November 17, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Hi, I'm not sure I understand what you are saying, so I'll re-state my point, because I think we are on the same side. I don't want these cars there. I believe that these cars will be towed "AS-IS" remaining fluids left in them, the batteries left to leak, etc. This is bad because we are talking about 7,800 cars when full. Many of these cars will have been totalled because they were flooded. They were flooded by salt water, which starts to corrode seals, gaskets and if left long enough (the article states there is a maximum of 18 months) the metal. The fluids from these cars are poison - and my point is a little leakage from a lot of cars equals a lot of leakage. In my opinion this is not a good idea. When the Board went to visit that site in Massachusetts, Sup. Walter cited as impediments to development at EPCAL: a protected river, wetlands, floodplains, and hundreds of acres of habitat for rare and endangered flora and fauna. It also sits atop a very productive drinking water aquifer. I just don't see thousands of deteriorating vehicles being in line with this thinking. To me it is just common sense that this should not be allowed. I hope that these vehicles will be drained of fluids before storage at EPCAL.
Pete Scalzo November 17, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Lets stay away from the name calling and concentrate on the exciting things that are happening. First and foremost a precedent is being set here. That precedent is that this runway will finally be used albeit even if it is only on a temporary basis. This temporary use will not stop the town from going forward with its plan for long use development. I would think that the DEC and the town of Riverhead will monitor the concerns expressed as it relates to leakage of fluids etc. Again, Lets think positive that this will happen. Now lets talk about the benifits that the town of riverhead will receive. The dollar amount that the auction company is willing to pay is $3,200 per month PER acre x 52+ acres. That is over $166,000 PER MONTH! The initial licensing agreement is for six months. Thats over ONE MILLION DOLLARS. They also have an option for 2 three month extensions. That is the potential of another ONE MILLION DOLLARS! We are talking about serious money here!. Having said all that, are we guaranteed that the town will allow a temporary drag strip on a small portion of this site when the auction company agreement expires. No. But the precedent being set here is that the town will allow temporary use of the runway.
John Pine November 21, 2012 at 03:08 AM
It's an outrage how Riverhead Town and Sean Walter have gotten away with this. These cars have been corroded by salt water which may not only cause fluids to leak out, but also the materials of the cars to breakdown faster. Whether its on the runway or not, this will seep into the groundwater with runoff. Also lets not forget many of these cars were also in sewage as well. Disease and contamination will spread to wildlife. This is a serious environmental crime, one that the State DEC should never have allowed. But here in NY State, Governor Andrew Cuomo has told the DEC to waive the restrictions. I hope the environmentalists are successful in bringing a lawsuit in FEDERAL COURT, fines and jail time should be handed out to all the officials who approved this, from Sean Walter, to the State DEC, and even the Governor. Is it worth permanently damaging the Pine Barrens for 1 million dollars? There are many better places to store this waste, that aren't in the Pine Barrens. Only in NY State can they put this in the worst possible place. I guess Cuomo's father hadn't screwed us enough with creating LIPA...remember on election day. Send Walter and Cuomo packing...
ss November 22, 2012 at 03:50 PM
blah blah blah....go hug a huge pine tree
Kerrie Graham November 27, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Salt damaged vehicles with batteries and fluids including gas, oil, antifreeze, etc should not be stored in an environmentally sensitive area without an evaluation of the potential environmental impacts, a monitoring plan and the establishment of processes for making the vehicles as safe as possible. This is as irresponsible as telling the 9/11 first responders the air was safe to breathe.
Patrice Dalton November 27, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Sounds like they have capacity for about 8,000 cars. How much fluid in each car, let's say 10 gallons. That is 80,000 gallons of potential leakage into the pine barrens. Are they going to monitor the actual leakage, will they have test wells to monitor the water? A little planning up front could prevent problems down the line.
Al Arg January 04, 2013 at 08:19 PM
I think you people would complain about anything you don't agree with. Do you think your heavily traveled streets don't have leakage from trucks and cars ALL DAY LONG? Try going out there the next time it rains. I am pretty sure you will see the wonderful "rainbows" near the side of the road. Guess what that is? As for a safe place to race on LI, this place should be utilized since there are no operating dragstrips there. My suggestion would be for the township of Riverhead to open and operate the track and reap the benefits of entry fees, back-gate and concession fees, etc. Instead of complaining of petty B.S., why don't you you folks let go of that tree a little and allow something POSITIVE to help generate real revenue for the town instead of approving the construction of more stripmalls, office parks and condo complexes!
L.I.M.A. May 27, 2013 at 01:22 PM
What sensitive area?, that area is old navy arms industrial property, it is ANYTHING but sensitive .... Please get your facts straight. It is not grasslands it is a old arms facility and the grass is cleared area for the event a plane needs to exit the runway... NOT sensitive, not a aquifer, not wildlife park.... It is a abandoned industrial site left to decay.....

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