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Williams Lake today. The visible far shore is earmarked for intense development.
DR. RALPH EWERS' INDEPENDENT HYDROLOGY REVIEW - A RECAP

MAY 4, 2011 - HRVR's accepted DEIS ignores independent water data and conclusions.
HRVR's DEIS submission presses forward on the basis of flawed findings. The public outcry is loud and clear, but will they hear it?

January 2011 - DEC must stay the course: demand proper water testing.
Through the FOIL process, Save the Lakes has learned that HRVR continues to belittle the independent hydrogeologic report commissioned by the DEC and the Town of Rosendale (please see below).

In a letter to the DEC dated November 30, 2010 HRVR representative Tim Allred states: "HRVR stands by our hydro-geologic study [of 2009] as having satisfactorily addressed the Final Scoping Documents."

Save the Lakes Expert Fund commissioned a legal reply to HRVR's attempt to deride Dr. Ewers' report. This reply includes a detailed hydrogeological report by scientist Paul Rubin, complete with on-site photographs. We urge you to CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS IMPORTANT DOCUMENT.

You will learn as you read the report that HRVR's refusal to revisit the water issue is a cause for deep concern. In fact, HRVR's stance is contrary to what should be expected of a developer claiming to be "green" and environmentally conscious. Remember, the proposed building sites are located within the Karst Aquifer priority project area of the 2006 NYS Open Space Conservation Plan.

Independent hydro-geologist finds that HRVR's DEIS "cavalierly dismissed" karst aquifers on development site.

  • On April 20th, the DEC advised HRVR by letter that the submitted DEIS was "inadequate for the purpose of commencing public review". They specifically identified as issues "approval of wildlife survey protocols" and "retention of a specialist in the field of karst study", who would review the protocols used by HRVR to "determine whether the work already performed is sufficient to allow determination of impacts to the myriad of issues related related to hydro-geology." DEC agreed to proceed to review the submitted material "as preliminary documents".

  • On July 14, with encouragement from Save The Lakes, the Town Board authorized an expenditure of up to $1000 to hire nationally renowned expert Dr. Ralph Ewers of Ewers Water Consultants in Richmond, KY, to review HRVR's karst study. (The expenditure to come from an escrow account established by HRVR.)

    Karst is a form of porous, irregular limestone geology that makes a determination of water-flow patterns extremely difficult. Knowledge of such patterns is critical to analyzing all aspects of water use associated with the development. Denial that there could be karst involvement at the site has a cascading effect on other crucial data: from water supply capacity, to water treatment and the dispersal of run-off, to impacts on wildlife habitat.

  • On August 11th, the DEC informed HRVR by letter that it had completed its preliminary review and identified numerous "issues regarding the presentation and organization of the document, and on errors, omissions, and inconsistencies."

  • On August 13th, the DEC sent HRVR a list of 18 additional minor errors in the DEIS, such as incorrect cross-references, missing Table of Contents entries, missing pages, etc.

  • On August 27th, the Town provided DEC with 18 pages of comments on the DEIS from the Town Planning Board and Environmental Commission, including:

    • "The DEIS states ... that no karst features exist on the site, but the document does not appear to include an explanation of how this conclusion was reached." They advised awaiting the results of the already-contracted outside expert.

    • a challenge to the assertion that the proposed resort would use only 69% more water than peak days at the former Williams Lake resort.

    • there are many conclusions stated without explanation as to how they were reached, and supporting documentation does not appear to justify them.

    • Identification of several areas in which the DEIS failed to cover the material agreed to in the Scoping document approved in April of 2009.

On September 14th, Dr. Ewers submitted his much-awaited 7-page report on HRVR's karst investigation. In contrast to HRVR's assertion that "geologic features typical of a karst type terrain (natural caves, sink holes) are not present on the Site", Dr. Ewers, after reviewing the material provided by HRVR, concludes that "it is likely that a karst aquifer or aquifers exist at the site."

In reviewing the methodology used by HRVR, Dr. Ewers observes:
ABOUT THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT   |    THE ISSUES AND IMPACTS    |    SOLUTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES
DOCUMENT DOWNLOADS   |    WHAT YOU CAN DO    |   CONTACT US    |   HOME
Save the Lakes is a member of the Shawangunk Ridge Coalition.