Dragon Springs Development - Neversink River Threat
Dragon Springs Buddhist Inc is proposing to dam a headwater stream, destroy headwater wetlands, discharge poorly-treated wastewater to a Basher Kill trout stream, create acres of impervious cover and runoff, all of which would adversely impact the Basher Kill and the Neversink River. This development has already damaged the aesthetics and quality of the Basher Kill and the Neversink River, impacting fish, mussels and other aquatic life that are both ecologically and recreationally important to the region. The Basher Kill and Neversink River are important recreational resources supporting highly valued swimming and fishing opportunities for both residents and visitors.
Action Opportunity -- Please attend the April 10, 7 pm hearing to learn more and stand in support of protecting our environment and communities, including the Basher Kill and Neversink River. Come listen, testify, and/or show your support for environmental protection by wearing one of the environmental protection stickers we will have available. Get all the details here in our printable/shareable action alert. And please help spread the word.
One of the biggest threatened impacts is the proposal to dam a headwater stream in order to manage stormwater runoff. An extensive forested headwater wetland with amazing ecological biodiversity and ecosystem function would be lost.
The proposed wastewater treatment plant would pollute both a local trout stream and the Basher Kill and the Neversink River, with problems such as excessive nutrients impacting trout and endangered species living in these streams and rivers.
Another significant impact would be excessive stormwater threatening soils, streams, and the riparian corridors on-site and in the downstream receiving areas. The total size of new and expanded impervious surfaces, including new buildings, a very large (many-acre footprint) parking garage, covered roadways, and an expanded road network, will create large volumes of stormwater runoff in a high topographic relief area. These added volumes of stormwater runoff will exacerbate existing stormwater impacts from the current development footprint that have been documented with numerous violations and which have already caused water quality impacts and impairments.
Dragon Springs has also not revealed all of the sensitive areas on the site that will be impacted from their massive bootprint. Many facts are withheld, and others are misrepresented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
A number of state and federally listed Threatened and Endangered species are also located on-site or in areas affected by on-site activities. Among the biggest impacts that need to be evaluated are the water quality impacts to the Dwarf Wedgemussel and the Brook Floater, two freshwater mussels whose last remaining strongholds in New York state are here in the Neversink River but whose populations have severely declined already in recent decades. Existing on-site practices at Dragon Springs have already led to serious violations of turbidity standards and impacts to these sensitive freshwater mussel species in downstream receiving waters. Although a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan is required, additional actions must be included to prevent any further water quality impacts to these sensitive mussel populations. And the combined effects of wastewater flows and high sediment pollution have not been examined at all.
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is actively working with concerned residents and local organizations to address this major threat.