Update: Stop Work Order Issued Residents Near Canevari Farm Raise Concerns of Potential Toxic Runoff
Updated: Feb 27
UPDATE: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has shut down work at the Canevari site. They will not be permitted to resume the work until the water and soil has been tested for any toxicity. One neighbor said "That's going to be quite a feat! How are you going to test a pile that is 80 ft. deep", and added that his uderstanding is that all that groundwork work to date was done without a proper permit. Another neighbor said that he already has runoff on his driveway, which he has to clean over and over, and that he fears that with the natural course of drainage now blocked there will be flooding in the future."
Chester - A group of neighbors adjacent major renovations at the Canevari Farm on Route 94 in Chester are concerned about some of the construction practices there, particularly over the past 7 months.
Truck after truck in a seemingly endless line brought piles of fill of questionable mix onto the site, behind the house, until it became a veritable man-made hillside. After complaints about dirt spilled or dragged onto Route 94, threatening damage to the pavement, a sweeper was finally brought twice to clean the compounding mud tracks, and gravel was added to the driveway to help keep the dirt on site.
The bigger concern, however, are the many (possibly dozens) of tons now on a hillside near the protected Black Dirt below, and the lowland water that could be 'tainted' by anything that might be toxic in the soil mix. Last month during a recent heavy rain, significant smoke rose from the dirt mountain because of decaying material in the mix. Was it the majority of the mix that was relatively clean wood chips? Or was there other decaying material or manure in the dark dirt material of the mix?
Speaking to Chester Supervisor, Robert Valentine, he said that the restorations were being made by the Canevari sons after their dad's passing, and that they have been working hard to restore the site, which is in the Agricultural District, to a producing farm again, and that the rich soil was brought in for future crop farming that they hope will not be in the too distant future. Valentine added that the Town Engineer has been, and will continue to monitor the work.