SHOULD SULLIVAN CASINOS BE ALLOWED TO SHUT DOWN RT 17?

SHOULD SULLIVAN CASINOS BE ALLOWED TO SHUT DOWN RT 17?

SIGN OUR CASINO PETITION BELOW ST. REGIS MOHAWK TRIBE MOHAWK MOUNTAIN CASINO AND RESORT 66-Acre Fee-to-Trust Acquisition and Casino Project in Sullivan County

Orange Environment has filed testimony with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Indian Gaming Commission and the Town of Thompson Planning Board calling for a delay in giving permission for the casino until an administrative hearing is held on the impacts of Sullivan casinos on the quality of life in Orange County

Specifically, we are concerned that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) submitted by Mohawk Mountain Resort fails to inform decision makers about significant adverse impacts from this project that, if unaddressed, should force them to refuse to issue needed permits.

Of major significance to Orange County are traffic impacts. The DEIS and SDEIS use an inadequate model for estimating traffic growth for the proposed project alone and in light of other gambling projects and other developments in Sullivan County, in Orange County, and along the Route 17 Corridor as it becomes Interstate 86. As a result, inaccurate data with regard to traffic impacts in Orange County are presented and wrong conclusions about the significance of cumulative regional traffic impacts are drawn. It is now common to have lengthy waits during weekly morning and evening commutes and extreme waits during Friday evening and Sunday afternoon and evening periods along Rt. 17. Inclement weather and increasingly common accidents cause ad hoc waits along this system. This problem has not been solved by increasing speed limits, which have dramatically increased hazards of driving on Rt. 17. Against this dire reality, the SDEIS and DEIS conclude that there is no traffic problem. The overall result means that, as Rt 17 congests toward a standstill, use of secondary roads as cut-throughs and bypasses will surge. These roads, in many cases already at capacity, will then become incapacitated. Only the substitution of a significant mass transit system for a portion of the traffic flow equivalent to that added by the cumulative projects will serve as true mitigation.

The second problem not addressed, is the issue of air pollution. The SDEIS and DEIS fail to anticipate the certain increase in air pollution in Orange County, already in violation for ozone levels and particulate matter. In fact, they do not include Orange County in their analysis at all! Increased traffic along the roads in Orange County will add all of the national ambient air quality standard pollutants to our air. Thus, not only will summertime ozone levels soar, but particulate, hydrocarbon, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide, and carbon monoxide exposures to the Orange County populace will increase exponentially. Given the proximity of residents’ homes and business to the roadway, localized exposure patterns will become a direct health concern, particularly in certain weather conditions. These exposures threaten our health and our children’s’ health.

Help us fight for Orange County! Print, sign and mail the petition to our offices at Orange Environment, PO Box 25, Goshen, NY 10924.