New Law to Protect Our Water Supply


Recently Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law that prohibits the sale of personal care products that contain even trace amounts of 1,4-dioxane in New York State, beginning December 31, 2022. This vital new law will protect NYS public health from this toxic chemical exposure and prevent further water contamination in our drinking water. 1,4-Dioxane is a EPA-known carcinogen found everyday products. It can be found in laundry detergents and personal care products, including baby products, shampoos, body wash, and lotions.

Copy and paste links below for printable pdfs of Citizens Campaign for the Environment's guide for listings of well-known products and their levels of the toxic chemical 1,4-dioxane.

Read CCE's 2019 Consumer Shopping Guide: Protecting Your Household from 1,4-Dioxane Exposure

Read CCE's 2018 Consumer Shopping Guide: Protecting Your Household from 1,4-Dioxane Exposure

A Proposed "Anaerobic Digester"

Industrial Waste/Gas Pipeline

Construction near a Residential


UDATE: Proposed digester blocked.

On Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Riverhead residents responded to a proposal that had been presented at Town Hall for a plant called an anaerobic digester that would utilize industrial waste to produce compressed natural gas for National Grid's pipelines.

What are the Components of the Industrial Waste?

No information was provided at the meeting about the actual components of the industrial waste to be processed by the anaerobic digester.

There are four main feedstocks often considered for anaerobic digestion:

  • Animal waste (cow and pig manure),
  • Sewage sludge
  • Separated organics (food scraps and yard waste)
  • Municipal solid waste

What are the Safety/Health/Quality of Life issues involved with an Anaerobic Digester Plant or BioGas Plant?

A number of important safety issues and potential risks for humans and the environment exist when constructing and operating a biogas plant :

  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Asphyxiation
  • Gas poisoning (H2S, NH3)
  • Hydraulic discharge
  • High-pressure methane gas or liquid leaks
  • Surface water leakages
  • Biological hazards/Pathogens (diseases)
  • Electrical system hazards

Anaerobic digesters are only marginally effective at reducing problems with odors, pathogens and greenhouse gas emissions from food/animal waste, but they are incapable of making any chemical contaminants in the wastes go away. Air pollutants such as nitrogen and sulfur oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and ammonia are emited by digesters.  These emissions can make living next to a digester unpleasant, particularly if located in a residential neighborhood.  A large facility as proposed in meeting would bring waste/manure-hauling trucks from around the region. And after the biogas has been produced, there is still the issue of the waste that remains behind. The quantity of waste/manure is not reduced by digestion. It still must be put somewhere.

What are the Costs of Construction and Maintenance of a Anaerobic Digester Plant or BioGas Plant?

The total construction costs of the project has been projected to be between $20 million and $22 million. Additional costs of the yearly operational maintenance of the plant have not been determined.

Is it a Good Investment for Riverhead?

Even when supported by subsidies, anaerobic digesters have a high initial cost and a long payback period. Although methane digester technology has been available for many years, it has not been shown to be an economical way to generate power. Studies show that the installation and operating costs invariably exceed the income the digester generates over a period of years.

The 2020 Free "Buffer in a Bag"

THE New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is presenting The Buffer in a Bag initiative, NYS DEC's Trees for Tribs Program to provide property owners who have a natural fresh water stream or pond with a free bag of native tree bare roots and shrubs seedlings. The  to create a healthy riparian buffer that will help protect and sustain the streamside environment, encourage wildlife habitat, and improve water quality.

Each bag includes 25 bare-root native tree and shrub seedlings, approximately 1 to 2 feet in height. All species are well-suited to streamside conditions and are native to New York.  Applicants with property on Long Island will receive the proposed 2020 Long Island species packet containing Bayberry, beach plum, and eastern red cedar.

All submissions must be submitted by 04/10/2020. Buffer in a Bag kits are sent to selected applicants in late April or early May. If you have questions, please email or call the Trees for Tribs Program at (518) 402-9405.

To find out more about this program or sign up, copy and paste the link below:

New URT Resolution for Biofuel Storage

UDATE: URT Resolution tabled now.

On Wednesday, February 20, at 6:00pm the Town Board held a public meeting on a new URT resolution for biofuel storage. Many local residents and civic groups were present at the meeting to voice their opposition and others submitted letters to the Board.

United Riverhead Terminal (“URT”) submitted an application to the Riverhead Town Board for a special permit for the installation of a 28 ft. x 45 ft. concrete pad and the installation of six (6) 18,000 gallon tanks, totaling 108,000 gallons, for storing biofuel to mix with heating oil. URT plans to mix heating oil with 5% biofuel on site, in order to be compliant with a New York State Environmental Conservation Law 19-0327, as amended by Chapter 315, Laws of 2017.

Currently, URT receives the heating oil premixed with the required five percent biofuel that has been mandated by New York State since July 1st, 2017.

In the recent past URT has indicated the facility may seek to blend biofuel with diesel for use as motor fuel. URT claims they possess a state permit to store gasoline on their site as well. Several years ago, however, URT had planned to move forward with storing gasoline in tanks at the facility but many of the town's residents objected and URT decided not to persue the venture.

The current resolution also calls for the acquisition of a portion of a resident's private property so as to allow for tractor-trailer turn movements westerly onto Sound Avenue as deemed necessary by an engineering study. If necessary, the URT resolution states that "eminent domain must be utilized under the New York State to complete the acquisition of the private property for improvement and highway dedication". However, the property owner was not given any notification of this proposed plan, by either the URT facility or the Riverhead Town

Public Forum on Helicopter Noise

The problem of increasing helicopter noise in the surrounding area has been addressed by a public forum attended by the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC) at Riverhead Town Hall. The ERHC has input in planning of the flight paths across the East End. Aircraft noise complaints by residents have increased as the rate of air traffic has ballooned over the past few years.

Nonstop Helicopter/Plane Noise?

If you are annoyed about the increasing helicopter noise overhead, disrupting your days and evenings? Please contact your State Senators, Congressional Representative, Assembly Representative and Town Board and local airports to let them know your concerns.

Here are some 800 phone numbers, a website and an email to register your complaint.

  •    Call East Hampton noise complaint line 1-800-376-4817
  •    Also call Eastern Region Helicopter Council at 1-800-319-7410
  •    Fill out the online form at
  •    Email with your complaints.

Both local and NYC media report that aircraft noise complaints have grown steadily as the rate of helicopter and plane traffic has increased greatly over the past few years.

On Oct 23, 2017, senate Bill S4333 was signed by Governor Cuomo in the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. Senate Bill S4333 is a home rule bill meant to ensure the participation of the town voters in financial commitments of the Town of East Hampton and the FAA for improvements to East Hampton Airport.  East end residents had petitioned the Governor to sign Bill S4333 to help stem the unbridled growth of the airport.

Examples of the rapid growth of air traffic and aircraft noise complaints in recent years:

  • In the first eight months of 2014, the East Hampton Airport has been reported to have logged over 14,000 takeoffs and landings.
  • There is a new helicopter service (not yet approved) that has proposed to service the North Fork via Mattituck airport. See
  • A private chartered helicopter trip can cost thousands from New York City to the East End of Long Island, but some new chopper services enable passengers to purchase individual seats for much less, about $500 or more.
  • In the past few years North Fork residents have voiced objections to passenger helicopters and other aircraft landing in farm fields and agricultural zones for winery tours by tourists.
  • Real estate agencies have offered select clients free helicopter trips from New York City  to view prime real estate on the East End.

But, does filing a complaint about plane noise really work ?

Filing a complaint at may help, especially if many neighbors in an affected area work in coordination to file their complaints about aircraft noise on a regular basis.


From the planenoise website:

"In 2013, ERHC's PlaneNoise Complaint Box received and processed 1,848 complaints from 94 distinct households, with the majority of complaints coming from Long Island's North Fork... By mapping each complaint it was clear that through ERHC’s voluntary noise abatement procedures Long Island’s helicopter noise issues have been reduced and contained within the two geographic areas."

However, as the rapid growth of the East End air traffic in recent years continues, as outlined in the bullet list above, will a few pilots flying different routes during high peak periods really help mitigate the volume of aircraft noise?


Annual RNPC Member Meeting - December 3, 2020

CALL TO ORDER (PB)     6:30pm

To preserve the quality of life in residential neighborhoods throughout Riverhead as well as the rural atmosphere of our Town by advocating for the protection of residential areas, open spaces and agricultural areas against uses and expansion that would negatively impact the residences and businesses in these areas and violate the letter and intent of the Riverhead Master Plan.

OVERVIEW OF 2020                                     

  • Covid 19 Impact on Public Participation
  • Helicopter Noise
  • Solar Farm Issues
  • Website and Facebook Page
  • Others ?

CURRENT ISSUES              

  • CMA Mine Application
  • Helicopter Noise
  • Solar Farm Issues
  • MasterPlan                                                                                                                                                                                  

YEAR AHEAD                                        
What is important to you?
Continue public information and involvement on key issues


This draft agenda for the RNPC Annual Membership Meeting is for your review and comment. Please let RNPC know if you have anything to add or modify.

To download a copy of this agenda please click here.