S3 Flood Zone Documents



Comparison of Cayuga Salt Mine with Hampton Corners Salt Mine



NYS Office of General Services documents








Cargill Reports


In 54 years of operating Cayuga Salt Mine (CSM), Cargill has never carried out an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the mine, whereas DEC has required American Rock Salt to carry out two EISs on the Hampton Corners Salt Mine in the past 24 years.

There have been numerous opportunities during this 54-year period when the DEC could have decided that a certain material change in either mining technology or the size of the permitted reserves required an EIS under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

Examples of such opportunities include:

  • the transition from Large Pillar mining technology to Small Yield Pillar Technology in the 6-level East Mine in the 1970s and 1980s
  • beginning to mine under Cayuga Lake in the 6-level mine in 1984
  • applying to expand the permitted reserves in 1997
  • applying to expand the permitted reserves in 2016 (check) by 150 acres
  • applying for a permit to up-bore Shaft #4 about 2300 vertical feet through both the gas-containing Marcellus Shale and through several freshwater aquifers
  • purchasing about 2000 acres of mineral rights under land north and northeast of Shaft #4
  • applying for permission to mine under Anomaly C
  • applying for permission to store Shaft #4 leakage waters in ponds in the western portions of mining panels U58 and U60
  • applying for permission to cut a ramp from mining panel U62 up into the 5-level salt seam
  • reporting to DEC that backfilling was taking place in portions of mining panels U12A, and U40 due to anomalously-high rates of room closure.

In about 1997(check), Cargill hired Spectra Environmental Group of Latham NY (now a part of JMT) to produce two large studies that were then produced in 2000:

  • a Mine Land Use Plan volume I
  • an Expanded Environmental Assessment volume II

The selection of Spectra rather than an experienced mining consultant like RESPEC in South Dakota was unusual in that Spectra’s web site at the time made no mention of any prior experience with the mining sector. However, their office was a mere 10 miles from the NYS Capitol Building compared to the 1,728 miles from Rapid City, SD to the State Capitol.

In any case, it is worth noting that DEC mining consultant John T. Boyd Company in their review of the Expanded Environmental Assessment and the Mined Land Use Plan wrote in conclusion in February 2002,

“Based on available information provided by Cargill, it is BOYD’s opinion the current design is adequate to provide stable mine conditions over the short- to medium-term (next 5 to 10 years) of operations.”

In other words, the shelf life of these documents was in Boyd’s opinion expiring in 2007 to 2012. What’s more this document is highly redacted with, for example, the first 68 pages of the EEA missing. These missing pages according to the table of contents make up most of a 75-page description of the “Environmental Setting”. Why was description of the geology of central New York being allowed to be treated as a trade secret? Was the mine located in a geologically-risky setting?
















2017 Maps







Clean Water Act Lawsuit

These two files contain hundreds of pages of Best Management Practices put together in 2020 by Cargill consultant Ramboll. They describe steps that Cargill could implement to reduce salt dust emissions and salty stormwater runoff from Cargill’s Portland Point facility.” Cargill built a 90,000 sq ft building to cover one of three bulk salt storage pads on the main campus. By housing a salt conveyor drop zone inside this new structure and by other improvements, Cargill did subsequently reduce salt dust emissions significantly. However, saline runoff into Cayuga Lake remains an on-going problem.

0016-002. (03-16-2020) Appendix 1 Part 1 of 2

0016-003. (03-16-2020) Appendix 1 Part 2 of 2

0022. (05-14-2020) CONSENT ORDER DISMISSING CASE. Signed by Senior Judge Lawrence E. Kahn on May 14 2020

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