PEMBROKE, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Pembroke homeowner is closer to finding out what’s causing the foundation of his house to crack.

He said data is leading him to believe the nearby quarry could have something to do with it but the vice president of the quarry is standing by his claim that it’s not their fault.

Homeowner Gene Nati said data from County Line Stone shows the quarry has pumped more water out in June and July this year than they did last year in the same time frame.

“I think the volume of water they’re pumping out, based off the research we’re doing and people we have helping us, this fault line in the ground or whatever it would be called leads directly towards the quarry. My house is the only one in direct line with it the rest goes through the woods, backyards, towards County Line Road,” Nati said.

Quarry vice president Brad Buyers said Nati is misinterpreting some of the data.

He said all blasting has been within the legal limits, monthly pumping is down in 2022 from the five-year average, and there is no baseline data for summer well values, making it hard to determine a correlation to spring and fall data.

He also said the house is more than a mile from the quarry, no other neighboring homeowners are reporting issues, and the quarry and house are in separate watersheds.

Nati said he’s not accusing the quarry and said they’ve been cooperative.

He just wants to wait and see the final results of the investigation.

“It looks like from day one they’ve already jumped on, ‘its not their fault’ before an investigation started let alone completed.”

Buyers also released this statement:

“We are very sorry for the tragedy and loss being incurred by the Nati Family. This incident has geologists from all parties without conclusive answers as to both the cause and events ongoing. We are hopeful that in the coming week, the continued-on site investigation will draw conclusions and an understanding.   All agencies and parties have the full support of County Line Stone, and we welcome any inquires or requests for information or assistance.”

The town supervisor and quarry are bringing out experts to dig up the roadway and investigate on Monday.

Full information from County Line Stone:

  • The property and incident in question are more than one mile from the existing quarry location and outside of any ‘cone of influence’ from our mining and dewatering programs.
  • This incident is confined to that immediate location with no other residences on neighboring roads, or within a closer proximity to the quarry reporting issues with ground or basement cracking, etc.   
  • Based on the Genesee County GIS Maps, County Line Stone lies in the Ellicott Creek Watershed with the incident location lying in the Murder Creek Watershed.      
  • We have been working with the NYSDEC as they have an ongoing investigation into the matters at hand and they have our full cooperation.    

It’s my understanding that based on the data we have been asked to provide there are three pieces of information that are being mis-interpreted by the affected party (Geno Nati):

Blasting – All blasting is monitored and recorded for both our internal record keeping as well as the NYSDEC.   We map every blast conducted which has been attached to this email along with the reporting.    The NYSDEC in their investigation asked that all blasting data for the past two weeks be provided as well as any blasts in the last month that registered with the seismograph closest to the incident location (brine line seismograph).   These have all been attached.    Its quite a bit of data to review but all blasting has been consistent with no abnormalities and well within the legal limits.    The seismograph closet to the incident in question (4500’ from 455 Cohocton Residence) only registered two blasts in the last month with a sensitivity of 0.02 in/sec of ground movement.    You can see normal blasting ground movement recorded by the seismographs is in the range of 0.15 – 0.7 in/sec which is a magnitude of 10x compared to that of the brine line seismograph.

Quarry Pumping / Dewatering – Our quarry pump station runs continuously and feeds into Dorsch Creek.    This information is recorded and monitored by both County Line Stone and the NYSDEC.    As you can see, our monthly pumping is down across the year in 2022 from the 5-year average with every month being below the average 5 year running values.   This is in line with the drought trend we have seen in 2022.

Well Data – County Line Stone is required by NYSDEC to provide bi-annual well monitoring which is conducted in May and October annually.    Due to the incident, NYSDEC requested that we take well readings immediately to get an idea as to what the ground water in the vicinity of the quarry is doing.    There are wells that are down substantially in value, all being on the west side of the quarry (further from the residence in question) while wells on the east side are down significantly less.   Well 4-12 which is only 1400 feet from the quarry (due east) and 4500 feet from the incident location showing abnormally high-water levels.     It should be noted that there is no baseline data for summer well values which makes correlation to spring and fall data hard to determine.  I requested at the last meeting between the NYSDEC, Town of Pembroke, and County Line Stone on 8/11 that wells in the immediate proximity of the incident should be measured to gauge their water levels. 

Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.