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Oct 11, 2016 3:44 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Motel Owner Insists Business Is Not Polluting Penny Pond Canal

Jagannath Jayaswal at the Bel Aire Cove Motel in Hampton Bays on Monday morning.  DANA SHAW
Oct 12, 2016 10:14 AM

The family that owns the Bel Aire Cove Motel in Hampton Bays said this week that they are not responsible for polluting nearby Penny Pond Canal, dismissing the findings of a recent study financed by a community group whose leaders charge that the building’s year-round occupants are to blame for the contamination.

Paid for by the Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays, the study alleges that the 19-room Shinnecock Road motel is responsible for elevated levels of fecal coliform, nitrogen and ammonia found in the canal, which connects with western Shinnecock Bay. Fecal coliform levels were found to be at 200 mpn—an abbreviation for “most probable number”—per 100 milliliters, as per the study; fecal coliform should stay below 70 mpn per 100 milliliters, according to environmentalists.

But Jagannath Jayaswal, whose family has owned and operated the two-story motel since 1988, said the study unfairly places the blame on his business, adding that there is no direct link between his motel and the pollution.

“If you know boats—and I have friends who have boats—[people] dump whatever they have into the water,” Mr. Jayaswal said. “I can’t be held for that. I do not have any cesspools connected to the water or anything coming in here.”

Walking around the outside of his motel on Monday afternoon, Mr. Jayaswal stated that none of the estimated 10 cesspools servicing his motel is leaching contaminants into the saltwater. He added that the cesspools were already installed when his family purchased the 1.3-acre property nearly three decades earlier. The motel itself was constructed in either 1954 or 1955, according to Mr. Jayaswal.

Hampton Bays residents—most notably Michael Dunn and Robert Liner, president and vice president, respectively, of Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays—have taken issue with the motel in recent years, charging that it no longer operates as a seasonal business, and that the pollution is due to the overtaxing of the facility’s cesspools. To prove their allegations, the group raised $5,000 to hire an environmental engineer, PW Grosser Consulting Inc. of Bohemia, to conduct a water quality study at the canal this past summer.

PW Grosser collected samples from the canal adjacent to the Bel Aire Cove Motel bulkhead during low tide on August 22. Alpha Analytical Laboratories, based in Westborough, Massachusetts, then tested the water and found that the levels of fecal coliform, nitrogen and ammonia are especially high in the canal.

Fecal coliform was at 200 mpn per 100 milliliters. The study did not show what normal levels of fecal coliform would be, though Peconic Baykeeper Sean O’Neill, who was not involved with the research, has noted that the amount of fecal coliform in the water should stay below 70 mpn/100 ml.

At the time Mr. O’Neill also noted that fecal coliform is a particularly broad term—an umbrella term for bacteria that is commonly used to gauge water quality but does not specify a type of fecal bacteria, such as Enterococcus, or E. coli, which could provide a better idea as to where the pollution is coming from. In addition to septic systems, Mr. O’Neill suggested that other pollutants, such as pesticides and lawn fertilizers, also could have played a role in the elevated levels of fecal coliform.

Additionally, the study showed that nitrogen was at 4.5 milligrams per liter. In marine environments, Mr. O’Neill said, nitrogen levels should stay below 0.45 ml/l for marine life to survive. The county standard for drinking water is below 10 ml/l.

Mr. Jayaswal said he thinks the pollution uncovered by the recent testing could also be traced back to other properties lining the canal. Sitting just east of the motel is a lot owned by Southampton Town Trustees that features an unoccupied structure while several restaurants, including The Station Bar, also overlook the waterway.

“We are poor people, I’ll be honest with you, but we don’t cause any grief to anybody,” Mr. Jayaswal said, noting that he lives less than 10 minutes away from the motel in a house overlooking Shinnecock Bay.

Mr. Dunn, who said he has never spoken with Mr. Jayaswal, still blames the motel, and its occupants, for the pollution. “My belief is that that motel is contributing most of the pollutants,” he said. “But that’s for the politicians to find out—what is the source?”

Mr. Dunn and Mr. Liner forwarded the results of their completed study to the Southampton Town Board in September. Town officials have not said if they would be taking any action.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dunn said members of his group are confidant that the continued use of seasonal motel rooms as year-round apartments is to blame for the contamination.

“We know darn well that there are occupants in that motel full time,” Mr. Dunn said, noting that the town code says motels must be for short-term use. “How is this still going on today?”

The town code notes that motels are classified as a transient use, meaning that visitors cannot stay for more than 30 consecutive days.

Mr. Jayaswal said only two people currently live at his motel year-round. “They have no place to go,” he added.

Over the winter, Mr. Jayaswal said people tend to rent rooms for a week or a month at a time. That changes in the summer months when daily turnover is more common, he added. He estimated that six of his 19 rooms have been turned over in the past 20 days.

“We have very poor people,” Mr. Jayaswal said. “A lot of them come or go.”

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He's accusing boater's of dumping whatever they have in the water? What a fool. And then he admits he has two people living at the motel year round, I'm sure it's more, and many more staying longer than 30 days. Come on, Southampton, he just admitted he's broken the law. Shut the place down!
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Oct 12, 16 12:19 PM
2 members liked this comment
Is this motel owner kidding? Does he not know that the multiple code violation complaints have been shared with many of the residents. His family owns other motel in Town. He has thumbed his nose at the residents and the Town Official for years - enough. Many of the residents of Hampton Bays are sick of hearing excuses from greedy landlords that misuse their properties and collect the rents while the rest of us pay the taxes. We are sick of hearing excuses from the elected officials. This ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 12, 16 2:41 PM
I'm looking at the picture and I see boats. Ever go to ANY marina...? They are all oilslicks. Ever see a boat when it starts up? Any two cylinder boat spews blue oil smoke. So he has a couple year rounders. What about the houses near him where a "couple" of people year round live. The board of health regulates cesspools. I'm not sure if it's anyone else's fault but it's definitely not all his. Don't run him out of business when you don't REALLY know....
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Oct 12, 16 3:00 PM
Are 'oilsliks" the same as 'elevated levels of fecal coliform, nitrogen and ammonia"

No one is running him out of town, they are asking him to conform to the laws of the town.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 13, 16 10:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
Studies show that 100% of polluters deny they are polluters. The same statistic goes for people that are asked if they have illegal rentals. An astonishing 100% of those surveyed denied having illegal rentals right before they were served with summonses.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Oct 12, 16 3:35 PM
Ok. Lets test the logic of yoir arguement: "Even Flow", you are a polluter AND you have illegal residences. After you deny these accusations, I guess we can conclude that you are GUILTY. Your argument is meaningless.
By Nukiepoo (123), Southampton on Oct 13, 16 8:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
I'm interested to see where this falls on the liberal hierarchy..... Who wins?
Illegals vs. Environment
I love this stuff
By jams (129), hampton bays on Oct 12, 16 5:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
Studies show Hampton Bays is infested with anti business over the hill big mouths. They like to plant flowers and let buildings crumble. Very intelligent way to build a town.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 12, 16 6:14 PM
3 members liked this comment
As the Art of War says, lose without dying. The only thing left to do is to get the heck out of HB. It's been overrun and will NEVER be same again.
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Oct 12, 16 7:16 PM
Love that this makes no mention of the fqct that the bay keeper, in the previous article, stated water pooling up at low tide would be an u fair way to test the water...

Nor does anyone ever just come out and say what they freaking mean...The CCHB dont like illegals. Plain and simple. Lets be honest fellas...
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Oct 13, 16 3:40 AM
2 members liked this comment
That is right Mr. Quinn, from what I know CCHB is against Illegal landlords. It is disgraceful that landlords take advantage of other property owners to benefit themselves and get away with it. I am also against people that steal, sell drugs, drive without a license, throw garbage on the street or out their window, leave their dog's feces on the beach. I don't know whose actions are worse - the people that do it, the people that condone it,(Like yourself) or the Town Officials that look the other ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 13, 16 9:05 AM
2 members liked this comment
All well and good. Just wish we'd act like adults and say what we mean instead of arguing about strawmen in the form of pollution. It is nonsense. I dont see how I'm condoning it? But whatever lol no dog in this fight...
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Oct 14, 16 1:19 AM
And, lol...

The irony. I ask for you to say what you mean, and you say something sorta kinda like what you mean....

The CCHB dislike illegals, because illegals dont pay school taxes, which is hurting iur achool district. Ive been to meetings and talked to you guys. That is your argument.

To say you simply dont like illegal landlords is both dishonest, and hilarious.

Grow up. Say what you mean.
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Oct 14, 16 1:25 AM
So what you are saying is that only illegals are landlords? of overcrowded houses? Interesting.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 14, 16 9:29 AM
What?!? Lol, no, seriously. What?

I'll say it one last time. The CCHB dislikes illegal aliens, becasue, the argument goes, they drain the resources of the school district without paying taxes. Prior to this pollution argument, the CCHB has tried to remove illegal aliens from the district by feigning concern for people living in overcrowded houses, saying it is a fire hazard, etc. Because the CCHB has been unable to make any headway up to this point removing said illegal aliens, they are ...more
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Oct 15, 16 2:48 AM
You don't know what you don't know, young grasshopper. What you mistakenly describe as your courage to say what people are afraid to utter is actually youthful convolution of the issues. The inhabitants of that house could be a convent of nuns. It wouldn't matter. Illegal immigrants aren't victims. If the house was a crack den, would you make the argument that the CCHB didn't like crack and crack heads? It's a red herring.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Oct 15, 16 7:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
The irony that you lecture about courage to say something while you hide behind a screen name is not lost on me.

And, lol, yes?!? If it was a crack den, and instead of saying, we dont like crack heads in HB, the CCHB complained about pollution, I would ask them to be honest and make the argument about reaidents using crack.

When the only landlords you attack are the ones housing illegal aliens, and the members of the CCHB tell you to a man, at every turn, their problems with illegal ...more
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Oct 17, 16 2:53 PM
I have never once heard the CCHB state that only the 'illegal aliens' are the problem. They are saying exactly what you are saying... there is a problem with children going to our school who should not be. You are the one saying they are only 'illegal aliens' attending our schools.

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 16 10:53 AM
HB Proud... couldn't have wrote that better... place is a dump and should be shut down. Also I see kids living there and going to the schools. It's a disgrace
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Oct 13, 16 10:06 AM
2 members liked this comment
So the CCHB never spoke directly to or even contacted the Motel owners about this? Sounds like a typical HB witch hunt as there are lots of homes on that canal and others, along with many businesses too. Nice how one Dunn can raise private $$ for this joke and then have his wife (HBProud) spew more BS in the comment section (Hi Kathy)..... HB is & will always be a dump as long as people like this exist. Too bad, as it could be really nice.
By G (342), Southampton on Oct 13, 16 11:56 AM
Why would they? Were they supposed to ask if he is polluting our waters? I guess if they had he would have said no and the water would be just fine.

Of course there are other places on the canal. Are they year round residences? Are they overpopulated? Are their cesspools antiquated? Are you involved in the process and know the answers or just attempting to poke holes because you can?
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 14, 16 9:33 AM
Looks like illegals are heating environment thus far.
Stay tuned.
Also... They are called "illegals" because they broke the law. They continue to break laws daily as they live work drive and defraud the government for things like EBT cards and free healthcare.
Why would someone "like" illegals?
By jams (129), hampton bays on Oct 13, 16 12:23 PM
Hey G not sure why you would assume I am Kathy Dunn. Not sure why you are so concerned about HB when you are from Southampton. Sorry you think my comments are BS. You are entitled to your opinion about HB and the work of the CCHB. I am entitled to mine. If you think HB is a dump, stay on your side of the canal. We may all be better off.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 14, 16 12:03 AM
1 member liked this comment
Mr. Quinn, I said exactly what I meant. It is my conviction that a sense of entitlement and a disregard for the law, left unattended, ruins a community - from petty littering to major crimes. You can disagree and condone lawlessness - you are entitled to your opinion. I would hope that you are "grown up" enough to respect others' opinions..
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 14, 16 11:13 AM
Geeeeeze. Who is condonig anything? Who the heck has a sense of entitlement? Lol and who is disrespecting you? Asking for honesty is disrespect now?!

Please see above...
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Oct 15, 16 2:54 AM
Geeeeez is right, Mr. Quinn. Property owners like this motel owner have have a sense of entitlement and thumb there noses at the rules and the rest of the property owners that follow the rules. I am being honest and I don't appreciate your comments about growing up and calling CCHB members "idiots" - from the other article you posted to. If you think it is ok to cherry pick who gets to break rules and who doesn't - you are entitled to your opinion. From my experience, that never turns out well ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 15, 16 5:34 PM
3 members liked this comment
I think you need to get a better understanding of the term "sense of entitlement." It doesnt mean "rulebreaker," per se.

As for being honest, again, see above. Were you guys honestly worried about the safety and well being of the illegal aliens you tried to have evicted in the middle of winter because it was a fire hazard? I think not lol.

By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Oct 17, 16 2:58 PM
Somebody needs to tell the "baykeeper" that the DEC and health department always take water samples at low tide.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Oct 17, 16 7:52 AM
Sounds like Mr Quinn is a landlord. Lol
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 17, 16 4:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
There are people that are CCHB hater - haters will hate. They judge a group as a whole and don't bother to get the facts. Sadly, many of them sing "praise the Lord" in some Church at 9 AM and starts calling people racists at 10 AM. - a lot like radical terrorist.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 18, 16 8:01 PM