Sadly, there is a lot of blame to go around on this one. I probably couldn't name all the parties, but here's a short list:
1) Town of Riverhead. Not just the rail spur, but the Town of Riverhead has been clueless when it comes to developing this parcel of property which was given to them by the Navy. The list is endless, from the slow development from the start, soil remediation plans, the ill-fated "deer hunt" which wound up costing money replacing fencing removed by environmentalists, the plan for concerts (which never happened) there last Summer which would up being a total disaster and cost businesses such as Blue Point Brewery and various hotels out there thousands of dollars, the ill-fated charity Air Show which brought out 25,000 cars at $10.00 per car, and somehow only giving $10,000 to two charities. Part of the deal was also inheriting a power generating station which is now so outdated it is practically worthless. Only the Town of Riverhead would give up a $1.5 million dollar grant over such a small issue. They were worried about having to pay part of it if business didn't pan out, but there were already 2 customers on line, with a third planned. This was just to start out. Funny how money didn't matter this much to the Town when they funded the building of an aquarium (which was only successful after they sold it to Atlantis at a loss), the Suffolk Theater, etc. The list is endless.
2) Other politicians. Pataki was mentioned above, but there are others. Senator Ken LaValle took a lot of credit when this grant was announced. He seems awfully silent now.
3) NIMBYS - Believe it or not, there was some NIMBY opposition to the project, even though it is in the middle of the woods with no chance of residential development in the area. Residents were worried about (gasp!) garbage movements out of the facility. I guess once again they like their current plan, where they put the garbage in a can outside their house and it magically disappears.
4) The railroad - While they were hot on the project when it started, things seemed to cool off as time went on. It's not a good sign when the company that stands to make a profit on this shrugs their shoulders when asked what is the latest news on the project. Any project that the vested parties appear to show little interest in is doomed.
The only good news is that the company in there, Mavilla Foods, is still very interested in rail service. From what I've heard about them, I don't see them giving up quite yet. Kamco unfortunately looks like they did, and it's a shame. These companies moved to that facility specifically because they were promised future rail service. Unfortunately, they may have made the best statement by moving out of the Town of Riverhead.