Town to begin cleanup of tainted sites in Bay Shore, Central Islip

Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci, left, surveys preparations Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci, left, surveys preparations for cleaning up friable asbestos at the Clayton Street Police Athletic League fields in Central Islip. Photo Credit: Town of Islip

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The Town of Islip next month will begin cleaning up the first of several sites where toxic materials have been found after a probe launched by the Suffolk County district attorney into illegal dumping prompted the town to do its own review of more than 100 town-owned parks.

Remediation will take place on Aug. 7 at a small area at the Bay Shore Marina where non-friable asbestos was found, and on Aug. 11 at the Police Athletic League fields on Clayton Street in Central Islip to remove a 10-by- 10-foot pile tainted with friable asbestos.

Work at both sites, which has been approved by the New York State Department of Labor, should take about three days each, Islip Town Parks Deputy Commissioner Inez Birbiglia said.

Branch Services, a Ronkonkoma-based environmental services company specializing in asbestos abatement, has been hired by the town for $60,000 to complete both jobs, Birbiglia said. Air monitoring will be conducted during the asbestos removal by Enviroscience Consultants Inc., an environmental consulting firm, also of Ronkonkoma. Enviroscience was first hired by the town in early May for $192,500 to prepare remediation plans, assist with cleanup oversight and regulatory monitoring, and again later that month for $50,150 to assess potential contaminants at all 109 town parks.

This week, the town started clearing the area around the pile at Clayton Street, including removing wood chips, and construction and demolition debris, said Birbiglia.

District Attorney Thomas Spota began his investigation in April into large-scale dumping in Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood and has since expanded it to three other sites: the six-home subdivision Veterans Way in Islandia, a privately owned 1-acre site on Islip Avenue at Sage Street in Central Islip, and a sensitive wetlands area on the Islip-Babylon town line. They have all been confirmed to have heavy metals and pesticides present in debris dumped there, Spota has said.

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Spota said investigators have connected the materials at these four sites "to the same individual and entities," but the Clayton Street fields and Bay Shore Marina have not been linked to the illegal dumping.

Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci visited the Clayton Street fields in Central Islip Tuesday to see the preparations that have begun to remove the asbestos found there.

"The town made a promise and a commitment to the residents of Islip that what has been broken in our town will be fixed," Croci said in a statement.

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"The remediation of the Clayton Street fields is the first step in a plan that seeks to make necessary improvements needed to get these parks and facilities open and operational, and given back to their communities."The town is continuing to work on a remediation plan for Roberto Clemente Park, where an estimated 50,000 tons of debris laced with toxins has been dumped since at least June of last year.

Town officials have said a remediation plan should be ready by late August to send to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which is the regulating authority for the cleanup.

The park's plan -- which may take at least six months and $6 million to complete -- must also be approved by the State Labor Department and state and county departments of health.

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