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DEC: State to spend $1.47 million on cleanup at Ronkonkoma brownfield site

A 3.3-acre lot in Ronkonkoma where a wallpaper factory once stood is among 13 municipally owned brownfield sites in the state targeted for an environmental cleanup.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation said Friday it will spend $8.4 million on the sites, including $1.47 million for the vacant Ronkonkoma property on the south side of Easton Street, between Raynor Street and Elm Avenue.

The DEC said it also will spend $275,000 to help clean up the site of a former welding company in Elmont at 546 Hempstead Tpke.

Paints were manufactured in the 1920s at the Ronkonkoma site, which is zoned industrial. Wallpaper production took over after an unspecified period, according to the DEC. After the wallpaper company left in 1984, the site was used to manufacture synthetic construction lumber. Suffolk County acquired the property in 2001, and building demolition was completed in 2004, the agency said.

Toxic wastes at the site include chromium copper and lead barium, the DEC said. The cleanup will include excavation of contaminated soil to be replaced by clean fill.

The same remediation is planned for the Hempstead Turnpike site in Nassau County, according to the DEC. The site, between Louis and Makofske avenues in Elmont, formerly housed a welding company that has been demolished, the agency said. The site, zoned commercial, was originally used as an automobile garage in the 1920s, then became an auto repair shop in the 1950s and '60s. An adjacent lot at the site was used as a parking area for construction equipment.

Six contaminants of concern have been identified at the site, including lead and cadmium, the DEC said.

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