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Brookhaven brownfield report finds 633 potentially contaminated sites

Officials identified more than double the number of contaminated properties than they expected that could be in need of remediation and redevelopment in the greater Bellport area.

Brookhaven officials said the goal is to stimulate

Brookhaven officials said the goal is to stimulate investment in Bellport. Above, Brookhaven Town Hall in 2017. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Brookhaven planning officials have identified more than 633 potentially contaminated properties — more than double what they expected — that could be in need of remediation and redevelopment in the greater Bellport area.

Most of the parcels, known as brownfields, are the site of warehouses, auto and manufacturing businesses where oils, liquids and antifreeze leak into soil and groundwater along Montauk Highway in the hamlets of North Bellport, Hagerman and East Patchogue, planning officials said.

Brownfields are sites that have been used for industrial or commercial purposes but can be made safe for redevelopment. While town planning officials have identified the brownfields, eventually the state will determine which parcels are contaminated and in need of remediation. 

Initially, Brookhaven expected to survey 302 parcels of land. During the study, officials determined additional properties needed to be inspected, Brookhaven Town planner Joseph Sanzano said Wednesday.

Of the 633 identified properties, 24 percent are in developed commercial areas, 18 percent are in industrial areas, 10 percent are in residential communities and the remaining parcels are on vacant land, planning officials said.

"The ultimate goal is to stimulate investment and redevelopment around the Long Island Rail Road station in Bellport at Station Road and Montauk Highway," Sanzano said.

Officials said perceived threats to soils and groundwater could deter potential developers from investing in "this residential, socio-economically challenged community," according to the report.

The upcoming report stems from a recommendation in the Greater Bellport Land Use Plan, which was adopted by Brookhaven officials in 2014. Officials then applied for and were awarded a roughly $300,000 state grant to conduct the study. 

The original idea came from the Greater Bellport Sustainable Community Plan in 2009, which partnered with the town and Greater Bellport Coalition.

Town officials plan to release full details of their 2018 Brownfield Opportunity Area report at Thursday's town board meeting, after which public comment will be accepted until Sept. 27. The meeting is at 5 p.m. at Brookhaven Town Hall in Farmingville.

A 19-member steering committee oversaw the study. It wasn't immediately known who was on the committee.  

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