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Clemente Park cleanup topic of DEC meeting set for Sept. 15

Some of the debris at Roberto Clemente Park

Some of the debris at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood on April 22, 2014. The state DEC is planning to hold a meeting on Sept. 15, 2016 to discuss cleanup efforts at the park. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

A meeting to discuss the cleanup efforts and future safety of Brentwood’s Roberto Clemente Park — where 39,000 tons of contaminated construction and demolition debris was dumped in 2014 — will be held by the state Department of Environmental Conservation this month.

Among the topics will be the Site Management and Restoration Plan, recently approved by the DEC, for the park, the agency’s regional director, Carrie Meek Gallagher, announced in a news release Friday.

The meeting is Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Health, Sports and Education Center lecture hall at the M.J. Grant Campus of Suffolk Community College in Brentwood.

The plan, which the DEC said is the last step in the park’s remediation, includes details on the restoration of the soccer field, a groundwater monitoring plan, a gas monitoring plan, and a description of deed covenants and restrictions.

Materials dumped at Clemente Park — the hamlet’s largest public park — tested positive for the presence of asbestos, elevated levels of organic compounds, metals, pesticides and PCBs.

Sampling taken at the park during the cleanup showed that all the illegally placed material had been removed, the DEC said.

“The approval finalizes the completed cleanup at the public park and ensures the environmental safety of the park for the foreseeable future,” the news release states.

DEC officials at the meeting will outline the remediation work that was done by the Town of Islip and its hired contractor in summer 2015, when the contaminated materials were removed from the site and trucked to DEC-approved locations.

A question-and-answer period will be a part of the meeting where DEC leaders will field inquiries from residents, the release states, but the plans for the redevelopment or any new amenities at the park will not be discussed.

Clemente Park has been closed since April 2014, when Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota launched a probe into dumping there. Six men and four companies were indicted on Dec. 8, 2014, in what prosecutors have called a scheme to dump illegally at four Suffolk sites to avoid paying costly tipping fees to properly dispose of the contaminated materials trucked in from sites across New York City.

On March 30, Thomas Datre Jr., of 5 Brothers Farming Corp,, and Christopher Grabe, of Islandia Recycling, pleaded guilty to multiple felonies for dumping at the park and other sites.

On Aug. 17, former Islip Town Parks Commissioner Joseph J. Montuori Jr. pleaded guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor for allowing the dumping to happen and failing to stop it.

Montuori Jr.’s former secretary, Brett A. Robinson, pleaded guilty the same day to a violation, also for not putting a stop to the dumping.

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