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State, county to help clean up toxic locale

State and Suffolk County officials are collaborating to clean up an abandoned and contaminated property in Islip, County Executive Steve Bellone announced Monday.

The cleanup of the former junkyard at 156 Grant Ave. would allow the petroleum-contaminated property to be sold and redeveloped, said Sarah Lansdale, director of Suffolk County economic development and planning. The 1.5-acre property was previously used as an auto wrecking yard and for coal and wood storage, she said.

The cleanup is being undertaken by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the nonprofit Suffolk County Landbank Corp., officials said. The remediation effort is being funded through a state oil spill fund and will include soil removal and groundwater sampling, a DEC official said.

The property owner has not paid taxes in 22 years, officials said. The county has had to reimburse the town, school district and other local taxing agencies for the property’s $617,000 in unpaid taxes under Suffolk law, said Lansdale, who is also executive director of the Landbank Corp.

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