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Roberto Clemente Park toxic debris cleanup plan approved by state

Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood is shown on

Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood is shown on Friday, May 9, 2014. Credit: Randee Daddona

The state Department of Environmental Conservation Tuesday approved the Town of Islip's plan to clean up an estimated 50,000 tons of illegally dumped contaminated debris at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood.

The revised and "streamlined" plan sent to the DEC last Wednesday received approval just before the 2 p.m. town board meeting Tuesday, Islip Parks Deputy Commissioner Inez Birbiglia said while giving her updates on the remediation project.

Islip Parks Commissioner Kerry Sloane Bassett, who was appointed to the post last week, said advertising for a bid to conduct the cleanup work could go out as early as next Thursday. The bidding process takes 30 to 45 days, she said, adding that she couldn't estimate when the remediation would be complete.

The original proposal, submitted to the DEC Sept. 5, was criticized by the agency, which called for two more groundwater monitoring wells to be installed in addition to the three already put in the park in September. It also called for additional rounds of groundwater sampling, air monitoring and endpoint sampling to ensure all contaminated debris has been removed. Those measures, along with the formation of a community participation group, were included in the approved plan.

Sloane Bassett lauded her deputy, Birbiglia, for getting the plan approved.

"I'm thrilled for Inez's success. I'm glad to move forward," Sloane Bassett said.

The plan has also been reviewed by the state Department of Labor, state Department of Health, Suffolk County Department of Health Services and the Suffolk County Water Authority.

"DEC will continue to work closely with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services on the cleanup of Roberto Clemente Park to remove potential environmental and health risks so community residents and visitors will be safe when they use the park," DEC Regional Director Peter Scully said in a statement.

Last month, two former town parks employees -- former Commissioner Joseph J. Montuori Jr. and his former secretary Brett A. Robinson -- were among six men indicted because of their alleged roles in illegal dumping following a criminal probe.

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