The gate at the west entrance to Roberto Clemente Park...

The gate at the west entrance to Roberto Clemente Park is chained shut on Thursday, May 29, 2014. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The first round of groundwater sampling at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood -- where an estimated 50,000 tons of debris laced with contaminants was illegally dumped -- did not yield any signs of the pollutants, Islip Town officials said.

In late September, after approval by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the town had three monitoring wells installed at the park -- one at the northern end of the site to act as a control, one near the former soccer fields and another below a recharge basin -- to detect harmful chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides.

A report on the testing was prepared by Enviroscience Consultants Inc., a Ronkonkoma-based firm hired by the town to conduct remediation in the park.

"Based on the groundwater monitoring results, no significant impacts to the groundwater from the illegal disposal of contaminated fill at the site were identified at this time," Greg Menegio, a senior scientist with Enviroscience, wrote in the Oct. 16 report.

The park is part of a criminal probe by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota into illegal dumping on Long Island, including at three other sites in Islip. A special grand jury was convened on the matter about seven weeks ago.

Groundwater testing had to be completed before any of the materials were removed, town officials have said. The testing will continue during the cleanup process.

The DEC has yet to approve a remediation plan for the park.

Meanwhile, at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building in Hauppauge Thursday, Suffolk County legislators Monica R. Martinez (D-Brentwood) and Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) said they will introduce a bill next month for the county's Department of Health Services to install its own groundwater monitoring wells at Roberto Clemente Park and the other known contaminated sites.

Martinez said she wants community input while the county makes sure all remediation plans "are dealt with accordingly and making sure they are meeting state and federal guidelines when cleaning it up."

Hahn, chairwoman of the legislature's Environment Committee, said: "I think it is critical that Suffolk County Health Department has our own monitoring wells in this park and in the other areas of dumping."

Islip officials defended their groundwater monitoring plan in the park.

"We have no indication this plan was not done in accordance with New York State regulations, from the regulatory agency who would be issuing those guidelines," said Islip Town Deputy Supervisor Eric Hofmeister.

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