Toxic waste site owned by LIRR in Yaphank sparks environmental debate

Studies have discovered pollutants such as arsenic, lead and copper at the site. (3/6/14)

EAST YAPHANK - The Department of Environmental Conservation is moving to clean up a toxic waste site owned by the Long Island Rail Road in Yaphank.

The four-acre parcel of land was once used as an unauthorized dumping site. Studies have discovered pollutants such as arsenic, lead and copper at the site.

The Town of Brookhaven and civic leaders don't support the DEC's plan to cap the contaminated soil at the current site. Town Supervisor Edward Romaine asked the DEC to remove the waste in a letter to the agency.

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Civic leader Mary Johnston says leaving the soil poses a risk to the Carmen Group's river restoration project.

The DEC discussed the $9 million capping plan on the table at an East Yaphank Civic Association meeting Thursday night. Project manager Nathan Putnum says while this isn't the cheapest option, it's one both the agency and the railroad agree on.

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