Neighbors call for answers on toxic Hicksville site

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Residents who live near a former plant where nuclear materials were made are concerned that they could be living in harm's way.

The former Sylvania Corning Plant on Cantiague Rock Road in Hicksville produced nuclear fuel rods for power plants in the 1950s. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on a long-awaited report on the site so that the cleanup of radioactive materials at the site can begin.

Residents who live in a neighborhood near the site say they want answers in the process. Some wonder if they are experiencing a higher-than-average rate of cancer in their area because of contaminants from the site.

Environmentalist Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says the materials used at the site decades ago have been linked to bone, lung and pancreatic cancer. She says it's already likely in the soil and may have contaminated the drinking water.

"We know that it was vented into the air back in the '50s and '60s," Esposito said of the contaminants. "This is a long legacy of very serious contamination and to allow this to go on for 10 years is completely unacceptable."

Today, Sen. Charles Schumer called on the Corps of Engineers to complete its report. "The radioactive waste sitting under Cantiague Rock Road in Hicksville is a hotbed of potential danger," the senator said. "It's time to get a plan in place to mitigate the risks. Hicksville residents deserve a plan as soon as possible." Schumer added that he's pushing for more federal funding to clean up the site and several others.

News 12 Long Island attempted to contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for comment on this story, but did not receive a response.

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