Park reopens nearly 4 years after illegal dumping was uncovered

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BRENTWOOD -

Roberto Clemente Park reopened Monday, nearly four years after the Brentwood park was shuttered due to contamination from illegal dumping.

The park is now open daily from 8 a.m. until dusk, and Town of Islip officials say they are planning a grand reopening event soon.

They say the baseball field and playgrounds are now ready for children to use. A field where the toxic dumping occurred has been cleaned and backfilled with top soil and new grass seed, officials say.

As News 12 has reported, authorities say tens of thousands of tons of toxic debris had been illegally dumped at the park, about 50 feet away from the playground. The park had been completely closed since the dumping was discovered in 2014.

Town of Islip Parks Commissioner Thomas Owens says the Department of Environmental Conservation requires the town to conduct air and groundwater testing and monitoring to ensure the site is safe.

One young Brentwood resident, Elizabeth Diaz, was excited to get back in the park. “I think it’s awesome, I love it,” she says. “We used to come here when it was open, and now I’m 7 and I’m back here.”

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