State DEC unveils plan to clean up toxic site in West Islip

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State Department of Environmental Conservation officials unveiled their plan at a public meeting Wednesday night to clean up a toxic site in West Islip.

High levels of cadmium were found last year near the old Dzus Fastener Company. The discovery prompted the state to reclassify the site as a "significant threat to the public health or environment."

Officials with the DEC said coastal flooding had uncovered the new contamination at Willets Creek, which is south of Union Boulevard where the factory is located.

In January, crews conducted a massive cleanup of contaminated sediment near West Islip High School. A week later, they conducted a cleanup near Beach Street Middle School.

Adrienne Esposito, the executive director for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says cadmium and chromium are heavy metals that can cause serious health effects, such as lung, kidney and heart diseases.

In a statement, officials with the school district said they are continuing to work with environmental officials to ensure their schools provide a safe learning environment.

Wednesday's meeting was the only one the DEC will hold on the proposed cleanup plan.

Residents can still weigh in on the mitigation plan and have until Aug. 21 to email comments to Mailed comments can also be sent to Payson Long at the Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Environmental Remediation – 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-7017. 

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