Brookhaven agrees to pay $250K fine over emissions from landfill
The Town of Brookhaven has agreed to pay a nearly $250,000
fine over emissions from its landfill – ending a decade-long fight over
complaints about foul odors and sicknesses.
The EPA and the Justice Department claim the town violated
the Clean Air Act by failing to monitor and control the release of gases,
including sulfur dioxide – which officials say has a foul odor and can pose a
Mary Burks, who lives in the shadow of the Brookhaven Town
landfill, says it might be making her 6-year-old daughter sick.
“She's always complaining of stomach aches,” says
Adrienne Esposito with Citizens Campaign for the
Environment says the settlement doesn't go far enough.
“This minuscule fine really doesn't reflect the problem
associated with landfill toxic gases escaping and going into the community. The
town has a great responsibility to protect the public health,” she said.
No one from Brookhaven Town agreed to speak with News 12 on
camera. Officials released a statement that said they had already completed
certain requirements, including the installation of a new device to control
emissions and the operation of an air treatment system.
"While EPA and DOJ have alleged violations of air
quality requirements, the town has not admitted any liability with respect to
the allegations," the statement reads.
A group of teachers at Frank P. Long Intermediate School
filed a state lawsuit, claiming that emissions from the landfill gave them
cancer and other illnesses. A report, however, from the state Health Department
recently said there was no cancer cluster at the school.
The landfill is slated to close in 2024 when it is expected
to reach capacity.