To the Editor:
Apr. 6, 2016: Like quite a few other people in Bronxville, I was delighted to hear that a new hotel is being planned for Marbledale Road in Tuckahoe. I was not delighted, however, when I recently found out that the hotel would be built on parts of the old Tuckahoe marble quarry that were filled in with toxic waste during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. This waste has never been removed and there is no plan to do so now.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is considering the site as part of a Brownfield application by the developer. The DEC recognizes that the site is toxic but is on the verge of allowing the building to go ahead with only a cap and vent approach to remediation.
Why should anyone in Bronxville care? Because the DEC also found that the groundwater at the site is contaminated with, among other things, metals (that means nasty stuff like lead and mercury) and pesticides and that the groundwater flows south/southwest, which means towards Bronxville and the Bronx River.
The only prudent thing to do is to test the groundwater at various points south of the development site and, in particular, at The Bronxville School, where the water table is high.
It would be terrific if the toxins in the groundwater at the hotel site are not being carried downstream, but there is no way to know without testing. Common sense says that any necessary remediation would be a lot easier to achieve before the hotel is built.
On Thursday, April 14, at 7:00 pm, the DEC is holding a hearing at Tuckahoe Village Hall, 65 Main Street, Tuckahoe, to receive public comments on the remediation plan. I hope Bronxville residents will attend and tell the DEC it needs to require testing of groundwater south of the proposed hotel site before it approves a remediation plan for the site.
If you can't get to the meeting, you can send your comments in a letter to Randy Whitcher, Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Remediation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233. Letters must refer to the site name, Former Marble Quarry Landfill, and the DEC Site number, C360143, and be received by April 24, 2016.
You may also write a letter to our state senator, George Latimer, at 615 Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY 12247.
There is further information on the site and the Brownfield process at the Lower Hudson Sierra Club website, http://www.sierraclub.org/atlantic/lower-hudson.
Bronxville, New York
Editor's note: MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.