Apr. 27, 2016: With digging expected to start soon on the controversial Hayes Field redevelopment project, an even larger public health and ecological concern to Bronxville residents looms up the road in Tuckahoe.
Before an overflow crowd of concerned citizens, the state Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") held a public hearing on April 14 on a proposed hotel project on Marbledale Road that would be built on top of an abandoned marble quarry, a Brownfield site replete with hair-raising levels of toxic waste and carcinogenic groundwater contaminants.
At the meeting, DEC officials tried to paper over longtime residents' concerns over the potential health hazards of building on this site by putting forward a laughably insufficient remediation plan.
Developed in partnership with the site developer (conflict of interest, anyone?), the planned remediation would involve a "cap and vent" of only a small portion of the actual proposed site. In other words, DEC officials are proposing that the developer be allowed to leave all the wastes in place at the 3.5-acre site except for a small portion (100,000 cubic yards) in the center of the site that would be "capped."
Needless to say, this Band-Aid remedy is entirely unacceptable and a complete waste of tax money. To add insult to injury, DEC also tried to claim with a straight face that there are no groundwater flows that could carry potential contaminants south toward Bronxville and the Bronx River by basing their findings on a previous and inappropriate Brownfield case.
Despite the groundwater testing DEC has conducted to date, it is irresponsible to argue that there is no basis for the community to be concerned.
Before this project is allowed to get off the ground, Bronxville residents must insist upon a full and comprehensive examination of the entire landfill site.
Without a neutral assessment of the environmental impact of such a project, the surrounding community risks exposure to an untold amount of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Clean up first, redevelop later.
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