Funds from a lawsuit against eight companies accused of illegally dumping construction waste in a Brentwood park coughed up a total of $627,000 that will be donated to the Town of Islip for improvements to public park facilities in the area. These are the first of the cases resolved that were brought against 33 construction contractors, waste brokers, and waste haulers that illegally dumped waste in the park for years.
The companies had been polluting Roberto Clemente Park, the primary site of the illegal dumping of construction waste in Brentwood forcing it to close while the park was remediated.
According to a press release, between August 2013 and April 2014, tens of thousands of tons of urban soil and construction and demolition debris transported from construction sites in the New York City metropolitan area ended up illegally in Roberto Clemente Park, owned by the Town of Islip. The lawsuit sought damages under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and state public nuisance and negligence laws.
Watch below as New York Attorney General Letitia James delivers a check to the Town of Islip.
Video: Town of Islip.
The Town closed the park in May 2014 when environmental testing revealed the presence of asbestos, and, later, a wide array of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and pesticides where the dumping occurred. The park remained closed until July 2017, as cleanup contractors removed approximately 39,000 tons of construction waste.
Recently, New York Attorney General Letitia James delivered the funds from a federal lawsuit the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) brought in 2017 against the companies. The OAG is working with local community groups, elected officials, and the Town of Islip to engage residents in identifying community priorities for restoring and enhancing Brentwood parks.
“The threats of environmental injustice are real and have unfairly plagued communities like Brentwood for too long,” said Attorney General James. “For over three years, Roberto Clemente Park was used as an illegal dumping grounds, robbing residents of the centerpiece of this community and putting our children in harm’s way.”
The remaining lawsuits are still ongoing. Additional funds will also be directed towards the enhancement of Brentwood-area parks.
Previously, the Town of Islip sued a number of companies and individuals involved in the dumping and it reached agreements for $145,000 for the park’s cleanup with two of the same companies that the state also settled with.
“On behalf of the members of the Islip Town Board and our residents, I applaud Attorney General Letitia James for her unwavering commitment to hold these companies accountable, and for ensuring that restitution be made,” said Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter.. “Although the illegal dumping at Roberto Clemente Park proceeded AG James’ tenure, as it did mine, the AG has remained steadfast in her pledge to make the community whole.”