Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rockaway cleanup questioned

From the Daily News:

Rockaway residents are criticizing National Grid for being unresponsive to community concerns as the utility giant prepares to clean up the site of a former gas plant.

The company will begin remediating the site along Beach Channel Drive next month and is expected to excavate more than 130,000 tons of toxin-laden soil from the 9-acre property.

Neighbors believe that excavating the soil, instead of using new remediation technology, is putting the community at risk.

"When toxins become unearthed, they become volatile," said Ronald Joseph, 46, a Verizon worker and homeowner who lives less than 100 yards from the site. "If the remediation is done incorrectly, then we'll be the ones paying for it."

A state Department of Environmental Conservation report in 2004 identified seven probable human carcinogens at the site, which operated as a gas plant from the 1870s until 1958.

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