DEC released a letter in September entitled “Explanation of Significant Differences” explaining why changes to the soil fill had been allowed in the remediation plan. Cervino said the switch from Track 2 residential soil to Track 4 commercial soil will negatively affect future owners in this development. He pointed out that in order to build a house a chemical citeria must be met that guarantees a safe toxicity level for children to play in the yard and for plants to grow there.
According to Cervino, when the board asked for data about the soil, it was estimated that at least 40,000 tons of soil was recontaminated after the site was cleaned up around 2010. Cervino is asking for proof that the 40,000 tons of soil was cleaned up since then because the board was never given data to prove that it was.
“Now we hear that there was this agreement that this property was recontaminated and now they’re going with commercial standard,” he said. “It is now eligible for Track 4, which means the Brownfield cleanup and consent order was not adhered to. I want to know why they were given lax restriction to original agreement.”
Cervino speculated that most of it was left on site. He thinks DEC only cleaned some of the soil out.
CB7 Chairman Gene Kelty said it is out of the board’s hands and can only be handled at the state level. DEC will be voting in two weeks for a certificate of completion. CB 7 said it wants to stall development from moving forward until the board gets clear answers on why the track was changed and the levels of contamination of the soil. CB7 agreed to write a letter to DEC asking state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) and Assemblyman David Rosenthal (D-Flushing) to hold a hearing.