With regard to the expansion of the landfill, this past March, a New York State Administrative Law Judge, Kevin J. Casutto, presided over a sequence of hearings regarding the Town’s application to build and operate Cell 5. Arguments against the granting of a permit were made by attorneys representing the residents of Horizon Village, by the Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club, and by a coalition of local civic groups (including the BVA), with Parent- Teacher Associations and school officials from the South Country and Longwood school districts. Attorneys for Brookhaven Town and the New York State DEC argued in favor of the expansion.
In the end, Judge Casutto ruled that there were no substantive issues that warranted further judicial process. However, in his ruling, Casutto noted that the potential for fugitive ash dust escaping from the landfill does raise "very legitimate public health concerns." The ruling notes that the Town’s testing and monitoring of the environmental impact of the existing Cell 4 has been inadequate, and, "Ingestion of dust particulates must be addressed because of the proximity of the Horizon neighborhood and the likelihood of ingestion of dust and dirt particulates by residents, including children, in neighborhoods nearby." The ruling adds a new condition to the permit to operate Cell 5. The Town is directed to begin air monitoring immediately, and the DEC staff is required to evaluate the monitoring plan and its results, and determine, after one year, whether the permit needs further modification or, possibly, should be revoked.
2. VID Industries
Over the years, the Brookhaven Village Association has been concerned about VID Industries, a demolition debris recycling company located on a 40-acre site between the Long Island Rail Road and Beaver Dam Road, approximately 250 feet west of Arthur Avenue in Brookhaven Hamlet. Approximately 30 acres of this site is an old sand and gravel pit, which is at or near groundwater level. This site, zoned Ll, is adjacent to a residential area, zoned Al.
In December of 1983, VID withdrew its application to dump waste materials. However, a follow-up inspection on January 31, 1984, by Thomas Cramer of Brookhaven Town’s Department of Environmental Protection found eight violations, including home heating oil tanks, motor oil drums engine blocks, buried fuel storage tank, three liquid storage tanks and 11 abandoned heavy-equipment vehicles. Subsequently, the Town recommended: "Any homes with private well water lying southeast of the site and northwest of the Beaver Dam Creek should request that SCDHS test their drinking water annually."