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Aug 18, 2010 2:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town delays approval of Quiogue subdivision after contamination concerns are raised

Aug 18, 2010 2:02 PM

The Southampton Town Planning Board agreed last week to continue accepting public feedback on an application originally filed by Quogue Deputy Mayor Randy Cardo in 2006, which seeks permission to build 10 homes on contaminated land in Quiogue, further delaying the project’s approval.

Tensions ran high at the Planning Board meeting held last Thursday, August 12, when close to a dozen homeowners on Old Meeting House Road in Quiogue, near where the 9.5-acre subdivision is slated to be built, voiced their concerns about chromium contamination that was first discovered on the land two years ago. Several groundwater samples taken from the property contain high levels of chromium, a known carcinogen, that exceed limits established by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

“This is like playing Russian roulette with our families’ health,” said Joseph Dionisio of the subdivision that would be located on the north side of Old Meeting House Road and south of South Country Road, across from Jennifer’s Path. “There will be lawsuits if someone gets cancer.”

Mr. Dionisio, who said he was speaking on behalf of his neighbors, said the town could be served in the future if they, or the new homeowners, get sick because of the pollution. He noted he and others could be put at risk if construction crews disturb the chromium during excavation.

After last week’s hearing, Planning Board members agreed to hold open the public comment period on the application for 30 days, meaning that concerned parties can still file their objections until Monday, September 13. Board members are then expected to either approve or deny the application during their meeting on Thursday, September 16.

Mr. Cardo has been working since 2006 to secure town approval for his subdivision. Also included in his plans is the proposed construction of a road called Carwin Lane that would connect Old Meeting House and South Country roads, according to Mr. Cardo’s attorney, Wayne Bruyn.

The contamination was first discovered on the property, formerly a sand mining business, in 2008. Chromium possesses a high resistance to corrosion and has been used in the manufacture of steel.

Mr. Bruyn spoke at last week’s public meeting on behalf of the landowner, Cardo Site Development in Quogue. The attorney told the board that, as of June 21, H2M in Melville, an environmental engineering firm hired by the town, found no issues with the soil in the area. He added that water samples taken from the land contained chromium that exceed state standards.

Mr. Cardo also paid for several of his own environmental tests that were conducted by Anson Environmental Ltd. in Huntington. That testing took place in 2008 and 2009, and while soil samples passed the required environmental tests, the groundwater samples did not, according to documents provided by the town.

According to the town study, soil and groundwater samples were collected at 12 different locations around the property, and from adjacent properties. In order to conduct the study, holes between 12 feet and 15 feet in depth were dug. The soil and water samples were then tested by American Analytical Laboratories of Farmingdale. After analyzing the samples, the company determined that no remediation was necessary as long as any new construction was connected with public water, according to documentation.

The environmental consulting firm, however, advised that any new construction on the land utilize vapor shields, silicon barriers that would need to be placed under the foundations of structures in order to prevent contaminated groundwater from leaching into the buildings.

According to the report issued by Anson Environmental, four out of six groundwater samples collected on July 23, 2008, exceeded 50 micrograms per liter of chromium—the limit set by the DEC. The highest concentration came in at 94.3 micrograms per liter, according to documentation. Chromium was also detected in some samples taken from adjacent properties, according to the study.

Though the levels of chromium detected on Mr. Cardo’s property are not high enough to prevent excavation, some Quiogue residents worry that the construction of new homes on the property will unearth the toxin, putting them and the new homeowners at risk.

“This is a slap in the face to our neighborhood,” Mr. Dionisio said.

Mr. Bruyn, meanwhile, pointed out that the problem is already there, and that his client has nothing to do with the contamination.

“This is probably pervasive in the entire neighborhood,” Mr. Bruyn said, referring to chromium contamination, after the meeting. “Residents who commented at the meeting may have the same condition on their property.”

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who own the property before the present owner, where did the contaimation come from, this can be clean up
By john o (34), southampton on Aug 24, 10 9:15 AM
In a previous article Mr. Cardo stated "that he is only an excavator and not in the business of selling or constructing homes."

See www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=227903 for his previous comments. Now it is referred to as his construction project in this article.

So what are you Randy? An excavator? A builder? Or a pathological liar?
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 25, 10 9:06 AM
Shut it down!
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Aug 25, 10 12:20 PM