HOLBROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Residents of a suburban community claim they were blindsided by a possible government OK to turn their neighborhood into a waste site.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the site could see 900 tons of solid waste trucked in every day.
“There’s going to be stench. You’re going to get rodents. You’re going to get seagulls,” said Holbrook homeowner Pat Scomello.
Scomello is hundreds of Holbrook homeowners who live across from the municipal site on Furrows Road. They are worried about heavy truck traffic, vermin, and pollution if the Department of Environmental Conservation gives the go-ahead for an upstate company.
“Thirty-five to 40 trucks a day that then have to be unloaded and put onto rail cars,” Scomello said.
“Once they have 10 rail cars full, they’re supposed to move the garbage right through the community,” said Suffolk County Legislator William Lindsay (D-Holbrook).
Lindsay points out that the company applying, Green Rail Transfer, would use land recently cited for illegal sand mining and solid waste dumping.
“For us, it’s kind of frightening,” Lindsay said. “We haven’t heard about anything about this until only a month ago.”
Hundreds recently packed a meeting at the local firehouse to discuss the waste site plan. The property straddles the towns of Islip and Brookhaven, and the hamlets of Holbrook and Holtsville.
Some claim that is why the controversial plan has made it so far.
“It’s because we have this byzantine construct on Long Island where each entity gets to claim that they’re not primarily responsible,” said Holbrook homeowner Don Urquhart.
Former teacher Eileen Murphy said no one wants a garbage train in the neighborhood headed to offload in Virginia.
“The children — their health — we don’t know what’s coming out of this besides stench,” Murphy said.
Gas tanks are adjacent to the site.
“If these sit too for long of a time, methane gas builds up — possibility of an explosion,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay is calling on state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate the solid waste transfer site application, and has scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 1.
The Department of Environmental Conservation said a decision on the site has not been made.