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Contaminated soil beneath veterans' housing development deemed acutely hazardous

Islandia cul de sac tests positive for toxins.
Islandia cul de sac tests positive for toxins.Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Banned pesticides DDT and chlordane; heavy metals such as nickel, zinc, lead and cobalt and oil based products have been discovered in soil beneath six homes built in an Islandia, NY cul de sac for veterans of the Iran and Afghanistan wars. This is the third site in the area to have proven to have been a dumping ground for “hazardous” and “acutely hazardous” waste materials, some of which are known carcinogens or cause damage to human brains if ingested in large enough amounts according to officials from the state’s DEC. Similar findings turned up in soil samples at an Islip Avenue site less than two miles from the housing development, as well as at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood, where large amounts of asbestos were dumped.

The houses were built by the Long island Home Builders Development Corp. (a chariable branch of the Long Island Builders Institute) on 3-1/2 acres donated by Computer Associates.

According to local witnesses, “a large trench approximately 80 feet x 20 feet was dug in the area closest to the roadside while the veteran housing was being built last year, and trucks were seen dumping loads into it before the trench was covered with grass and landscaped into a berm that rises above the street.”

As a result, Suffolk County District Attorney has called to have the berm dug up and fill removed, as well as continued investigation into the scandal and how to resolve it safely.

“We have called in the Suffolk County Water Authority and county health officials to review the findings and develop plans for testing wells and other measures to ensure the safety of the drinking water for those living in the cul de sac, he said after meeting with the residents personally to discuss the situation.