Brookhaven Community Coalition Updates Community on Landfill
Over 112 people attended the Brookhaven Community Coalition Meeting
at the Brookhaven Fire House, June 18, 2012.
Head table, l-r. Marty Van Lith, Kathleen Scheibel, Mark Magnani, Michael Verni,
Adrien Esposito, Rob Dresher, Wayne Losee, Christopher Murray
On Monday, June 18, 2012, the board of the Brookhaven Community Coalition reported to a packed meeting at the Brookhaven Fire House, Brookhaven, NY, on the status of the Town of Brookhaven's landfill and related issues associated with the nearby composting facility. The Town has proposed increasing the height of trash mountain, now dubbed "Lesko's Heap," another 50 feet and extending its life indefinitely into the future, in spite of its adverse affects on the nearby communities' health, quality of life, and environment. Supervisor Mark Lesko's principal rational for expanding the landfill is that it will enable other districts of the Town to dump their trash without costs to them.
The BCC has hired an attorney --Christopher Murray a specialist in environmental matters with Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C.of Uniondale-- to represent them in their dealing with the Town. Most coalition members have lost faith in the Town, and especially Supervisor Lesko, as someone with whom they can deal honestly.
According to Long Island Newsday, Supervisor Lesko said the BCC's decision to hire a lawyer was going to have a "dramatic effect" on how the town works with the 13-member landfill liaison committee, which was set up to facilitate communication between the community and town and includes several BCC members.
However, this landfill liaison committee is now largely seen as an attempt by the Town to coopt opposition to the landfill, rather than a mechanism for arriving at sound landfill management policies and its closure. There appears to be little incentive to any longer work with the Town through the liaison committee by BCC members. The Town has regularly bypassed consultation with the liaison committee, and has not taken seriously proposals by BCC members. These include the Town's request of the FAA to allow an increase in the height of the landfill, and the town's plans to file an application with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to either modify the permit allowing the town to operate the landfill for expansion, or to file an application for a new permit altogether.
"It's unfortunate that now the BCC has made this a litigation matter. Their tone has changed," he said. "If we're going to be sued, we're going to be in a defensive posture." That might mean withholding information in the landfill liaison meetings that could be used against the town in potential lawsuits, he said. (emphasis mine, on the other hand, Supervisor Lesko is not noted for his openness anyway; and regularly withheld information. He seems to think ordinary folk are fools. But they are still voters!)
So much for openness in government!
Brookhaven Community Coalition partners are: Affiliated Brookhaven Civic Organizations, Atlantic Point Apartments, Bellport Teachers Assistants & Associates, Bellport Chamber of Commerce, Bellport Teachers Association, Brookhaven Fire Department, Brookhaven Fire District, Brookhaven Free Library, Brookhaven Industrial Group, Brookhaven Village Association, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Fire Place History Club, Friends of Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Greater Bellport Coalition, The Longwood Alliance, Manor Park Civic Association, Medford Taxpayers & Civic Association, Inc., Overton Preserve Coalition, Post Morrow Foundation, Inc., South Country Ambulance Company, South Country Board of Education, South Country C.S.E.A., South Country Community Conference, South Haven Civic Association, Inc., South Yaphank Civic Association, Sungate Homeowners Association, Yaphank Fire Department, Yaphank Taxpayers & Civic Association, Inc.,