From: Adrienne Esposito <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: February 24, 2013 6:43:50 PM EST
Subject: Press Release - Wood Burners at Brookhaven Landfill Cause Air Pollution.
February 25, 2013
Contact – Adrienne Esposito, 516-390-7150 or 631-384-1378
Wood Burners at Brookhaven Landfill Caused Unsafe Air Pollution
Brookhaven Community Coalition Calls Suffolk County and NYS DEC at Fault for Risking Public Health
Brookhaven – the Brookhaven Community Coalition today released a letter to the NYS DEC and Suffolk County calling the use of four incinerator boxes used to burn brush from Superstorm Sandy, a decision that was indifferent to the protection of public health. The DEC and Suffolk County agreed to locate four “Air Curtain Destructors” (ACD) at the Brookhaven landfill after Superstorm Sandy which were used to burn trees, brush and vegetated debris. BCC raised numerous concerns with the DEC, the County and Brookhaven Town. Unfortunately, these concerns were largely ignored.
Two ACDs were also being used at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. However, at this location, the EPA set up 8 air quality monitors around the debris burning units. In contrast, Brookhaven residents were not provided a single monitor at the start of the burning. After being contacted by CCE, Suffolk County place 3 monitors south of the wood burners to measure particulate matter. A foil request revealed air emissions were significantly over health standards for particulate matter on several days. The same results were found in Brooklyn. “Suffolk County wanted a quick, cheap and easy way to get rid of the debris. Tragically, cheap, easy and quick doesn’t mean safe,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “These devices should more appropriately be named air quality destroyers.”
“We could smell and taste the ash. We don’t really need the data to tell us our health was put at risk but at least it verifies to DEC and to Suffolk County that they were negligent in protecting our communities,” said Kathleen Lacey, Brookhaven Community Executive Board.
The DEC special permit to use these Air Curtain Destructors ended on Feb 12th and Brookhaven Town Supervisor refused to allow it to be renewed even as other towns and the county pressured him to do so. “Thank goodness Supervisor Romaine stopped the poisoning of the public,” Esposito added.
“This is just one more environmental and public health assault on our communities, said Marty Van Lith, BCC Executive Board member, “The County and the DEC had to know that putting 4 of these units at the landfill would create high levels of ash, but they didn’t seem to care.”
According to the EPA, small particulate matter released from burning of vegetated debris causes adverse health impacts including increased asthma attacks, respiratory ailments, heart attacks and breathing difficulties.