Brittany ComakAug 31, 2017, 1:49 pm

Officials: Cleanup of toxic site at West Hills County Park to begin next month

Suffolk officials are requesting about $750,000 to start the cleanup


Suffolk officials are saying that the cleanup of West Hills County Park will begin next month after almost four acres of toxic materials were found on the grounds.

It's been one year since officials first found a massive dumping site at the park, which is a popular place for horses and children learning to ride. And now, officials are saying they plan to begin cleanup of the site that was forced to shut down due to contamination.

Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota says, “We have found that the Sweet Hills Riding Center has been severely contaminated by dumping at a magnitude that is greater than that at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood."

Officials say they are requesting about $750,000 to start cleaning up the site, but that they will likely require another $1.6 million to completely remove the hazardous materials, according to reports.

Some of the hazardous metals include asbestos, metals and PCBs.

"With these chemicals, specifically the pesticides attack the nervous system and cause nervous disorders,” says Adrian Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “It could be anything from vomiting to headaches to nausea, to paralysis. Also, the heavy metals cause learning disorders."

One woman who says she used to walk her dog there, told FiOS1 News she's looking forward to the cleanup, but that she won't be rushing back.

Alexandra Newton says, "I'm still wary of going into the park and the consequences of what the waste is. Not really looking forward to going back into that, but it's great that they're cleaning it up I guess."

The DA has yet to charge anyone in the dumping, but they do have people of interest who they believe may be responsible.

The county legislature will vote on the funding next week.

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