The emergency at the landfill in Yaphank is two-fold. First, the landfill’s odor emissions have been choking residents in their own homes. The odor is so bad, that residents are shutting their windows and cancelling outdoor events. In fact, the landfill site has been a repeat violator of air quality rules, failing 10 of 11 inspections conducted by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
There is also the issue of the cancer cluster at Frank P. Long School in Bellport, where 33 cancer cases in faculty have been reported. Air testing has not been conducted during an odor event, and there is a question as to whether student and staff sickness is being caused by the presence of a documented 34 toxic chemicals in the air. The town has ignored residents on both of these fronts, essentially telling them that everything is fine. As Supervisor, I will insist on getting answers. And that’s going to involve expanded air quality and toxicology tests, and best practices guidance from an Air Quality Taskforce (AQT) that I will form.
Second, we have a pending fiscal emergency stemming from the final capping of the landfill, which is expected to result in a $33 million budget shortfall when the landfill is capped in 2024. The town’s rainy day fund will mitigate revenue losses for one year, and the planned solar park will only make up a fraction of annual losses. If elected Supervisor, I will develop and make publicly available a long-term revenue creation plan.
My Plan to Solve the Landfill Emergency:
Expanded air quality and toxicology tests at Frank P. Long School.
Air Quality Taskforce (AQT) to explore best practices for containing odor emissions.
Creation and publication of a long-term revenue creation plan for 2024 and beyond.