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Source: Newsday

Letter: Local officials too dismissive of toxins

Posted: November 30, 2011
Originally Published: November 29, 2011

New groundwater test results of wells in Yaphank, just south of 275 East Main St., showed manganese at the highest levels ever recorded in Suffolk County. Yet, in a Newsday article, "Yaphank wells tested" [Nov. 14], a calming but disturbing comment is attributed to public health officials: "The contaminant levels there are higher than usual for Long Island, but they do not pose a public health risk."

This statement is an egregious breach of the public trust by the state and local officials who made it. The manganese levels in groundwater samples topped out at 49,300 parts per billion. The drinking-water standard is 300 parts per billion.

In addition, as the county health department is well aware, thallium was again found in these water samples, above drinking-water standards.

My organization is gravely concerned and unnerved by the health department's response to the expanding groundwater crises emerging around composting and mulching operations.

Adrienne Esposito, Farmingdale

Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a nonprofit advocacy group.