Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions


Source: Long Island Business News

Groups sue Brookhaven over landfill expansion


Posted: August 14, 2012
Originally Published: August 14, 2012

Three months after the Town of Brookhaven made a request to expand its landfill, community groups and environmentalists issued a strong “no” in the form of a lawsuit.

The groups, led by Citizens Campaign for the Environment and the Brookhaven Community Coalition, filed the lawsuit, paid for primarily by local civic groups, against the town last week. The town was officially served Monday.

The dispute stems from a May 8 town board meeting in which the board authorized sending a request to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to expand the height of the landfill by an additional 50 feet. That addition would bring the landfill to a height of 320 feet.

CCE Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said the expansion would also mean the landfill would be able to operate an additional three years.

A 2002 survey said the landfill had 17 years of life left before closure was necessary, although Brookhaven officials as late as January noted that the landfill still had between 15 and 17 good years left.

Increasing the height would also drastically alter the environmental impact of the landfill, Esposito said, because the original 2002 report was based on the landfill having a height of 270 feet.

Earlier this year, Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko referred to the landfill as a “wonderful asset” for the town from a regional waste management standpoint. The landfill generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the town each year.

“All of the other towns are able to balance the budget without a landfill,” Esposito said.

Every other town on Long Island besides Babylon has closed its landfills. Brookhaven officials said the town currently incinerates its solid waste at the nearby Covanta plant and buries the ash in the landfill.

The lawsuit is being handled by Uniondale law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek.

Brookhaven officials declined to comment, saying only that the town was in receipt of the legal complaint and the town attorney’s office was reviewing it.