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Vote to get damaged cars off of farm land

January 8, 2013 2:56:50 PM PST
Members of the State Pine Barrens Commission voted Tuesday that legal action should be taken against a private farm owner who's stored several hundred cars damaged by Sandy in a grassy area of the Pine Barrens.

Members say the cars are an environmental hazard.

"The commission, the towns, Suffolk County are all working to make sure the drinking water is safe," said John Pavacic, of the Pine Barrens Commission.

But some 15,000 to 20,000 cars that are being stocked also in the Pine Barrens on the old runways at Enterprise Park at Calverton will not be removed.

Richard Amper with the Pine Barrens Society is fuming.

"It is putting politics ahead of public health and that's outrageously irresponsible," Amper said.

Most of the cars sit on property owned by the Town of Riverhead.

The town supervisor says the State Department of Environmental Conservation approved the cars being stored there mostly because they're being kept on asphalt and not on grass.

"It's our understanding that they were brought in intact. That no dismantling operations are going on there that you would have at a junk yard," the supervisor said.

That's no consolation to Amper.

"The commission charged with protecting the drinking water on Long Island is going to have a fight with a farmer, that's the extent of it?" Amper said.

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