Contaminated soil found at Long Island housing complex for veterans

Authorities have made a disturbing discovery at a Long Island housing development for veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Officials in Suffolk County say test results show contaminated soil at Veterans Way in Islandia, where six affordable housing homes were built for veterans.

The ground tested positive for hazardous pesticides, metals and petroleum.

The Suffolk County Water Authority and health department have been contacted to test the well water.

Among the contaminants found at the Veteran's Way development were petroleum byproducts, pesticides including DDT and chlordane, and metals such as chromium, cobalt, lead, nickel and zinc.

"The highest levels of contamination were found to be in the berm on the property, and that means the fill in the berm has to be removed," Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said. "We have called in the Suffolk County Water Authority and the County Health Department to review these results and develop plans for well testing and other measures to ensure the safety of the drinking water for this development."

Specifically, from samples taken and tested from around the houses, the soil tested positive for the banned pesticide chlordane, but at levels far below state standards, and for low levels of cobalt.

"Whoever put this contaminated fill on this site did so with the knowledge that war veterans and their families were going to live in these homes," Spota said. "Their deceit is astonishing, leaving these heroes, and their families, in harm's way.

Like the samples taken at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood and the Route 111 sites near Central Islip, these contaminants were found to exceed state limits making them hazardous or acutely hazardous.

"This is similar fill with the same contaminants found at the other sites," District Attorney Spota said.

The district attorney personally met with the homeowners Tuesday evening and explained the new results to them.

Recent testing for asbestos at the six-home development showed none present.
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