Damaged cars pile up on Long Island lot

November 20, 2012 2:56:09 PM PST
Acres upon acres of damaged cars from Hurricane Sandy now being stocked on the old runways at Enterprise Park at Calverton until insurance agents can take a look at them.

Any car that was damaged in New York State is being brought here and they're coming in by the thousands.

"If you tried to find a worse place to store junk cars you couldn't," Richard Amper said.

The issue for environmentalists like Amper is that this land is a state designated water protection area.

There are aquifers underneath.

"Part of what the DEC says has to be left in its natural state is being covered by junk cars with gasoline, oil lubricants, solvents," Amper said.

In exchange for leasing the land a local car auction company is paying the town of Riverhead a million dollars

"These cars are no different than the cars that will be at Tanger Outlets on Black Friday the only difference are those are belching pollution and these are sitting idle," Sean Walter, Riverhead Town Supervisor, said.

Walter says the town spoke with the state department of environmental conservation before going ahead with the plan.

He says crews are looking at the cars to make sure none is leaking anything harmful.

"Some people are making this out to be more than it is. This is just riverhead stepping up to do its part to help everybody," Walter said.

The other parcel of adjacent land being used is privately owned. The cars here are being put right on the grass with nothing protecting them from the soil. We tried to speak with someone at Copart Car Auctions. We were told someone from the company would give us a call, but they never did.

"This is a disaster that men are making that is compounding what Sandy did that no one could do anything about," Amper said.

Amper says he's planning to do something now - go to court to make this all stop.

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