Angry parents march in Tuckahoe over construction project on toxic site

Thursday, August 25, 2016
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Carolina Leid reports from Tuckahoe, where parents are concerned about a project planned at a toxic waste dump.

TUCKAHOE, New York (WABC) -- Dozens of concerned and angry parents marched outside the community center in Tuckahoe Wednesday night, demanding more extensive testing be done before anything is built at the old quarry on Marbledale Road.

"That is going to be in kindergarten at Waverley School, which is just blocks away from this site where they plan to stir up toxic dust and toxic vapors into our air forever," said Eastchester parent Melissa Viviano.

"They cannot answer the what ifs for us, they keep saying we're professionals, we know how to handle it," said PTA co-president Sarah DeRise.

Right now the plan is to build a Marriott Spring Hill Suites hotel and detached restaurant on the site of the contaminated landfill in Tuckahoe, just a couple of blocks away from Waverly School in Eastchester, which houses kindergarten and first-grade students.

The site was a marble quarry until the 1950's and a municipal dump for two decades.

It's classified as a brown field in need of cleanup.

"It's admirable the participation from this community," said Bill Canavan, who works for HydroEnvironmental Solutions, Inc. "I just want to make sure that everyone is well-informed. If this isn't what you do for a living it's complex sometimes, I think there are some misconceptions."

HydroEnvironmental Solutions is a consulting firm hired by the developer to test and monitor the site.

He says the 400-page plan to remediate includes additional ground wells, concrete cars and proper ventilation in the buildings, all in an effort to deter harmful toxins from being released through soil vapors and groundwater.

"There's independent review by multiple agencies that insured that what was proposed protects human health and the environment," said Canavan.

Residents say they're not against new construction, they just want all the facts first.

"We are hoping that someone is doing their due diligence and really recognize that this is a threat and test it, because if it is in fact safe, prove it," said Eastchester resident Rachel Zolottev.