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Letter: Greenburgh Game On Site Needs More Testing

Simon Cohen says the Greenburgh Town Board needs to be more extensive in its soil testing of the Dobbs Ferry Road site.
Simon Cohen says the Greenburgh Town Board needs to be more extensive in its soil testing of the Dobbs Ferry Road site. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Greenburgh Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to greenburgh@dailyvoice.com .

To the Editor,

The Town of Greenburgh is currently performing a sham Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) of 715 Dobbs Ferry Road (aka Frank’s Nursery) for the Game On 365 Sports Bubble Lease.  Due to its previous uses, Frank’s Nursery is likely to be contaminated and needs to be closely examined to ensure it’s a safe place for children to play.

Supervisor Feiner himself said “Because the property had been used as a nursery, soil testing needs to take place before any sale of the property or lease of the property is to be agreed.” (Westchester Guardian 3/10/11)

The Town’s environmental engineers, Woodard & Curran, stated in their Phase I study:

“According to historical city directories, the Subject Property was utilized as a nursery since 1971.  Nursery activities may have included the application of pesticides and herbicides, and storage of hazardous substances.  In addition, the redevelopment of the Site from farmland to a nursery in 1971 and Frank’s Nursery in 1994 may have included the use of deleterious fill material.  Therefore, the historic fill and potential pesticide usage represents a potential MATERIAL threat of hazardous and petroleum substances and is designated REC-6.”

“Due to the potential for a material threat of a release to the environment, we recommend a Phase II ESA to investigate …. REC-6.  This investigation would include an investigation of soil and/or ground water.”

The Town, in direct contradiction to the above recommendation, has specifically omitted ANY testing of the soil for pesticides, herbicides, hazardous substances and deleterious fill in the scope of their Phase II ESA.  They have specifically limited soil testing for the known oil spill - a mere 6 soil borings under the existing boiler room.  They are not testing any other location in the remaining seven acres, including the land where the pesticides were used or where the deleterious fill was dumped. An honest Phase II study examining the entire site still needs to take place prior to the land being leased. It is reprehensible that Supervisor Feiner and Game On 365 would knowingly omit this critical testing so they can move forward with constructing children’s playfields directly onto this untested, likely contaminated soil.  They will hold high this sham Phase II study and claim the property is clean when in fact the land has still not been tested and as such will never be remedied.  To take such a risk with our children is despicable.

Simon Cohen, of Greenburgh, is president of Burst the Bubble, a local organization formed to protest the town's lease with Game On 365 to build a sports complex on Dobbs Ferry Road.

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