For generations, Nassau area residents have lived with the problem of toxic contamination at the former Loeffel landfill on Mead Road. And for decades, residents and elected officials have worked for a comprehensive clean-up of the problem.
In a previous post, I updated residents about a disappointing decision by the state and federal governments to forgo a health study of residents living in the area. A health study would help determine if cancer rates in the area are elevated and if further steps are needed to protect public health and safety.
On December 17, a coalition of local officials continued their work to bring about a needed clean-up of the Loeffel site. Congressman Chris Gibson was joined by Legislator Alex Shannon, on behalf of myself and Legislator Judith Breselor, County Executive Kathleen Jimino, State Senator Kathleen Marchione, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin and Nassau Supervisor David Fleming, along with other town and village officials, at the Nassau Town Hall to renew calls for the health study and to advocate for effective handing of water and run-off from the Loeffel site. Supervisor Fleming and Deputy Supervisor Ron Sears helped organize the press conference, which received considerable coverage in the local media.
In recent years, there has been some progress in addressing issues in the area around the Loeffel site, included an improved dam on Nassau Lake to help protect the lake and nearby water sources from new contamination. But much more needs to be done. The anecdotal information about instances of cancer in families who have long lived in the area is considerable. A health study is needed to ensure proper care and attention is given to the area, after years of neglect.
The coalition of federal, state, county, town and village officials who gathered December 17 at the Nassau Town Hall demonstrates a renewed commitment and attention to the need for a comprehensive clean-up of the Loeffel site. It is our hope that in 2014, state and federal officials with the ability to order the health study and other necessary components of an effective clean-up are listening.