Attorney General representatives meet with BLARG

Brookhaven landfill discussion continues


Members of the Brookhaven Landfill Action & Remediation Group had a clear message when they met last week with officials from New York State attorney general Leticia James’s office.

Their message: they want the Town of Brookhaven landfill closed now!

“What we’re asking for is so basic,” BLARG member Monique Fitzgerald said. “We’re asking for a plan to close down and remediate the landfill.”

Fitzgerald called the town-owned landfill “that 270-foot monster behind us that overshadows everything we do.”

Three officials from James’s office—Lemuel Srolovic, chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau; Peter Washburn, a policy advisor in the Environmental Protection Bureau; and law fellow Alexandria Lopez—met with BLARG members and other concerned citizens for more than two hours at the South Country Library on March 14. The officials were also taken on a driving tour of the area, including past the Brookhaven landfill.

It was their second visit to Bellport in five months.

Srolovic explained that the attorney general’s office, in addition to representing state agencies including the Department of Environmental Conservation, also represents the interests of the people of the State of New York.

He pointed to a lawsuit the AG’s office filed in 2022 to block the village of Freeport from selling a public park to a developer to build a warehouse.

“We can help this community have a better environmental future,” Srolovic said.

But he made it clear the attorney general’s office lacks the ability to get the town-owned landfill shuttered.

“I can’t think of a lever we have in the AG’s office to leverage a closure plan,” he said.

Brookhaven officials plan to stop accepting construction and demolition debris at the landfill at the end of this year and stop taking incinerated ash by late 2027 or early 2028.

That timetable doesn’t sit well with local residents like Brookhaven NAACP president Dr. Georgette Grier-Key, who said town and state officials have turned a deaf ear to their concerns.

“We need an investigation,” Grier-Key said. “We need help.”

“We’re asking you to value our lives when DEC and the Town of Brookhaven do not,” said Abena Asare, a BLARG member.

BLARG members told Srolovic and the other representatives from the AG’s office about their concerns that North Bellport is oversaturated with facilities like the landfill and that it is a matter of environmental justice.

Srolovic said he doesn’t have “a magic bullet” to deal with the host of environmental concerns raised at the meeting.

However, he promised the AG’s office would return to Bellport for a future meeting to hear more about residents’ concerns


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