Mastic Fire Department substation near Calabro Airport declared state Superfund site

Designation doesn’t impact emergency response

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The state Department of Environmental Conservation has declared the Mastic Fire Department substation at Calabro Airport in Shirley a state Superfund site, after the chemicals PFOA and PFOS were found in water samples taken from wells south and east of the site.

The Mastic Fire District keeps two emergency response units at the substation.

DEC’s action doesn’t in any way affect the fire district’s ability to respond to emergency calls, the fire district said.

“There is no impact on the response to emergency calls,” the district said.

DEC notified owners of properties adjacent to the substation in November that the site was added to New York State’s Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Program as a Class 02 site.

The Class 02 designation means the site “presents a significant threat to the public’s health and/or the environment” and that action is required.

In its notice, DEC said “evaluation to date of public and private drinking water wells in the area has not indicated that the site is the cause of detections of PFOA/PFOS in the water; however, it cannot be ruled out.”

Additional investigation is needed, DEC said in its notice.

DEC is undertaking an investigation to determine the nature and extent of any potential contamination and what remediation is needed.

The Mastic Fire District said it is “working closely with DEC and we are working on a remediation process. At this point, we don’t know what caused the contamination.”

DEC collected samples from private wells and public supply wells in the area.

Samples from the public supply wells don’t exceed state standards.

Private wells where samples exceeded state standards were offered an alternative source of water, either connection to the public water supply or bottled water.

DEC described the Superfund program in a written statement.

“DEC’s remediation and enforcement initiatives, such as its State Superfund and brownfield programs, ensure the environment and public health are protected during and after the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties,” the agency said. “The SSF Program is an enforcement program that identifies and characterizes suspected inactive hazardous waste disposal sites and ensures sites that pose a significant threat to public health or the environment are properly addressed.”

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services and DEC are sampling private wells located within about 1.5 miles south/southeast of the site.

Owners of private wells in that area that have not been tested already should contact Suffolk County Department of Health Services at (631) 852-5810, to confirm they are located within this area and request sampling, DEC said. 

The Mastic Fire District responded to more than 1,100 calls in 2023. The district will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2025.