Town: EPCAL material tests positive for asbestos, other chemicals

Town board members review material that came from EPCAL at last week's work session. (Credit: Tim Gannon)
Town board members review material that came from EPCAL at last week’s work session. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A day after finding out that material dumped at Enterprise Park at Calverton without state approval tested positive for traces of several chemicals including DDT, town officials found out today that one more hazardous material was found in it: asbestos.

According to Supervisor Sean Walter, the town was informed by phone by Maximum Environmental Management on Tuesday about the positive results.

Highway Superintendent George Woodson took the blame on Thursday for allowing the material, about 200 cubic yards, to be dumped on site prematurely. Mostly soil and crushed concrete, the material — which was given to the town for free — was meant to be used as a base for a recreational path around Enterprise Park at Calverton.

It remains dumped near the eastern runway at the former Grumman site.

On Monday, the town received information that the material had been tested and those results showed that it exceeded the allowable residential use standards for lead, zinc, and three pesticides (dieldrin, DDD, and DDT), according to Maximum Environmental Management, which did the testing.

However the testing did not include some particular objects in the material. According to the results, “the focus at this point in time regarding laboratory analysis was the soils rather than the small items/objects.”

News that the material could be a liability to the town broke after it was discussed at last Thursday’s work session

Some of it was placed on a table in front of the town board, and Councilman George Gabrielsen said, “This looks like an asbestos shingle.”

That piece was sent separately to be tested and the result came back positive, Mr. Walter said.

Asked why asbestos wouldn’t have been detected in the original test results, Mr. Walter said the asbestos wouldn’t likely be found unless it was in a chunck, as opposed to dispersed.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio — a political adversary of Mr. Walter’s who was called a liar by him at last week’s work session over a dispute about the material — said it seemed strange that the asbestos wasn’t detected in the first tests but was in a subsequent test.