Long Island school near contaminated site

Parents and staff at Cantiague Elementary School in Jericho, Long Island, had tough words for the state Department of Environmental Conservation at a meeting Tuesday night.

The state DEC has known for decades that property across the street from the school is contaminated with potentially cancer-causing chemicals from prior industries that operated businesses at the location. Currently a costume company occupies the location but does not use the chemicals. 

The state laid out its plan to clean up the site. But parents, the school and neighborhood say they never even knew the property was in a state registry of hazardous sites.

The state DEC says the contamination is limited to the industrial site, and the school and neighborhood are more than likely not at risk.

But school officials are not satisfied and plan to do their own testing.

To make matters worse, the school superintendent and parents say the DEC never notified anyone with the school or community about the meeting. They say they found out about it from a small article in a newspaper.

The state DEC wants to make sure everyone understands that the groundwater on the industrial site is contaminated, not the public drinking water in Jericho.