Little Progress on PCBs and Other Contaminants on Smith Avenue Property

About a year ago, on November 30, 2009, this space published an article regarding PCBs and other contaminants allegedly remaining on a Smith Avenue property for several years. Currently, they have allegedly been buried for about five years and it appears Mount Kisco is no closer to remediating any damage. The article from last November is reprinted below.

In an unrelated story, there was a petting zoo this summer at the Mount Kisco Memorial Pool. The petting zoo featured goats, chickens, lemurs, a kangaroo and a turtle. . .

Due to Mount Kisco’s Inaction, PCBs and Other Contaminants Allegedly Remain on Smith Avenue Property

Sometime before October 5, 2005, the owner of 77 Smith Avenue property had fill dumped on the property. The Mount Kisco Planning Board at two meetings reviewed this action by the property owner with the last meeting in April 2007. The prosecution of the alleged illegal dumping has been held up in Mount Kisco Town Court for over two years.

At the October 5, 2005 Planning Board meeting, the Village of Mount Kisco’s planner expressed reservations about the fill dumped on the property and the damage the fill was causing. According to the Planning Board Minutes, Nanette Bourne said:

I am actually concerned about this site being left any longer than it already has been. Personally, I am more concerned about the material that is on the site. The trees have died; you can go out there and see the ones that have been choked to death. You don’t know if they have been killed because of the soil being packed up against, or the soil on this site is not clean

According to informed sources, there are PCBs and other contaminants in the soil used as fill.

Although the Planning Board wanted to meet again on this property shortly after its October 5, 2005 meeting, there was, according to a search of the minutes, no further public discussion until April 10, 2007. At that meeting, the property owner was represented by Eric Jacobsen, recently elected to Town of Bedford Judge in November 2009.

At the April 10, 2007 meeting of the Mount Kisco Planning Board, both Nanette Bourne and Planning Board member Stanley Bernstein expressed concern about the site and its effect on the water supply. According to Nanette Bourne:

We looked at this a couple of years ago as a result of a fill that had been put on the site. There was a concern about what the fill would do to existing specimen trees and the impact that the fill would have on the drainage channel or stream channel at the bottom. It is a designated stream; you created a disturbance within the buffer of the stream . . .

According to Mr. Bernstein:

So, in effect, the fill killed at least four specimen trees that I can remember. There might be more. So we would have to know that. And the mitigation: based on the code that we have in the Village, is that it has to be mitigated by a basal tabulation. In other words, the amount of wood on the tree that was destroyed has to equal the amount of wood on the trees that were put back. You can’t take a 36 inch tree and put back six (6) 4 inch trees. . . .There is also a stream. It’s not an intermittent stream, but it’s an unnamed tributary of Branch Brook in the Village, which is a tributary of the Kisco River, which dumps into Croton Lake, which is part of the New York City Water System supplying ten million people. There has to be a hundred foot buffer by any stream.

This case was sent to the Mount Kisco Town Court for prosecution in 2007. The case has remained buried like the alleged PCBs and other contaminants for nearly three years.

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