Discussion over the future use of the 22-acre has resurfaced recently, as the and Town of Oyster Bay officials began considering proposals about what to build there.
Since then, the town has put off a community meeting about the space originally scheduled for the fall to the spring and a group of students at have mobilized to find out what the community wants there.
The group includes Chris Brandimarte, Brett Davies and Sean Mohan, who recently attended the and were vocal about the Liberty Site, which prompted them to start this survey.
Two decades ago the Environmental Protection Agency named the site a superfund property for groundwater and soil contamination. According to a report issued by the EPA, the Liberty Aircraft Products Company produced aircraft parts there during World War II and Liberty and the other companies left behind a contaminated groundwater plume.
In 1986, the EPA took the lead role in the $32 million cleanup, which involved creating a filtration system to remove the heavy metals and volatile organic compounds from the groundwater. Some of soil was also hauled from the site.
Ultimately, the EPA plan only cleaned up the property to industrial standards. This became an issue in 2001 when the town announced its intention of acquiring the property and building recreational facilities there.
“The EPA cleanup was the equivalent of having a dirty floor and putting a rug down,” said Town of Oyster Bay Environmental Consultant Hal Mayor at a meeting with the aquatics club. The town took over the next cleanup stage in 2002, spending $4 million to haul the rest of the soil from the site.
Health risks at the site are “no longer a worry,” Mayor said, since the water plume is not connected to any wells used by water districts and all the old soil is gone.
The last of that soil was removed this summer and residents have requested a a community center and additional fields to the town board.
Of the 22 acres adjacent to Allen Park, only 16 are viable for projects, since part of the area contains the underground filtration system.
The survey is being conducted by the students through Concerned Citizens of Farmingdale to determine what the community would like to see there.
To fill out the survey, click here. Also tell us what you want to see at the Liberty Site in the comments.