NY Cleans Up Toxic Waste Black Eye

Long after officials went to prison, their dirty work remains

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A sad chapter in New York City history may finally be drawing to a close as city officials got to work this month cleaning up an abandoned toxic waste dump that for years had plagued the neighboring community on Staten Island.

The dump is one of five city landfills involved in a 1982 federal investigation into illegal dumping which sent a city Department of Sanitation official (dubbed Johnny Cash by the tabloids) and a hauling operator to prison. Decades passed and those convicted served their time, but the sludge pits at the Brookfield landfill dump remained, leaching 95,000 gallons a day into groundwater and the nearby Richmond Creek.

It wasn’t until attorneys in Earthjustice’s Northeast office filed a lawsuit on behalf of neighborhood residents that the city got serious about cleaning up the site. And, as Keri Powell told the New York Times, they’ll stay on the case to make sure the cleanup remains on track.

From 2007–2018, Kathleen partnered with clean energy coalitions and grassroots organizations, empowered communities to fight against fracking, and worked with the Policy & Legislation team to have their messages heard by legislators.