The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has halted work on the remediation of 54 Hunts Place in Chappaqua due to a strong chemical odor.
Conifer Realty is removing contaminated soil from the site to build a 28-unit affordable housing apartment building.
New Castle Town Supervisor Rob Greenstein held a press conference about the issue Tuesday, flanked by Senator Terrence Murphy, Assemblyman David Buchwald, and Councilwoman Hala Makowska.
Greenstein blamed previous administrations for wanting to develop the property. Approvals were granted by the town board in 2013.
"The soil on the property is badly contaminated due to its prior industrial usage," Greenstein said. "Despite that, prior administrations decided that a full environmental review was not necessary. We inherited this mess when we took office in 2014."
The state approved the remediation plan under its Brownfield Remediation Program and has jurisdiction to monitor and control the process. The town has retained an environmental consultant to monitor the remediation, Greenstein said.
"It’s been a long and contentious road with this project," Greenstein said. "At this point, our focus is ensuring that the contractor does not cut any corners. As always, our number one priority is protecting the health and quality of life of our residents."
Kristen Browde, who is challenging Greenstein for supervisor this year, said safety must come before any project.
"Four years ago, the current supervisor campaigned promising to shut this project down - he didn't," Browde said. "Instead of finger pointing and holding press conferences, I would have worked to find a real solution, a viable alternative location."
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