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State looking into waste water discharge at business

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is investigating whether a local business is pumping out water from concrete trucks at one of its locations and possibly creating a toxic situation.

DEC official visited Marcello Masonry at 13 North Ferry Road last week to inspect the site after receiving calls from a local resident and from Shelter Island Town officials who had reported their concerns.

Bert Waife, whose residence is next to the location, first brought the issue to the attention of town officials and the Reporter, expressing concern about watching Marcello workers pumping out concrete trucks onto the ground, where he said there was no pit to contain runoff.  The procedure was occurring several times a week and had been going on for a number of years, Mr. Waife said.

He cited sources from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that say concrete wash water is toxic to fish and aquatic life and can contaminate drinking water.

Initially, Senior Building Inspector Chris Tehan brought the issue to the attention of DEC officials in Albany and Stony Brook, but was told the company had been operating prior to the time a “Stormwater Permit for Construction Activity” was required.

When Town Engineer John Cronin became aware of the situation, he said that such investigations and possible enforcement wasn’t within his purview. But upon learning about it, he had an obligation to report it to the DEC.

Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. asked Mr. Tehan to again reach out to DEC officials because there was concern there might be a storm water issue over which the town may have jurisdiction, but clarification was needed.

The DEC hasn’t responded with a comment on the visit to the Marcello Masonry property, nor have Marcello Masonry officials responded to a request for comment.