Earlier this week, neighbors on Forbes Street in North Tonawanda demanded their homes be tested after results from their yards showed little contamination.
“I want the inside of my home tested, I would love to have Governor Cuomo order the DEC to test the inside of our homes because my family is sick and there is a reason why my family is sick,” said Cory D’Agostino. He lives on Forbes Street. The neighbor’s backyards border the old Wheatfield dump. It contained waste from Love Canal. The waste was later removed. The neighbors are suing the town of Wheatfiled and the companies that dumped toxic waste there.
The neighbors' lawyers agree there is little contamination of toxic chemicals in the yards. Their independent testing showed minimal levels of pesticides in parts per billion in soil samples. But, their testing inside homes and sump pumps showed levels in the thousands and even the 10's of thousands, which is extremely high. Right now, the DEC does not plan on testing the homes on Forbes Street, but that could change.
“We haven't ruled out testing in homes, yet,” Sean Mahar, a spokesperson for the DEC. “We're right now in the second study of the phase, looking at ground water is really going to determine and ensure that the landfill leeching is being contained on site and not impacting homes.”
That testing will start next week. The DEC believes groundwater is moving away from homes but will see what happens with their next set of testing.
“We really let science be our guide and once we have the soil data, once we have the additional groundwater data that's really going to plot our course forward with any other additional investigations that are needed,” added Mahar.