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Sussman blasts state for dragging its feet on toxic site cleanups

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GOSHEN – The Orange County Democratic Alliance has released a report documenting some 40 toxic sites in the county, many of which have been on the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s cleanup list for years and have yet to be remediated.

The group’s leader, attorney Michael Sussman, noted the companies that polluted the sites are liable for their cleanup, but he said the state has done nothing to push them to do so and he called for legislation that would lead to their arrests if the remediation was not completed. And he called on local elected officials to lobby Albany to move off the dime and force the cleanups of those properties.

“The Democratic Alliance realizes that most people are worried about now really surviving and making due, and I don’t blame the people, but they elect leaders and those leaders appoint others to run agencies and departments and those people who are lucky enough and privileged enough to be so elected and so appointed need to function in the public interest,” he said.

Sussman also called for creation of a unit within the county planning department to specifically address toxic site cleanups.