State DEC right to raise a stink
credit: Newsday/Daniel Goodrich |
Compost in Yaphank
(June 8, 2006)
Though composting is
an important element in managing our
region's solid waste, a large facility for
handling the raw materials of compost can be
smelly, dusty and hazardous to the health of
neighbors. So the state's
Environmental Conservation has done
the right thing in cracking down on
Compost in Yaphank.
organic materials into rich soil and reduces
the solid waste going to incinerators or
getting shipped off-Island. That's useful.
But big facilities can cause big problems.
This one receives
leaves, grass clippings and wood chips,
sends material to farms to be composted, and
bags and sells compost and mulch. Its owners
have tried to reduce the impacts, and
promise to reduce future grass clippings
they take in. But odors and dust persist.
Last week, DEC
formally notified its operators about a
change in the permit that has governed it
since 2000. The agency will now require the
company to construct a building to contain
its yard-waste transfer operations and
reduce the piles of wood chips. That will
help nearby families that have been living
with the dust and stench to breathe easier.
Long Island Compost disputes the DEC
findings and recommendations and is
appealing. But the agency seems justified in
tightening the rules. For the sake of the
long-suffering neighbors, we hope the
appeals process and some ultimate resolution
will not drag on for many more months.