June 25, 2008

Lawmakers Block Planned Brentwood Truck Facility: Lawmakers Block Planned Brentwood Truck Facility

By Stacey Altherr, Newsday, Melville, N.Y.

Jun. 25--A bipartisan effort by local politicians to stop a state project that would have put a truck facility in Brentwood has passed both the state Senate and Assembly. The proposed legislation is now awaiting Gov. David A. Paterson's signature.

The bill transfers the property on which the facility was to be built into the adjacent Edgewood Preserve.

It passed the Assembly late yesterday, and the Senate on June 12.

The proposed facility, which would have been the first truck-rail facility on Long Island, was to be built on the former Pilgrim State property.

Residents and civic groups have opposed the project, citing danger to wildlife and a high volume of trucks coming into an already congested area due to recent overdevelopment. More than 200 people attended a public hearing last September.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy had also voiced opposition in the past because of the traffic problems in the congested area.

"The will of the people really prevailed," said Assemb. Philip Ramos (D-Brentwood), the author of the assembly bill and whose district the facility would have been located.

He said his district already has an inordinate amount of environmentally compromised properties. "Traditionally, we've been dumped on," he said.

The legislation to stop the project was co-sponsored by three prominent Long Island senators: Owen Johnson (R-West Babylon), John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and Caesar Trunzo (R-Brentwood).

"The passage of this legislation in both houses is a victory for countless Long Islanders who value the Edgewood Preserve and their quality of life," said Johnson.

"I am hopeful that the governor will sign this legislation into law so that this land is permanently protected from LITRIM [Long Island Truck Rail Intermodal] and any future commercial development that could exacerbate congestion and impact the recharge area for Long Island's groundwater aquifer."

Representatives from the state Department of Transportation could not be reached last night.

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