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Lack of funds will leave contaminated sites toxic

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The state Superfund program was first funded by a $1.1 billion...

By Kathianne Boniello

Dozens of toxic sites throughout Queens cannot be cleaned up by the state Department of Conservation because the agency’s Superfund program has run out of money, a DEC spokesman said Tuesday.

The state Superfund program was first funded by a $1.1 billion bond act in 1996, spokesman Peter Constantakes said, but the fund has run out of money.

Constantakes said the lack of funding means clean-up efforts for about 760 sites around the state — including dozens throughout the borough — cannot be completed.

“All of our money was allocated by the end of this fiscal year,” said Constantakes. “There are 800 that have been cleaned up, and also 760 [sites] statewide that need to be investigated or cleaned up.”

Toxic sites under the jurisdiction of the state’s Superfund program include inactive hazardous waste sites such as former land fills, chemical plants or industrial areas, Constantakes said.

The spokesman said the DEC will be hard-pressed to handle any newly discovered toxic areas.

“We are limited in what we can do,” he said.

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