The Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a warning letter to the Gesuale site on Lawrence Road, directing it to cease accepting vegetative debris and submit a plan to better manage the material already on site.
According to Bill Fonda, of the DEC, problems at the site were discovered through the agency’s regular inspection of the facility.
The site is in an area that has had nearby residents complaining of foul odors and poor air quality. In early December, a blog post on Patch had comments from residents in the surrounding area complaining that the air was "toxic" and and that "even taking a breath felt like it was dangerous to breath the air."
The Gesuale site currently has a composting registration with the DEC that authorizes them to process 10,000 cubic yards of yard waste such as leaves and grass, per year. Under the land clearing exemption, the site was taking in Hurricane Sandy related vegetative storm debris according to the DEC.
According to the DEC, the facility has responded by, with DEC approval, taking action to separate the storm debris material into two primary processing areas. The material will be placed into multiple wind rows, which will be more manageable and allow these piles to be managed in a way that prevents or limits anaerobic decomposition from taking place.
"Anaerobic decomposition of material typically produces odor impacts. The creation of wind rows should enable this material to breakdown aerobically, which typically does not produce odor issues," said Fonda in an email to Patch.
Lisa Inzerillo, who lives on Terri Drive, close to the intersection of Old Northport Road and Lawrence Raod, said odors were overpowering just last Wednesday and Thursday. Inzerillo said she has contacted the DEC as well as town council members, who she said have not responded to her calls. Council members could not be reached by publication time.