State Wins New Pollution Controls At Suffolk Asphalt Plant

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the successful completion of negotiations to sharply reduce the negative environmental impacts of an asphalt plant located next to a residential neighborhood in the town of Holbrook on Long Island.

The negotiated settlement should resolve many complaints raised by neighbors of Prima Asphalt Concrete, Inc., at 625 Furrows Road, that odors, dust and rainwater runoff from the plant have a persistent negative impact on their quality of life.

"This settlement protects local jobs while significantly improving the quality of life in a residential neighborhood," said Attorney General Spitzer. "I commend the company for working with my office to resolve what has been a vexing situation."

Residents of the neighborhood across the street from Prima Asphalt have filed hundreds of complaints with Suffolk County officials and with the Attorney General's Office about noxious odors that drift from the plant into homes; gritty dust that blows off a large pile of crushed stone at the plant and coats homes, cars, patio furniture and laundry; and runoff from the pile of crushed stone that clogs storm drains and causes local flooding.

Based on these complaints, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation of possible environmental violations at Prima Asphalt. That investigation resulted in the settlement with Prima Asphalt announced today.

Under terms of the settlement, Prima Asphalt admits no liability but agrees to:

  • Pay a $20,000 civil penalty to the state and pay an additional $8,450 to cover the state's costs;
  • Hire an engineering firm to perform a 30-day review of pollution sources at the plant and to make recommendations to alleviate them;
  • Pay the state to hire an odor expert to review the company's engineering report;
  • Build, install and undertake appropriate pollution controls and comply with a construction schedule approved by the state; and,
  • Pay a fine of $1,000 per day in the event it violates the agreement.

The settlement was entered Tuesday in Suffolk County Supreme Court and signed by Judge John C. Bivona.

The case was handled in the Attorney General's Office by Assistant Attorney General Rachel Zaffrann of the Environmental Protection Bureau.