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New York regulators looking into whether an energy plant sent toxic waste to Brookhaven's landfill

U.S. Census Bureau

New York environmental regulators are investigating a trash-to-energy plant that sent its ash waste to the Brookhaven town landfill.

The Hempstead company Covanta burns trash and, in a deal with the town of Brookhaven, dumps the ash waste in the town landfill. According to a whistleblower lawsuit, the company mixed toxic waste into the ash. Covanta called the claims “baseless.”

In the lawsuit, the whistleblower accused the company of withholding records, including ash-testing results and trucking logs. These are the records now being sought by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The DEC has on-site monitors at the Covanta plant in Hempstead. Several municipalities also suing the company have agreed to settle their claims against the company for $300,000. Brookhaven is still accepting Covanta’s trash-to-ash waste.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.