A state of emergency was declared on Wednesday July 21, by Pawling, NY town Supervisor David Kelly, as a local park was closed following discovery of asbestos in debris from a building slated for demolition. The park, which hosts summer camps for children, was closed for five days in order to allow workers to remove asbestos effectively.
Kelly was quoted as saying, “There was a water tank that was in the basement, that was set on the ground and then removed to a Dumpster. The debris that was left behind was tested and tested positive for asbestos.” Although the presence of the toxic mineral asbestos was restricted to a fenced-off area, town authorities wanted to be on the safer side and thus, decided to close the park for a few days. “Public safety is the first and foremost criteria here,” he said.
A press release issued by Kelly reports that all activities inside the park have been cancelled until health hazards are eliminated. According to Kelly, asbestos had been removed, in June, from a connected series of YMCA cabins scheduled for demolition and the abatement process was signed off by Envirologic of New York, an asbestos and lead monitoring service. However, some asbestos was still left and was found plastered on pipes during demolition. “It was our assumption that everything was signed off, and everything had been completed from the previous project,” said Melissa Smith, Recreation Director of the Town Recreation Department, which runs a summer camp for children at the park.
This year, around 200 children were supposed to attend the camp, but due to the discovery of asbestos, the camp was cancelled for a few days and parents were notified over the phone.
Lakeside Park is a publically owned, 299-acre park, located on Lakeside Drive in Pawling, New York, near Poughkeepsie.