WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Both the Village of Mount Kisco and a property owner were claiming victory after a judge's ruling on who is responsible for cleaning up a site used to make the first atomic bomb.
Judge Nelson Roman, in White Plains Federal Court, allowed several claims by Mark Stagg, majority owner of the 105 Kisco Avenue property to move forward against the Village/Town of Mount Kisco, the county Health Department, Paul Carozza, the previous owner of the site, the federal government and six other companies.
The judge dismissed claims against an environmental consulting firm and the Mount Kisco Urban Renewal Agency. The agency purchased the property in 1966, working with the county health department to clean up the site and demolish a uranium refinery.
Thomas Stagg, an attorney who is representing his brother, Mark, said they were pleased with the judge's ruling.
"The site is contaminated," Stagg said. "The village and county did a very poor job of cleaning up the site. It could cost up to $15 million. We believe Mount Kisco and the county have an obligation to step up and clean up the site like they should've done 50 years ago."
Stagg said during the discovery process, they intend to obtain documents and testimony that show the village has been long aware the site was contaminated but kept quiet about it.
Not so says Whitney Singleton, the attorney for the Village/Town of Mount Kisco.
"The site was cleaned up 50 years ago," Singleton said. "Their files are replete with evidence of what the site contains. The property owner should be looking to remediate its site for contamination that was created by its predecessors, not by third parties."
Singleton said he was pleased many of the claims against the village were dismissed. He said he believes the remaining claims will be dismissed because of statute of limitations.