BRAIRCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – The Briarcliff Board of Education could approve a remediation plan Tuesday night to cover the contaminated playing fields outside of Briarcliff High School.
The board is set to vote during its regular meeting on whether to allow investigation company HDR’s remediation plan to be sent to the state departments of Environmental Conservation and Health. The DEC would ultimately need to approve the plan before construction and student use could resume.
“The board is working very hard to remediate and bring this situation to a close that will allow people to understand that we did what was most prudent and best for the community,” board President Sal Maglietta said in a telephone interview Thursday. “No one in my mind can provide an answer or a reason that could give comfort to parents who have lost their children who have been stricken by different forms of cancer.”
Briarcliff Manor school district officials responded publicly last week for the first time to some residents' claims that a possible cancer cluster is linked to the contaminated fields. A series of recent articles addressed the cases of former students Nicholas Birch, Demetri Demeropoulos and Nicholas Mazzilli, whose families have notified the district that they intend to sue. Birch died of a brain tumor in February at the age of 12, and Demeropoulos died in 2010 at 18, while Mazzilli has recovered. The stories noted that the families of at least 10 other students believe that the schools' contaminated playing fields led to the students contracting various cancers.
District Superintendent Neal Miller said Thursday that board members and district officials had not yet reviewed the remediation plan. He said he expects action to be taken during Tuesday night's meeting in the Briarcliff Middle School theater.