"Bittersweet Deal in 22-Year Fight Over Toxic Site in Bronx"

"Kerri was 4 when she started having trouble walking. Justin was 5 when he got a nosebleed that would not stop. Danielle was 7 when her legs began to ache."

"During the 1980s, the children all lived, played and swam in the shadow of the Pelham Bay landfill, a towering city dump in the Bronx on the shores of Eastchester Bay. For well over a decade, it was a vast environmental crime scene, where bribes to city workers opened the gates to an estimated 1.1 million gallons of illegally dumped toxic waste. By 1991, the three children were dead, taken by childhood leukemia a few years after their symptoms had appeared.

Their families — and the families of nine surviving children who also lived near the landfill and contracted childhood leukemia — sued the city, citing the incidence of disease in the area, and blaming the city for failing to halt the dumping and for taking years to clean up the site. Since then, three mayoral administrations, despite acknowledging the dump’s ugly history, stubbornly fought the suits for 22 years."

William K. Rashbaum reports for the New York Times August 11, 2013.

Source: NY Times, 08/12/2013