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Officials to hold public meeting about Watertown Air Brake site

The New York Air Brake industrial site in Watertown has been the subject of resurgent concerns among residents of the city's north side neighborhood. Some have come forward about illnesses they say are linked to pollution at the site. The state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation are holding a community meeting Wednesday, November 7 in Watertown to hear those concerns.

New York state environmental and health officials will participate in two events in Watertown Wednesday: a one-on-one availability with members of the public, where citizens can share their concerns privately, and a public meeting, when officials will present the history of the Air Brake site.

Stephen Litwhiler, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said they want to be communicative with the residents. "We felt it was, you know, just very responsive to get out into the public, present the information and also be available for all their questions," he said.

A community meeting called by neighborhood activists in August drew hundreds of people to the North Side Improvement League to hear a representative of famous environmental activist Erin Brockovich speak.

The state DEC contends the site has been thoroughly cleaned up.


Members of the public can speak to health and environmental officials from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at North Elementary School in Watertown. The public meeting takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. that evening, also at the school.