Feds tap Calif. firm to clear Fire Island debris

February 28, 2013 - 3:31 PM

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — Federal officials say they've finally found a contractor to clear tons of Superstorm Sandy debris from New York's Fire Island before an endangered bird species makes removal more complicated.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it has awarded a $10.1 million contract to Environmental Chemical Company of Burlingame, Calif.

Officials face a deadline to have the estimated 9,650 tons of debris cleared by the end of March.

After that, truck access to beaches will be restricted to protect nesting areas for the endangered piping plover. The Army Corps says it expects to meet the deadline.

Officials have struggled to find a contractor for the job. ECC is the fifth company named after deals with previous companies were challenged.

A Fire Island Association official says residents have their fingers crossed.