updated 8/25/2006 5:54:15 PM ET 2006-08-25T21:54:15

Wal-Mart has dropped plans to open a store in Staten Island because of the high cost of an environmental cleanup of the 18-acre site.

The site, along Richmond Valley Road at the borough’s southern end, had previously been occupied by Lucent Technologies, which recycled telecommunications equipment.

“The remediation program needed at the site has caused a change in the site’s configuration to a point where it is no longer suitable for a Wal-Mart store,” Philip Serghini, a senior community affairs manager for the nation’s leading retail store, said Thursday. “We continue to consider our options in Staten Island and throughout the five boroughs.”

Many Staten Island residents had opposed the opening of a big-box store for fear it would increase traffic.

Last February, community and labor union opposition headed off a Wal-Mart planned for Rego Park, Queens.

The company’s decision to drop its plans in Staten Island was first reported in Thursday editions of the Staten Island Advance.

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