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Petroleum Build up in Sewer Lines Caused Vapors City and State Reps Say

The petroleum vapors town hall on 6/12 in Greenpoint

The recent spike in petroleum odors in Greenpoint homes was the topic of discussion on Wednesday night at the second town hall this year hosted by the North Brooklyn Neighbors at the Polish and Slavic Civic Center (176 Java St.).


Representatives from the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection, Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene amd the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation provided updates on the pretorium vapors centered around Freeman, Huron, and Green Streets.

The DEP flushing sewer lines on McGuiness Blvd and Huron Street in May, 2019,

The DEC confirmed that petroleum product had recently built up in the “tight” sewer lines in the northern section of Greenpoint where multiple residents, including Freeman Street resident Mary Cinadr, have been relocated from due to vapors. The DEP has been flushing sewer lines in the area and said that petroleum vapors have reduced to safe levels.

A quick side note: if you detect petroleum vapors are present in your home then dial the DEC spill hotline at 1-800-457-7362 and call 311 (remember to write down the complaint number).

The vapor complaints that have been coming into 311 and 911 haven’t always made it to DEC in time for air sampling, as was the case with the preschool evacuating on Java St. on May 23rd, which DEC rep. Rodney Rivera said was a “chemical odor,” despite audience members claiming that a gas smell was detected prior to the school evacuation.  Continue reading

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Petroleum Vapor Townhall is Wedesnday (6/12)

Greenpoint residents nave reported petroleum vapors inside their homes in recent weeks.

The second town hall this year on petroleum vapors in Greenpoint will take place on Wednesday.

The North Brooklyn Neighbors are hosting the town hall on “persistent petroleum odors in Greenpoint homes and on the streets” on Wednesday (6/12) at the Polish and Slavic Civic Center (176 Java St.) at 6:30 p.m.

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Representatives from the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection, Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene, the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, and the Dept. of Health are scheduled to speak and a Q&A will follow.

The North Brooklyn Neighbors map of recently reported gas vapors (blue markers are vapors reported prior to the meeting; orange markers are reported indoor vapors; smaller orange dots are reported outdoor vapors; yellow markers are both indoor and outdoor vapor reports)

At the previous petroleum vapor town hall in May, DEC reps explained how they are testing the air quality in homes where vapors are reported and that DEP has been actively flushing and testing the sewer lines for petroleum vapors near Huron Street and Manhattan Avenue.

DEC workers flushing the sewer lines at McGuinness Blvd and Huron Street in May.

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North Brooklyn Development Meeting on Thursday 2/28

Greenpoint Landing construction begins on Commercial Street. Photo credit: Kim Masson

The next public meeting regarding real estate development and Superfund sites in North Brooklyn is happening Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Polish Slavic Center (176 Java St.) from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The meeting is hosted by Assembly Member Joseph Lentol, Senator Julia Salazar and NYC Council Member Stephen Levin.

Topics including the former Nuhart Plastics Superfund site and community air monitoring will be discussed with representatives from the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Environmental Remediation.

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Meeker Ave Toxic Plume Meeting Today: Ask Questions

Investigation area - Meeker Ave. Plume
Investigation area – Meeker Ave. Plume via DEC

Today is your chance to learn about the toxins lurking underneath the area surrounding our beloved McGolrick Park.

The New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding a public meeting to answer your questions about the Meeker Avenue Plume. State reps will be on hand to talk about the ongoing investigation at the site outlined in black on the map above.

The information session takes place today (Thursday, December 1st) at the Polish and Slavic Center located at 176 Java St., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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UPDATE: Superfund Nuhart Plastics. Seriously, you REALLY need to read this!

harte-and-co-factory-280-franklin-street-greenpoint-52014

Since last Thursday’s meeting, many of you have written me personally expressing concerns about Nuhart’s status and what it means for the hood when a Superfund cleans up its act and turns into an “affordable luxury condo building”.  Sadly, what is happening at Nuhart is not an April Fool’s joke.

Well, I have good and bad news to report about our darling little Superfund.  I suggest we bust out our hazmat suits and get suited up. I’m going to take us into the trenches and talk about toxic plumes.

Yes, you read that correctly. There are TWO plumes at Nuhart, not one.

Got your suit zipped and your mask on tight? Alright Greenpointers, let’s get dirty and talk toxins. Continue reading

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Important Meeting Tonight: Update on Nuhart Superfund Site! Psst, the plume is migrating.

harte-and-co-factory-280-franklin-street-greenpoint-52014

A few months ago, Greenpointers were alarmed to hear that Nuhart Plastics on the corner of Dupont Street had been sold to a Chinese developer who plans on turning the site into residential condos. Many of us were familiar with Nuhart’s former life as a plastics plant, but a lot of Greenpointers did not realize the site is a Class-2 Superfund site complete with a phthalate plume.

According to the 2013 NuHart Plume map–which shows liquid plasticizers 5ft deep in some areas–the plume is in fact moving. With a recent study tying prenatal phthlate exposure to lower IQ’s and a host of other health issues, we should be very concerned and vigilant about what is happening at the Nuhart site.

Tonight at 6pm at the Dupont Senior Center  the Department of Environmental Conservation (the agency who is responsible for the Superfund’s oversight) will be briefing neighbors about Nuhart and any clean-up efforts that have been conducted in recent months. Also 0n hand will be Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street representatives giving their own brief updates on their mega developments.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments about the Nuhart plant or our new neighbors Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial Street–I know I sure do–then you’ll make it your business to attend tonight’s meeting at the Dupont Street Senior Center (entrance on Eagle Street) between 6-8pm.

For those you can’t make it tonight, Greenpointers will be providing folks with an update. Stay tuned for more details to come.

 

 

 

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Q&A: Mike Schade talks toxins at Nuhart Plant. Everyone needs to read this!

Photo credit: Fabien Palencia

The other day I sat down with my friend, fellow Greenpointer, and hardcore environmental justice advocate, Mike Schade, to get the skinny on Nuhart Plastics–one of the most toxic sites in the hood–which recently got sold to a developer with plans to convert the festering Superfund site into fancy condos.

When it comes to converting a Superfund site into residential development, gentrification should be the least  just one of our concerns. What’s happening at Nuhart is really serious business because the potential exposure to toxic chemicals is real and something all Greenpointers need to know about.

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Newtown Creek polluters alive and well. State officials investigate fresh oil leak.

Photo courtesy of Newtown Creek Alliance

Anyone living in Greenpoint knows whatever lies in the murky waters of Newtown Creek is filled with some seriously nasty cancer-causing stuff: PCBs, VOCs, oil, anti-freeze—the list is endless.  In recent months our little Superfund has had a lot of work done. It was dredged to accommodate a new CSO pipeline and major clean-up efforts are underway to reverse years of heavy pollution. Many say the clean-up is working: Blue crabs are coming back, even birds like the majestic Great Egret are settling upon the creek’s shore. Yet for all this focus on revitalizing the water, sadly Newtown Creek is being polluted once more. State and city officials announced they are investing multiple reports of oil leaks—two of which were reported this month.   Continue reading

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Couples Use Newtown Creek As Dog Beach

Warning: These photos are horrifying.

Dog Swimming in Newtown Creek Off Newtown Creek Nature Center

When I came across these images on the Facebook feed of local environmental activist Laura Hofman, depicting a couple playing fetch with their dog off the Newtown Creek Nature Center, I was shocked and naturally disgusted. My first reaction was – Animal Abuse! Call the ASPCA.   Continue reading

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