DEP

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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Are your calendars marked for next Wednesday? #greenpointfumes #petroleumvapors #greenpoint #whatsthatsmell

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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.

Continue reading

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New DEP Garbage Grabbers are cleaning Newtown Creek

via NYC Water Flickr

Here at Greenpointers, we love getting down and dirty with the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. On Tuesday, that complex kicked it up a notch further when the Department of Environmental protection unveiled 4 brand new “Newtown Creek Litter Capture Devices.” These underground garbage grabbers are designed to trap pollutants in the waterway and direct them towards the plant, where they can then be hauled to landfills. The project required three years of construction and cost the City 42 million dollars.  Continue reading

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Following the Flush: What we Learned on the Newtown Creek Digester Egg Tour

Participants on a tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant march towards the digester eggs. Photo: Megan Penmann
Participants on a night tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant wear safety vests and march towards the digester eggs. All photos by Megan Penmann

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection is in Love! The municipal organization hosted a Valentines Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant on Saturday, and the complex’s iconic Digester Eggs (more or less affectionately known as Shit Tits) were all decked out in red for the occasion. Donning hard hats and reflective vests, we got a rare look at the inner workings of New York City’s largest wastewater treatment plant. From fascinating facts (did you know the DEP has its own Fleet!?) to  stunning views from the glass-enclosed pedestrian walkways that connect each egg, we picked up some exciting intel as well as some dope swag: I proudly display my NYC Sewer Manhole Cover pin.

Participants on a tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, inside the digester eggs. Photo: Megan Penmann
Participants on a tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, inside the digester eggs.

That pride and passion are evident at Newtown Creek! DEP personnel at the Treatment Plant brought a contagious enthusiasm to highlighting the Plant’s elegant engineering and environmental equity that made the tour’s amorous theme appropriate: for Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Wastewater Treatment Pam Elardo, this is a labor of love.

Elardo told us that her lifelong goal is to make sure people know what happens when they flush the toilet. Read on to find out for yourself!  Continue reading

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Brooklyn and A Queen — The Hook-up 1/26

Rev Yolanda Rocks the Pulpit at the Park Church Co-op
Rev Yolanda Rocks the Pulpit at the Park Church Co-op. Via Brooklyn Paper

This week, New Yorkers have been making their voices heard underground, underwater and in church.

On Sunday, Rev. Yolanda, a Drag Queen who leads an inter-faith congregation in Bay Ridge, brought Drag Queen Story Hour to the Park Church Co-op (129 Russell Street) to help children master the art of kindness and encourage them to embrace diversity.   Continue reading

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FREE Rain Barrels From the DEP and GrowNYC!

Free rain barrels Open Space Alliance
photo via Open Space Alliance

Via the Open Space Alliance:

The Department of Environmental Protection and GrowNYC held a successful rain barrel giveaway last weekend at the McCarren Demonstration Garden on Leonard Street. Two dozen barrels remain, and they can help you capture many $$’s worth of rainwater which can be used to water plants or for other household tasks. Installation is easy and you will be helping prevent harmful combined sewer overflow to our rivers by reducing runoff!

DEP’s Rain Barrel Giveaway Program is part of New York City’s Green Infrastructure Plan that aims to capture stormwater before it can ever enter the sewer system and thereby reduce combined sewer overflows into local waterways. DEP has committed to invest $2.4 billion in green infrastructure projects as well as other source controls, such as rain barrels, to significantly reduce combined sewer overflows by 2030. Read more about the program here.

Email Council Member Levin’s community liaison, Benjamin Solotaire, at [email protected] to claim your barrel.

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DEP Fudged Newtown Creek Water Quality Reports, According to Former Employees

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Newtown Creek as seen from the Pulaski Bridge. Photo by Laura Apperson

We’ve already talked about how Newtown Creek is one of the most polluted waterways in the country  (AKA, don’t even think about taking a dip or eating its fish). And while everyone knows this is true, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reportedly lied about the already horrific water quality in city reports—and former employees have banded together to potentially sue the City of New York. Continue reading

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Neighbors test dust from Sludge Tank demo and find contaminants. Plus info on tonight’s Nuhart Superfund meeting.

Photo Credit: DEP

The last time we checked in, we were waving bye-bye to our beloved Sludge Tank as it was being demolished to pave way for some of Greenpoint Landing’s grand developments. Now that the demo is over, nearby residents are learning that the construction dust floating in the air, the same dust that entered homes and left residue over a children’s playground, was filled with lead and other harmful chemicals.

Welcome to remediation gone bad, where government agencies hire unscrupulous contractors who do shoddy work and leave us wondering if that odd smell in the air is just in our heads, or if something else is really going on, something infinitely more dangerous.  Let me set the record straight—it’s not in your head: The people responsible for protecting our health aren’t doing their jobs.     Continue reading

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More GREEN Money! $6 Million from DEP for Private Property Owners!

Eagle St Rooftop Farms

The city is catching on that we need to get more sustainable in terms of our infrastructure. One way is to green private residences in ways that helps capture and redirect rainwater that would otherwise overwhelm the sewer system and cause CSOs (which is when raw sewage is released into our waterways.) Yeah – it’s totally a nasty affair and should be avoided!

NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced $6 million in grant funding is available for green infrastructure projects like rain gardens, blue roofs, green roofs, and porous pavement that manage stormwater runoff from private property. Private property owners in all five boroughs of New York City are eligible to apply. Continue reading

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Save the Date! CAG Meeting (2/6)

Mark your calendars, Greenpointers. The next Newton Creek Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting is coming up soon on Thursday 2/6 at the McCarren Play Center (776 Lorimer, right near the pool) at 6:30pm.

The meeting with feature presentations from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the lovely folks who are in charge of our own little Superfund site.  They’ll discuss the city’s role in the Superfund process, upcoming plans for Newtown Creek drainage (mmm!), and all the other fun-filled  aspects of environmental restoration along the creek.

So if talking about toxicity and soil remediation really gets you going, save the date. We’ll be right there with you.

 

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