environmental clean-up

How to Submit Your Comments on Toxic Cleanup of NuHart Plastics

A two-month public comment period is now open for you to submit feedback on the proposed cleanup of the NuHart Plastics Superfund site, where two large plumes of phthalates and trichloroethylene (amongst a cauldron of other toxins) remain in the soil and groundwater at 280 Franklin Street from vinyl plastics manufatcuring dating back to the mid-20th century.

You can access and download the full report (PDF) from the Dept. of Environmental Conservation remediation database.

The lots that compose the NuHart Plastics building at Dupont, Franklin and Clay Streets.

The operators of NuHart Plastics vacated the site in 2004 leaving behind toxins in 12 leaky underground storage tanks and two aboveground silos. Over the years the gooey liquid phthalates mixed with groundwater and migrated toward the Greenpoint Playground and the adjacent lot where a potential school is planned, conveniently stopping at the playground’s edge on Franklin St.

The phthalates plume located at the NuHart Plastics site.

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Bringing Back Our Oysters with Billion Oyster Project

BOP Sign_greenpoint_swallaceIt’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when New York’s waterways were teeming with oysters. They were not only great for eating but also served a very vital function in our ecosystem: they helped filter the water. Alas, they ended up being too good as food, were overharvested, and any beds that did survive were seriously harmed or killed by the extreme amount of pollution poured into all of our waterways over the past 300 years. But there is an organization trying to bring the oysters back (but no, not for eating): Billion Oyster Project (BOP). BOP serves two purposes; it engages students in STEM education programs while also working to restore our harbor. BOP was actually founded in 2010 as an extension of student projects at the New York Harbor School on Governors Island. Continue reading

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Go Green! Brooklyn Festival at McCarren Park (Sat, 6/4)!

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This Saturday, June 4th (1-5PM) Go Green! Brooklyn Festival is taking over McCarren Park with a FREE celebration of the North Brooklyn Community and local environmental programs.  Park-goers can engage with and learn about sustainability initiatives while sampling local food, participating in live-action art projects, music performances, and more!

Fun Activities will include: Continue reading

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“Presumed Inevitability of Gentrification” in Greenpoint: Not The End Of The Story

Two new articles about gentrification and environmental activism in Greenpoint, appearing in The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, argue that the neighborhood is challenging the typical narrative that gentrifying neighborhoods will inevitably force out all long-term residents to make way for a gold coast of newly arriving gentrifiers.

The articles, by Winifred Curran (Department of Geography, DePaul University) and Trina Hamilton (Department of Geography, SUNY University at Buffalo) advocates a “just green enough” idea that “makes room for continued industrial use and blue-collar work, where cleanup does not automatically or exclusively lead to the ‘parks, cafes, and a riverwalk’ model of a green city.”

“Just green enough” coincides with “just clean enough,” wherein “as much of the environmental hazard as possible is removed in order to assure community health while still allowing for industrial uses on the waterfront for the explicit purpose of maintaining the area’s working-class population.” Continue reading

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