environmental contamination

ExxonMobil Proposes Toxic Cleanup at 460 Kingsland Avenue, Comment Period Open

OU-3, where the proposed cleanup would occur, is the name given to 460 Kingsland Ave. by NYDEC

The proposed cleanup plan for the 3.55 acre-site that was formerly an oil refinery owned by ExxonMobil at 460 Kingsland Ave. has been submitted and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting public comment on the plan through May 11th (details below).

A public meeting will also be held with representatives from NYDEC to discuss the cleanup on Tuesday, April 16, at PS 110 Monitor Elementary School (124 Monitor St.) at 6:30 p.m.

While the infamous Greenpoint oil spill, estimated to be between 17 and 30 million gallons, inundated the soil and groundwater with petroleum-related toxins at nearby lots to the North of 460 Kingsland Ave., “historical investigations did not encounter the Greenpoint petroleum plume” at the site, according to the NYDEC factsheet.

1960 aerial view looking northwest from Apollo Street (Courtesy of Newtown Creek Alliance)

As of 2018, 12,972,637 gallons of petroleum product has been removed from Greenpoint, and ExxonMobil continues to remove the oil underneath the neighborhood.

Historical and Current Extent of FreeProduct Plume – 2016 (courtesy of NYDEC)

The contaminants to be remediated at 460 Kingsland Ave. are “petroleum-related volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) found in soils and groundwater,” according to NYDEC.

Also to be remediated are a host of toxins including polyaromatic hydrocarbons, arsenic, copper, lead, mercury,
and PCBs are present in soils and in groundwater.

The site is zoned for heavy manufacturing and industrial use under M3-1 zoning, where a 29,000 square-foot one-story building currently stands and is leased out to multiple third-party businesses, including a trucking terminal.

An oil refinery and petroleum bulk storage facility operated at the site from approximately 1920 – 1966 and in 1967 the sire was purchased bt a freight company, according to the NYDEC factsheet.

The proposed cleanup includes:

  • A site cover that will allow for commercial and industrial use of the site;
  •  Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) of contaminated groundwater.
    Groundwater will be monitored for site related contamination. Reports of
    the attenuation will be provided as a part of the site management.
  • An institutional control in the form of an environmental easement will be
    placed on the property that will restrict site to commercial and industrial
    uses.
  • A site management plan will be developed to ensure that the remedy is
    maintained and monitored regularly to fully protect human health and the
    environment.

NYSDEC is currently accepting written comments on the cleanup through May 11, 2019, contact:

Randy Whitcher, Project Manager
NYSDEC
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233
518-402-9662
[email protected]

 

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Future of Proposed K-8 School Next to Superfund Site in Question

Map of proposed school next to the NuHart Superfund site (via North Brooklyn Neighbors)

The future of the proposed k-8 school across from a toxic site is in question. The current plan is to build the school on a vacant lot across the street from the NuHart Plastics Superfund site, one of the most contaminated sites in New York state.

NuHart Plastics Superfund site

NYC Councilmember Stephen Levin is holding a public meeting on  Feb. 7, at the Dupont Senior Housing Center (80 Dupont St.) at 7 p.m. regarding the school and has for the past three years cited efforts to seek an alternative site for a new k-8 school in the North Greenpoint area.

A petition from North Brooklyn Neighbors in opposition to the location of the future school at the corner of Franklin and Dupont streets has received over 6,600 signatures so far.

The NuHart Plastics building spewed toxic fumes into the neighborhood while producing vinyl sheeting from 1950 – 2004, during which time underground storage tanks of toxic chemicals leaked into the groundwater and soil. Today as much as 60,000 gallons of phthalates are underground at the site and the toxic plume has migrated west toward the Greenpoint Playground across the street.

The underground plume at the corner of Franklin and Dupont streets (via North Brooklyn Neighbors)

While local residents are not currently a risk for exposure at the moment while the toxins remain more than 10 feet underground, the cleanup process is supposed to start following the demolition of the building which could start later this year following approval of the proposal of the cleanup plan by the state. Continue reading

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