A series of climate change-focused events and meetups over the next two weeks in Greenpoint and Williamsburg will mark Climate Week NYC, which coincides with the UN Climate Action Summit. The events are helping draw attention to the global climate crisis and to spark action. A large-scale climate strike will happen this Friday at noon at Foley Square and over one million NYC students have been granted permission to skip class to participate.
The local events kick off tonight with a happy hour from the NY League of Conservation Voters and culminate with a Tidal Toast hosted by Newtown Creek Alliance and Broadway Stages. Here’s the full list of events from the North Brooklyn Chamber Environmental Initiatives Committee: Continue reading →
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.
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.
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]
More green roofs will be constructed in Greenpoint thanks to a state environmental fund. Today, North Brooklyn’s State Assemblyman Joe Lentol announced a $1.5 million state grant awarded to Broadway Stages in a partnership with Alive Structures to construct a total of 1.4 acres of green roofs at three of their local soundstages.
The success of Kingsland Wildflowers green roof, which opened in 2016, demonstrated a way forward for the North Brooklyn area to transform rooftops at a large scale. In a statement, Assemblyman Lentol said that the green roofs will provide many benefits for the natural environment.
“Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages was a great success and is the perfect example that shows the potential of this project. I am very excited that this grant funded such a great project right here in Greenpoint. It will add green space, improve the environment and provide a natural habitat for countless beneficial insects and birds.”
The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund initially backed the Kingsland Wildflowers roof that was created through a partnership between the Newtown Creek Alliance, Broadway Stages, Alive Structures and NYC Audubon.
Join Kingsland Wildflowers for a fun day celebrating their third season of programming, education, and research at Kingsland Wildflowers. Visitors can explore the half-acre, green roof habitat and native plant garden. North Brooklyn community organizations will be tabling and featuring activities to engage families and children. The festival offers an opportunity to learn about local environmental initiatives while exploring green infrastructure dedicated to native plants and birds.
❀ Tours of green roofs with wildlife and plant experts ❀ Interactive activities for kids and families ❀ Food, beer, live music & special dance performances ❀ Community organizations discussing local conservation projects ❀ 360º panoramic views of Brooklyn, Manhattan, & Queens
Happy first day of school, Greenpoint! This year, the local conservationists at Newtown Creek Alliance are bringing the creek to the curriculum as part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Greenpoint EcoSchools initiative.
NCA will pioneer its new STEM Urban Ecology curriculum in the four Greenpoint Public schools: PS 31, PS 34, PS 110, and MS 126. The learning modules and field trips, designed for elementary and middle school students, cover Flora and Fauna relationships, invasive and native species, topography, water and soil quality, ecological health and legacy and ongoing pollution sources.
Each lesson will culminate in a “design based applied learning project,” and NCA staff will serve as expert guides, leading classes through related activities and offering guest lecturers in the classroom. Continue reading →
Newtown Creek Bike Tour Sunday, June 24th 11am – 1:30pm Join NCA for a guided bike tour to see and discuss ecological and industrial activity near and along the Newtown Creek shoreline. Once a vast tidal wetland, the Creek quickly became one of the busiest waterways in the county, leaving a significant legacy of environmental destruction and contamination, leading to the ultimate designation as a federal superfund. However, improvements are underway and the past 2 decades have seen improvements to water quality and with it a returning ecology.
Do want to help make Greenpoint greener and learn how to take care of the trees that line our streets? Greening Greenpoint and Newtown Creek Alliance are teaming up this Sunday, June 24th, to care for street trees on Norman Avenue, and afterwards explore the native wildflower green roof at Kingsland Wildflowers (520 Kingsland Ave). From 10am till noon, volunteers will improve the street tree beds then relax with refreshments and a tour of of the green roof.
Field Day Friday at Kingsland Wildflowers Kingsland Wildflowers | 520 Kingsland Ave
Friday, June 15 | 4pm-7pm Join Kingsland Wildflowers this Friday, June 15, at 4pm for their Field Day Friday (every 3rd Friday of the month) in partnership with Newtown Creek Alliance where you can volunteer to get your hands dirty and help maintain the beautiful rooftop garden!
Botanical Printmaking / Art + Nature at Kingsland Wildflowers Kingsland Wildflowers | 520 Kingsland Ave Friday, June 15 | 4pm-7pm And, this Friday as part of their art + nature series, you will also enjoy a guided tour of what is blooming on the rooftop meadow and learn creative ways to get to know the plantsbylearning botanical printmaking with artist Autumn Kioti! $10 suggested donation. More info + registration here.
Do you feel alive, Greenpoint? Well, the valiant conservationists at Newtown Creek Alliance certainly do. The good folks at NCA have announced plans for a second Living Dock in Newtown Creek. The Living Dock is a “floating structure designed to provide valuable marine habitat within a heavy polluted and largely bulkheaded waterway.”
The original Living Dock was installed here in Greenpoint at the North Henry Street Public Basin in 2015, and its brand-new sister dock will be built this month and installed in the English Kills tributary of the creek. Continue reading →