North Brooklyn Neighbors

Learn How to Report Idling Trucks and Earn Cash With North Brooklyn Neighbors

Via North Brooklyn Neighbors

The Williamsburg-based grassroots non-profit North Brooklyn Neighbors will host an information session next week on the recently passed NYC law that rewards tipsters for reporting idling trucks and buses.

Under the Citizens Air Complaint Program, the city will pay 25 percent of the fines to tipsters who report commercial trucks and buses for idling for more than one minute in a school zone and more than three minutes on the street. Continue reading

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Climate Week Events Happening in North Brooklyn

The 4th Annual Kingsland Wildflowers Festival is on 9/21

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

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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.

Continue reading

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Greenpoint Oil Vapor Meeting Prompted by Multiple Complaints

(courtesy of Timothy Krause/Flickr)

A group of Greenpoint residents have reported smelling oil and petroleum vapors recently in their apartments and will hold a meeting this week with local elected officials and concerned neighbors to “work toward a solution.”

If you live in the vicinity of Freeman, Green, and Huron streets and would like to learn more or share your story a meeting hosted by the North Brooklyn Neighbors will take place at the Dupont Street Senior Housing Center (80 Dupont St.) on Tuesday, May 7th, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Both the city Department of Environmental Protection and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have been investigating the potential source of the alleged vapors and conducted sewer inspections in Greenpoint last week, according to Benjamin Solotaire of Council Member Stephen Levin’s office.

The agencies sampled the air at six manholes and found one manhole on Freeman Street that has evidence of petroleum product. Here are the full details: Continue reading

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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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Independent Monitor Requested for Nuhart Plastics Toxic Cleanup

NuHart Dupont Street Facade; A. Simon

The deadline is Monday, Nov. 19, for you to send feedback to the Dept. of Environmental Conservation regarding the proposed cleanup (PDF) of the former Nuhart Plastics manufacturing facility, a state Superfund site.

The soil and groundwater onsite are contaminated with the plastics softener phthalates and the cleaning solvent TCE, both human carcinogens, and a potential school is being discussed for an adjacent lot on Franklin Street.

A letter from the North Brooklyn Neighbors requests the Superfund remediation process include an independent expert to monitor the cleanup and off-site impacts:

The neighbors/residents need to be confident that site-related activities will not expose the residents and visitors to harmful conditions during any part of the work. The community has raised concerns about dust, odors, noise, and possible off-gassing of VOC’s or SVOC’s during the remediation. DEC should do all it can to ensure off site impacts are mitigated to the great extent practicable to safeguard public health and address community concerns.

The community requests a website for the DEC and developer to share the results of air and environmental monitoring in real time during the clean-up. Such websites have been used and are in use at other cleanup sites, including the Hudson River PCB removal action.

We request an independent on-site expert to monitor the clean up and ensure that there are no significant off site impacts (e.g. odors, ambient air pollution, noise, etc.) to the community during the remediation, especially when the building is being brought down and the contamination on site is being dug up.

Continue reading

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Comment Period On Nuhart Plastics Cleanup Ends Soon

 

Nuhart Plastics site
Nuhart Plastics Superfund site

The Nov. 19 deadline to submit your comments to the Dept. of Environmental Conservation on the proposed cleanup plan (PDF) for the Nuhart Plastics Superfund site is approaching.

If you prefer to lament, or compliment, the cleanup plan in the company of your neighbors, then you’re in luck: North Brooklyn Neighbors and NYC Council Member Stephen Levin are hosting a comment-athon this Wed. Oct. 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Threes Brewing (113 Franklin St.). Continue reading

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