Demolition is scheduled to start next year on the building which sits on highly toxic land at the corner of Franklin and Dupont Streets, where the groundwater and soil are contaminated with a host of human carcinogens, such as phthalates and TCE.
A letter with recommendations on the proposed cleanup plan addressed to the DEC from Environmental Stewardship Concepts, the technical advisor hired by the North Brooklyn Neighbors, addresses many issues including the need for pressurized tents during excavation to minimize the spread of harmful airborne volatile organic compounds.
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.
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.
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.
FYI: Fellow residents and neighbors, there’s a majorly important community meeting happening this Thursday, October 4th. And, we think you need to know about it. You might even want to attend and take action.
The NYS DEC has finally released its proposed plan to clean up the NuHart toxic waste site in Greenpoint and they’re holding a meeting about said cleanup plan this Thursday. This is mega news. So, what’s the deal?Download the proposed plans here and scroll down to Former NuHart Plastic Manufacturing – 224136 for more info.
The cleanup plan for the Superfund site is out for a 60-day public comment period. At this meeting, they’ll share the plan and your part is to give some sorely needed community input. Note: This is the only public meeting the DEC is holding for public input.
We’ll see you at the meeting, here are the need-to-know details:
WHEN: Thursday, October 4th, 7:00 PM WHERE: Polish & Slavic Center, 176 Java Street, Brooklyn, NY
Also, if you’d like to review the proposed cleanup plan in person, you can access the hard copy at these locations:
Brooklyn Community Board #1 435 Graham Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211 Phone: 718-389-0009
North Brooklyn Development Corporation 148-150 Huron St. Brooklyn, NY 11222 Phone: 718-389-9044
Together, the two buildings will bring 325 new apartments to Greenpoint. Additionally, 6,000 square feet at 22 Clay Street will be set aside for commercial space.
This is not the first time that major developers have tried to build on land near the Nuhart site that is considered highly-contaminated. In June, the neighborhood organization Neighbors Allied for Good Growth lodged a petition against Greenpoint Landing’s proposed K-8 school, which is slated to be built across from the factory space.
If the trucks, dust, and noise of recent months haven’t been self-evident enough, the Northwest corner of Greenpoint is now bracing itself for more of the above.
In a meeting held Tuesday between developers, city officials, and community representatives, Council Member Stephen Levin attested to the notion that we’re more or less exiting the warmup phase of the current development cycle and heading for the main event.
“The reality is that the pace of development has sped up over the last six months to a year,” he said. “Even since we first start meeting, the pace of development has really accelerated. That’s because the economy’s doing well, banks are lending, developers are getting in the ground, and things are moving.”
Organized by Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), the meeting gave residents an opportunity to ask some tough questions and hear a slightly more unscripted perspective from developers.
Hot topics included Greenpoint Landing, the West Street project (what’s the deal with all those missing trees?), environmental remediation at NuHart, and the not-so-promising future of Greenpoint’s parking situation. The aftermath of the infamous Halloween rave also received some airtime (for those curious, fines will be levied, but the amount is still undetermined).
That construction is inevitable (and that it’s inevitably a nuisance) is hardly breaking news, but it seems as though residents still have a window of opportunity to air their concerns and perhaps influence the direction some of this taking. The public comment period for the Nuhart State Superfund remediation, for example, is still coming up.
In the meantime, here are a few of the latest updates from the land of jackhammers drilling into toxic soil. Continue reading →
At press time, the scaffolding lacked visible street-level permits and extends far beyond Lot 57 to include adjacent Lot 17. This is the latest in a series of well-documented missteps by the Dupont Street Developers and their rotating cast of contractors. Continue reading →
The Nov. 2 meeting held in Greenpoint with Dr. Peter deFur, the community’s technical consultant, was an opportunity for local residents to ask questions about the toxic contamination in the soil and groundwater.
DeFur assured residents: “Your presence and your voice will make a difference…I have seen examples of where the community voice is an important determinate and changes the outcome.”
The moment of truth involved an array of toxins that have been detected at low levels at the NuHart test wells, including benzene, but deFur posited that they are not a major concern for most Greenpointers.
It’s Friday; instead of “Netflix and chill,” why not “Superfund and chill?” After all, you can’t spell “Superfund” without “super fun” — ask CityFox to explain.
In what proved to be a fateful pre-scheduled meeting, the Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG) and Council Member Levin’s office hosted a post-Halloween Superfund meeting at the Polish & Slavic Center in Greenpoint.
Local residents fielded their questions to: representatives of Dupont Street Developers, Council Member Levin, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health, City Office of Environmental Remediation and Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s office, in addition to NAG board members Mike Schade and Rita Pasarell.
As a result of the Halloween fiasco, CityFox and Dupont Street Developers LLC are now facing city and state investigations.
By now, most of you are familiar with the story of the Cityfox rave that never was. To sum it up briefly, a club promoter sold thousands of tickets to an all-night Halloween fête in Greenpoint’s toxic NuHart Plastics building. Due to intervention from the Fire Department, the party never quite made it to witching hour, but many residents are super pissed that something like this almost went down at a state Superfund site — and across the street from a senior center, no less.
Beyond that, the details are somewhat difficult to follow, which makes it hard to know exactly where to point fingers, even if the impetus is hardly in short supply. Cityfox issued a public apology yesterday, and organizers at Monday night’s NAG meeting made a point to save any rave-related questions for last, but the Q&A session quickly became a sounding board for public outrage. As one resident summed it up, the whole thing was a “huge slap in the face” for a community that’s been impacted by the building’s toxic history and is now grudgingly attempting to trust developers who claim to have its best interests in mind.
Fielding many of these questions was geologist Michael Roux, the environmental consultant for Dupont Street Developers LLC, which bought the NuHart site in 2014. He was joined by Yi Han, a representative of the group. Together, their account was confusing and at times seemingly contradictory to some of the other things we now know about the incident (for instance, Han said the owners never signed a contract, but NAG has supplied copies of the signed party permit on its website. To be clear, the building is owned by multiple parties). Additionally, Roux said that he wouldn’t be “totally forthcoming with everything [he knows],” as he’s been put on notice of potential legal action by the state.
In order to help make heads of tails, here’s a rough chronological timeline presented from multiple perspectives. Continue reading →