toxic greenpoint

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.

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Gas Odor Causes Greenpoint Preschool Evacuation

176 Java St. (Google Maps)

Gas odors resulted in the temporary evacuation of preschool children from the Greenpoint YMCA’s Early Childhood Center in the Polish and Slavic Center at 176 Java St. on Thursday morning, according to a parent whose child was evacuated.

The YMCA Early Childhood Program director Linda Leahy alerted parents around 9 a.m. this morning that gas odors were detected on the third floor of the building, according to the Greenpoint parent.

A teacher at the preschool said that the smell was from a potential gas leak and that the odor was strong enough for the children to be evacuated to the Greenpoint YMCA at 99 Meserole Ave. in the rain.

FDNY arrived at 176 Java St and determined the building to be safe; school staff and children returned to the building around noon today.

Separately, a rash of reported gas vapors seeping into residential buildings centered around Huron and Freeman Streets lead to a community meeting in Greenpoint earlier this month with the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, North Brooklyn Neighbors and local elected reps.

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)

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Greenpoint Soil Safety Workshop Teaches How to Test for Lead

(Image courtesy of GCEF)

As a result of Greenpoint’s rich industrial and manufacturing history, significant contamination of the local soil with toxins such as lead remains a problem.

A soil safety workshop from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund will help you learn “what lead (and other contaminants) in soils – and their soil test results – mean” on Saturday, April 20th, at Kingsland Wildflowers (520 Kingsland Ave.) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Experts on soil contaminants will answer your questions and help interpret soil test results; a 40-pound bag of compost will be available to take home for free.

Attendees should be at least 18 years old and must have completed the GCEF Soil Safety Basics workshop in advance. Contact workshop organizer, Lael Goodman ([email protected]), for permission to enroll if you have not taken the Soil Safety Basics workshop.

 

 

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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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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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Meeker Ave Toxic Plume Meeting Today: Ask Questions

Investigation area - Meeker Ave. Plume
Investigation area – Meeker Ave. Plume via DEC

Today is your chance to learn about the toxins lurking underneath the area surrounding our beloved McGolrick Park.

The New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding a public meeting to answer your questions about the Meeker Avenue Plume. State reps will be on hand to talk about the ongoing investigation at the site outlined in black on the map above.

The information session takes place today (Thursday, December 1st) at the Polish and Slavic Center located at 176 Java St., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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It’s No Fun Living Next to a Superfund Site as Dubious Plans Move Forward at Former NuHart Plastics Building

Since scaffolding was erected last week on Dupont Street, complaints to 311 and NYC Council Member Stephen Levin’s Office have been rolling in.

Greenpoint’s former NuHart Plastics manufacturing facility is partially a state-managed Superfund Site and is divided into 10 parcels spanning an entire acre on Clay, Dupont and Franklin Streets. Two of the “uncontaminated” lots are scheduled to undergo demolition in the coming weeks.

Scaffolding on Dupont Street in Greenpoint lacks visible permiting and stretches far beyond Lot 57; A. Simon
Scaffolding on Dupont Street in Greenpoint lacks visible permiting and stretches far beyond Lot 57. Photo by A. Simon

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

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More Toxic Secrets In This Rare 1980s ‘Hazardous Neighbors’ Brooklyn Study

hazardous

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the world of toxic chemicals, specifically as they pertain to Greenpoint. First, Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG) released the ToxiCity Map to bring confusing, widely scattered publicly available data together into one cohesive document. Now, we’re bringing you the long-lost 1980s factory-to-factory survey of Greenpoint and Williamsburg by Hunter College, a study that many lifetime Greenpoint residents say they couldn’t find or easily access until now.

It reveals the former locations and quantities of reactive chemicals — the kind that explode when they make contact with water, such as cyanide. In many cases, they’re shockingly close to residential buildings in Brooklyn’s priciest real estate drag. From speaking with a NAG member at the map release event, I also found that the “Hazardous Neighbors” study contains information that’s not available in the ToxiCity Map. Continue reading

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Hey North Brooklyn, Here’s Our Toxins Mapped

To shine a light on Brooklyn’s murky legacy of contamination, the Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG) and Pratt’s Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative (
SAVI) released a beta version of a ToxiCity Map revealing the underground toxins of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The map release event was held at the Sunview Luncheonette in Greenpoint last Tuesday, but in case you couldn’t make it, here’s a re-cap.

NAG's ToxiCity Map outlines N. Brooklyn contamination.
NAG’s ToxiCity Map outlines N. Brooklyn contamination.

To get right to the point, the most significant contamination hotspots persist around Franklin and Dupont Streets (across from where Greenpoint Landing is going up) and McGolrick Park (which is host to stubborn dry cleaning plumes). There’s also the still-functioning and unsettling Radiac storage facility (cough…VICE employees may want to look into this), keeping things radioactive on Kent Avenue around the corner from PS 84. Continue reading

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Paragon / Apollo Petroleum Remediation Public Meeting (3/12) #OSOM

Former Paragon Oil Terminal and Apollo Street Property

On Wednesday March 12, 2014 at 7pm, the Greenpoint community is invited to a Public Meeting at Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave) to discuss the cleanup plan at Former Paragon Oil Company and Apollo Street Creek Parcels sites – both on the other side of McGuinness (#OSOM). There will be a presentation and Q&A with members of the NYSDEC. If you live or work anywhere near these sites, I strongly urge you to attend this meeting to find out how this remediation will affect your health.  Continue reading

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