toxicity

Meeting Tomorrow (11/8) on 600-Seat Elementary School Next To Superfund Site

Nuhart Plastics Superfund Site

New York City Council Member Stephen Levin will hold a public meeting to hear feedback from Greenpoint parents on the plans to build a 600-seat elementary school on a vacant lot across the street from the Nuhart Plastics Superfund site (280 Franklin St.), which will be remediated in the next few years after the proposed cleanup plan (PDF) is approved. The meeting will take place on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Dupont Senior Center (80 Dupont St.). The school would take around three to five years to complete following approval. Continue reading

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Get Dirty: FREE Soil Testing For Three Weekends!

Graham stop, Williamsburg, circa 2005. My mid-20s Brooklyn newbie roommates and I had a garden in our backyard, and we grew tomatoes, sunflowers, peppers and zucchini. But after one of our zucchinis grew to be three feet long*, we started to wonder whether our dirt was actually safe enough to grow anything. Maybe we should have thought about that before we planted. So before you buy any seedlings to get your summer garden going, you should probably find out whether your soil is home to a family of toxic chemicals. This Saturday (4/22) from 10am–2pm you can get your soil tested for free at the Greenpoint Reform Church (136 Milton Street), and NAG (Neighbors Allied For Good Growth) is hosting free soil testing workshops for three upcoming weekends. Here’s the schedule: Continue reading

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Save the Date! CAG Meeting (2/6)

Mark your calendars, Greenpointers. The next Newton Creek Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting is coming up soon on Thursday 2/6 at the McCarren Play Center (776 Lorimer, right near the pool) at 6:30pm.

The meeting with feature presentations from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the lovely folks who are in charge of our own little Superfund site.  They’ll discuss the city’s role in the Superfund process, upcoming plans for Newtown Creek drainage (mmm!), and all the other fun-filled  aspects of environmental restoration along the creek.

So if talking about toxicity and soil remediation really gets you going, save the date. We’ll be right there with you.

 

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Is Greenpoint Safe? 10 Things To Do

Do you find it ironic that Greenpoint features the environmentally friendly Rooftop Farms, the new McGolrick Park Farmers Market, a Clean Green Dry Cleaners on Nassau Ave, among many other “green” initiatives? Are you confused that the Earth Day Celebration in McCarren Park is sponsored by Exxon Mobil?

We live on top of an oil spill nearly as big as the Exxon Valdez spill, cause by Exxon Mobil that has rendered the Newtown Creek and the soil underneath our homes extremely toxic. Almost half of the city’s trash is stored and processed in North Brooklyn. Part of Greenpoint, near McGolrick Park, sits directly on top of the Meeker Avenue Plumes which releases the vapors of carcinogenic dry cleaning chemicals into the homes of residents. That all sucks!

It seems contradictory to be living in a very toxic place and at the same time celebrate so many eco-friendly things. It’s like eating organic kale in one hand and smoking a cigarette in the other hand.

So what is the point?

Photo: Bill Rhodes

The point is, we live here and we love it!  And we can’t just give up on Greenpoint. Generations ahead of us will call this place home and it’s important we make sure it is cleaner and healthier for them and safe for us in the meantime.

Instead of being cynical about all of these exciting “green” developments in the community, embrace them and look at them as steps towards cleaning up Greenpoint.

A very important panel discussion called Is Greenpoint Safe? was held at Anella recently. Organizers created this important document to help you become more informed and understand how you can get involved, get educated and get Greenpoint on the right track.

A few important things to note: The Newtown Creek is a Superfund Site, if you live above or near the Meeker Ave plumes it’s important to get your home tested right away for harmful fumes, oil spills and bad odors are cause for action, houseplants can help improve air quality in your home, eating food from your garden may be contaminated with lead or other toxic chemical so test the soil, and composting, limiting the use of harmful cleaners in your home and adopting a tree are all ways you can directly act towards making Greenpoint a cleaner and healthier place.

Please discuss and share this information with friends and neighbors.

Continue reading

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Sewage In Our Waterways: Do You Want To Know?

© DNAinfo

I certainly do. Our North Brooklyn Boat Club is out there paddling on the Newtown Creek. I saw a man on the India St pier this morning fishing for Striped Bass. Doesn’t he know it is unsafe to eat fish caught out of East River? Many Greenpointers are still in the dark about the toxicity of the Newtown Creek, the harmful Meeker Ave Plumes and the garbage processing stations near the homes of residents. Here’s another one for you. Did you know that public wastewater treatment plants can dump sewage into our waterways and not tell us about it? But if you click here and take a minute to fill out a form by June 21st that urges lawmakers to pass a new bill called the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act, then local media outlets like this one will be informed of when and where sewage is dumped into our waterways and can pass the information on to you. This is important!

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