Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is This Plan Just a Load of Garbage?

The city is proposing to build a new waste transfer station on Gravesend Bay, to facilitate the removal of trash from Brooklyn by barge.

The ever alarmist (and punning) New York Post focused on the possibility that:
A dredging plan to create a Brooklyn waterfront waste-transfer station could have explosive repercussions, as it could set off anti-aircraft shells lost by the military in Gravesend Bay over 50 years ago.
The Post attributes this concern to Assemblyman William Colton. The Daily News,on the other hand, gave space to some of Colton's (slightly) less sensational concerns:
"Putting a waste station at this site would dredge up 30 years of toxins to the surface," said Assemblyman William Colton (D-Bensonhurst). "To take such a blatantly hazardous path is unthinkable." […]
Colton goes on to explain that the site in question is the former site of the Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator. The dredging which would be necessary to accommodate the new trash barges would stir up waste from the incinerator's 30 year tenure and "release lead, PCBs, mercury, toxic ash and other contaminants into the water."

The Daily News also reported the city's counter argument:
the Sanitation Department, which would operate the new facility, has said the construction would be safe and that any impact from dredging up the dirt would be immediately handled before it could be released into the community.
The placement of sanitation facilities is a classic 'not in my backyard' issue, and it's important to avoid that kind of knee jerk reaction. Nonetheless, there seem to be some very real public health concerns here. Furthermore, it's hard to shake the feeling that this city plan could be counterproductive to another of the city's plans.

As an anonymous commenter on Curbed put it:
i will be so happy to swim in Coney Island once this plan is up and ready! I cant wait for the development of Coney and the sewage that will follow!!!!

Brooklyn Bombshell [New York Post]
Fear over Gravesend waste station plan [Daily News]
Southern Brooklyn Trash Plan Could Be the Bomb [Curbed]

Image courtesy of Curbed

- post by Ben Nadler

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