Tue. May 21st, 2024

William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D, WFP 47AD) blasted the NYC Administration for recklessly polluting the waters of Gravesend Bay. The dredging is being conducted as part of the construction of the Southwest Brooklyn Marine Transfer Station on the site of a former incinerator, which the same NYC Department of Sanitation operated from 1959 to 1989, without ever obtaining a legally required permit. The site is located off Shore Parkway service road along Bay 41st Street. Colton states he directly told the Mayor that if this senseless garbage station was built, the community will hold the Mayor accountable for whatever damage the garbage station causes to the environment of Southern Brooklyn waters.

This work project involves the construction of a garbage station where the garbage is to be transported by barge to some still unidentified location. The dredging, which resulted in the spilling of the dredged material shown in the video, was part of the construction project. Sediment sampling has shown the water bottom being contaminated with Class C acutely toxic levels of dioxins, lead, mercury, chlordanes, and Mirex (an ant killer insecticide banned by the EPA in 1976). Since prior studies had revealed that the sediment being dredged was contaminated, there were strict permit conditions and requirements as to how the dredging must be conducted. It is the violation of these requirements that resulted in the shocking pollution of the waters shown by the video.

Nancy Tong, co-chair of the Anti-Waste Task Force who was present during the filming of the dredging when this environmental disaster took place at about 4:40 PM on November 12, 2015, stated: “I was horrified when I saw the bucket clamshell raised from the waters with a large piece of metal stuck in its jaws and all that black contaminated sludge falling out back into the waters.”

Pamela Harris, State Assemblywoman-Elect (D WFP 46 AD), finds this to be a huge environmental issue. She said, “The dredging of what appears to be toxic waters in Gravesend Bay is disturbing and alarming for the residents of Bay Ridge, Brighten Beach and Coney Island. Assemblyman Colton has done research and warned about these dangers from the beginning. I found troubling that his warnings have not been heeded. I will fully fight to protect the health and welfare of my entire district.”

Assemblyman Colton, who was also present during the filming of the video, demanded to know if this spill was reported to environmental authorities, such as the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation or to the US Environmental Protection Agency. He noted after the accident that dredging was not halted but simply continued in violation of the dredging permit conditions.

Congressman Daniel Donovan stated, “Assemblyman Colton and Council Member Treyger have been fearless advocates for South Brooklyn’s environmental safety. The latest revelations of improper procedure at the waste transfer station construction site are alarming. I spoke to the EPA and the Army Corps this morning to share our findings and urged them to take immediate action.”

Assemblyman William Colton, Councilmember Mark Treyger and Congressman Daniel Donovan, along with Anti-Waste Task Force Co-Chairs Nancy Tong and Charles Ragusa, have previously sent letters to the US Environmental Protection Agency demanding an investigation of serious complaints about the work site conditions together with photographs showing soil and debris in the waters surrounding the site, ponding storm waters entering to the adjoining properties and the failure to install protective silt barriers to prevent the waters from being contaminated by the site debris, among other alleged violations. The EPA conducted an onsite inspection on August 21 and its report found potential violations and concerns which the EPA gave the NYC Department of Sanitation 30 days to respond to and/or cure the problems. This new dredging incident has occurred while EPA action on the original complaint is now awaited.

The message to City Hall is clear: Southern Brooklyn now stands together as one and will remain united until this monstrosity of a Garbage Transfer Station is taken down. Assemblyman Colton hopes that de Blasio will no longer continue this disaster of a garbage station following the atrocious dumping of sludge displayed in the video. He said, “The way our community is ignored is the mayor’s way of saying for us to drop dead!”


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