Town Hall Meeting Protests Waste Transfer Station

Fishermen are warned not to eat the fish!
January 25, 2007

An Anti-Waste Transfer Station Task Force, led by Assemblyman William Colton, District Leaders Charlie Ragusa and Jeanette Givant of the 47th Assembly District and joined by various Environmental and Community groups: Ludger Balan of the Urban Divers Estuary, Mitchel Cohen of Brooklyn Greens, Ida Sanoff of the Natural Resources Protection Association, Adeline Michaels of the Concerned Citizens of Bensonhurst, local activist Mark Treyger, Vikki Gruber of Wake Up and Smell the Garbage, Steve Chung of the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn and Carmine Santa Maria of the Bensonhurst West Community, held a Town Hall Meeting at the Shore Parkway Jewish Center, 8885 26th to mobilize the community. This is the very same Jewish Center that was used to mobilize the neighboring High Riser sand private homes in the area for many community protests and demonstrations against the incinerators.

Although the community succeeded in stopping the incinerations after many years, and had the Smoke Stacks torn down, the residents are outraged that they are subject again to the dangerous contamination because of proposed dredging. Dredging must be done continuously to accommodate all the tugboats and large barges needed to ferry the trash from the proposed Shore Parkway facility.

Assemblyman Colton reported on the letters he just received from Carl Johnson, Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that supported the community’s reason for concern and anger. Citing “Environmental Justice,” the Deputy Commissioner was disenchanted with the Department of Sanitation’s submission and felt that several important issues were not addressed and had labeled it incomplete. Assemblyman Colton explained the DOS did not comply with CP-29, the Commissioners Policy of Environmental Justice and Permitting.

Ida Sarnoff and Ludger Balan spoke of the danger to the fish and wild life being contaminated by disturbing the protective sediment that covered thirty years of contaminated toxins. The released toxins will eventually affect the food chain and residents were warned not to eat the fish.

Residents are being mobilized to protest the waste transfer station and had sent over a thousand letters to the New York State Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, who will be ultimately responsible for permitting the Waste Transfer Station to operate.

The community was told of the findings of a recent study that was commissioned by the group, which contained alarming results for the neighboring communities. The report indicates that the dredging for the proposed Waste Transfer at the demolished SW Brooklyn Incinerator Site will disturb mercury and other toxins that have settled on the waters bottom these past 30 years from the incinerators that were illegally operating.

“We have sent out a mass mailing to the nearby residents, because not only will their lives be threatened from the aftermath of the toxin disturbings, but our quality of life will be vastly deteriorated with the huge influx of garbage trucks, day and night crowding the already heavy traffic of the Bay Parkway and Shore Parkway entrances to the Sanitation site” said Assemblyman Colton. He added, “We have been fighting the Department of Sanitation (DOS) for thirty against the SW Brooklyn Incinerators and its twin smokestacks spewing carcinogenic toxins. We finally got the smokestacks knocked down and now the DOS wants to disturb and release the thirty years of toxins of lead and mercury that settled in Gravesend Bay, that dredging will release toxins that will eventually end up in the food on our dinner plates!”