Assemblyman Colton Warns DOS Brochure…Not Junk Mail But Call to Arms!

April 2, 2007
Assemblyman William Colton (D-47AD) is alerting area residents that 4000 tri-fold brochures recently mailed by the New York City Department of Sanitation (DOS) inviting everyone to an Environmental Justice Informational Meeting on the Proposed Southwest Brooklyn Converted Marine Transfer Station on Monday, April 16th 6.30 pm-9:00pm, at the Shore Parkway Jewish Center should not be treated as Junk Mail but as a “call to arms.”

Citing that the DOS Meeting is much more than an informative meeting, it has to be a show of strength of great community opposition to it. The residents of this area do not want a repeat of again being exposed to hazardous carcinogenics in the air and in this case our waters, said Assemblyman Colton.

“Unfortunately the attractive first class brochure can easily be mistaken as Junk Mail, however it is an informative booklet formally inviting pubic input from the community as to our acceptance of the Proposed Transfer Station at the old SW Incinerator site.” warned the Bensonhurst/Gravesend legislator who has been leading the area’s Task Force campaign against it. Assemblyman Colton is referring to the New York City Department of Sanitation’s plan to construct and operate a Marine Transfer Station at the same location where the former Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator once stood. The plan was recently approved by the New York City Council and is now in the hands of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The plan calls for repeated dredging in Gravesend Bay in order to make the water deep enough to allow barges to move into and carry waste out of the site.

Colton, along with environmentalists and community activists, is warning city and state officials that such repeated dredging will stir up harmful toxins in the bay which can then spread into adjacent waters such as Coney Island Beach, Lower New York Bay, and elsewhere. Colton is strongly opposed to the plan and has mobilized a task force in his district to stop it.

Citing a recent study of the surface sediments of Gravesend Bay, commissioned by the Task Force, a scientist from the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, whose profession is to study the environment, Colton is referring to the New York City Department of Sanitation’s plan to construct and operate a Marine Transfer Station at the same location where the former Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator once stood. The plan was recently approved by the New York City Council and is now in the hands of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The plan calls for repeated dredging in Gravesend Bay in order to make the water deep enough to allow barges to move into and carry waste out of the site. Colton, along with environmentalists and community activists, is warning city and state officials that such repeated dredging will stir up harmful toxins in the bay which can then spread into adjacent waters such as Coney Island Beach, Lower New York Bay, and elsewhere. Colton is strongly opposed to the plan and has mobilized a task force in his district to stop it.

The significance of this surface sample study is linked to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s own data that reveals Gravesend Bay as home to a very diverse population of fish and wildlife. Ida Sanoff, Vice President of the Natural Resources Protective Association, has studied this case and warns, “Little critters such as baby lobsters are plentiful at the bottom of Gravesend Bay. If they ingest harmful toxins and get eaten by the fish which we then put on our dinner plates, we have cause for grave concerns.

Effects of heavy metals in aquatic organisms were performed in the study after receiving grab samples of the surface sediments of Gravesend Bay. “We only scratched the surface, yet the scientist was able to find increased amounts of mercury and lead at the bottom of Gravesend Bay, said Assemblyman Colton. “With the city’s plan to repeatedly dredge deep in this vicinity, the consequences of such action can be deadly and severe,” the Brooklyn lawmaker warned.

Assemblyman Colton has initiated a letter-writing campaign, asking community residents to voice their concerns against the harmful waste station proposal to write to the Commissioner of the New York State DEC. Through many community organizations: Wake up and Smell the Garbage, UPDC, Bensonhurst West End Community Council, Concerned Citizens of Bensonhurst, United Chinese Association of Brooklyn, fliers are continually being distributed around the community raising community awareness.

At the Shore Parkway Jewish Center DOS Meeting, Assemblyman Colton will be flanked by environmental groups, community leaders, and activists who will protest the proposed Waste Station for the environmental reason, but also for the additional sanitation truck traffic that will not only stench the neighborhood but cause severe traffic bottlenecks, in the already heavy trafficked area. Assemblyman Colton wants those that cannot attend the meeting to please send their comments or statements by fax or mail to Harry Szarpanski, Ass’t. Comm. DSNY, 44 Beaver Street, 12 Floor, New York, NY 10004.

For more information call Assemblyman William Colton’s Community Office located at 155 King Highway, Tel.718 236-1598.

Who: New York City Department of Sanitation

What: Environmental Justice Informational Meeting

Where: Shore Parkway Jewish Center 8885-26 Ave (between Cropsey & Harway Aves.)

When: Monday, April 16, 6.30 to 9 PM

Why: City requires permit to build Transfer Station from State.