Assemblyman Colton Says: “Waste Station Doesn’t Fit in Bensonhurst”

June 10, 2007
A Brooklyn lawmaker and his anti-waste station task force put together a map of southwest Brooklyn outlining the residential, recreational, commercial, environmental, and educational nature of the proposed southwest Brooklyn waste transfer station site.

Leading the fight against the New York City Department of Sanitation’s plan to construct and operate a waste transfer station at the former Southwest Brooklyn incinerator site, Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn) and his task force membership put together a map charting the flourishing neighborhood of Bensonhurst.

“The facts and map speak for itself,” declared Colton. “With a single flawed waste measure, the city will put in jeopardy residential complexes, senior housing, Nellie Bly Amusement Park, air quality with additional traffic, natural habitats, businesses, and even its own proposed $40 million makeover of Dreier Offerman Park,” Colton went on to say.

The Assemblyman has formed a task force in his district to stop the city’s waste plan for Bensonhurst. Taskforce co-chair Charles Ragusa, a District leader who helped put together the map, points to the evolution and renaissance of the Bensonhurst neighborhood. “This neighborhood looks nothing like what it did over 50 years ago when the city back then decided to open and operate an incinerator. This neighborhood has grown and flourished with the wonderful people who have come and invested their lives here. A waste station will turn Bensonhurst’s clock back 100 years. We have to stop it,” asserted Ragusa.

Ida Sanoff, chairperson of the Natural Resources Protection Association and a member of Colton’s task force, agrees with Ragusa’s assertion regarding the impact an operating waste station will have upon Bensonhurst. “Southwest Brooklyn has not only grown in terms of residential and recreational use, but also has evolved into an ecological and environmental playground for some of our planet’s most rarest and precious wildlife,” Sanoff said. “We have spotted federally endangered birds near the proposed site, such as the peregine falcon. We have reports of baby lobsters at the bottom of Gravesend Bay, among other precious wildlife. With dredging in Gravesend Bay, the city can set off an ecological and environmental hazard not only in Bensonhurst, but in Seagate, Coney Island, and even beyond,” warned Sanoff.

The waste transfer station proposal is part of the city’s overall solid waste management plan that has received City Council approval following a recent vote of 44 to 5. Now the plan is in the hands of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which must issue a permit for each of the city’s proposed waste stations, including the controversial proposal for Southwest Brooklyn.

Assemblyman Colton has already sent a letter to the new DEC Commissioner, Pete Grannis, requesting that a public hearing be held in the adjacent community to discuss fatal flaws Colton and his task force have found in the city’s plans. Just recently, the NYC Dept. of Sanitation held an informational meeting back on April 16, in which close to 400 residents packed the Shore Parkway Jewish Center in Bensonhurst letting the city know loud and clear their strong disapproval of its plan to operate a waste station.