Mayoral candidates sign Pledge to Stand with Southern Brooklyn

September 5, 2013 Denise Romano
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Some mayoral candidates have signed the Pledge to Stand with Southern Brooklyn, promising to fight against the proposed Southwest Brooklyn Waste Transfer Station.

As this paper went to press, former Councilmember Sal Albanese and Pastor Erick Salgado, who are Democrats; business mogul John Catsimatidis, a Republican; and Green Party candidate Tony Gronowicz were the only mayoral candidates to sign the pledge.

In addition, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, former Congressmember Anthony Weiner and Comptroller John Liu, all Democrats, have expressed interest in signing the pledge, but have not done so yet.  Weiner had expressed opposition to the transfer station when he was still in office.

Albanese, Salgado and Gronowicz also attended a rally against the transfer station back on August 11, held on the Bay Parkway promenade.

“I remain optimistic that more candidates will sign our pledge and protect the families of our neighborhoods,” said Assemblymember Bill Colton, who has been a fierce oppose of the transfer station, organizing rallies and even suing the city. “Southern Brooklyn has made their voice loud and clear: we do not want this dangerous garbage station built and operated along Gravesend Bay.

“The city could not have picked a worse location for this garbage facility, which was proven when the site was severely flooded by the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy,” he went on. “We will continue fighting against this dangerous garbage plan until we are successful.”

Colton contends that when the water in Gravesend Bay is dredged to make room for barges to come in and out of the transfer station, it will bring up toxins that have been settling at the bottom of the bay, including mercury, lead and arsenic. These toxins were allegedly left behind from the now-closed Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator, which Colton also fought.

Colton also said that the station will cause more traffic in the residential neighborhood, thus leading to more pollution.

A similar waste transfer station is being proposed to be built and operated on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, at East 91st Street, which many of the mayoral candidates are opposed to. Thompson, Weiner,  Albanese, Catsimatidis and Republican candidates Joe Lhota and George McDonald have all announced their opposition to this East 91st Street garbage station.

“Southern Brooklyn is standing together on this issue to fight against this dangerous garbage plan,” said Priscilla Consolo, vice chair of Sandy Task-Force Recovery Organized by Neighborhood Groups (STRONG). “We have created a diverse coalition of residents, elected officials, small business owners and organizations committed to fighting against this dangerous Gravesend Bay garbage station, and I hope more of the mayoral candidates join us in our fight. Our neighborhoods in Southern Brooklyn remain united to stop this toxic garbage plan.”

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