Colton organizing Bensonhurst trash plant protest

Assemblyman also announces formation of neighborhood watch group

April 28, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Bill Colton is leading a protest rally against the trash plant in Bensonhurst n May 3. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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Undaunted by the start of construction of a new Department of Sanitation trash processing plant in Bensonhurst, Assemblymember Bill Colton is organizing a rally to protest the facility.

Colton, who is working with Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) on the rally, said the protest will take place on Sunday, May 3, on the promenade next to the Caesar’s Bay Shopping Mall at 8973 Bay Parkway, at 1 p.m.

“With the help of Councilman Treyger, I am continuing to fight the trash plan which will create environmental and public health dangers for southern Brooklyn,” Colton said in a statement.

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The city began construction of the Southwest Brooklyn Marine Transfer Station in December.

The trash plant site is located on the Gravesend Bay waterfront at the Shore Parkway service road at Bay 41st Street in Bensonhurst.

When it is fully operational, the plant will process household trash and then place the garbage onto barges which will transport it to out-of-state landfills. The trash will be brought to the transfer station by trucks.

Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) and other opponents of the plant charge that the presence of a large trash processing facility will hurt the environment by bringing more trucks and air pollution to Bensonhurst. In addition, Colton said a plan to dredge the bay to make room for docks for the barges is dangerous because the bay contains contaminated materials.

The construction of the Southwest Brooklyn Marine Transfer Station is part of the city’s Solid Waste Management Plan, a program approved back in 2005.

The plan also won the approval of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Colton filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in 2012 to try and stop the construction. Hon. Bert Bunyan ruled against Colton, who then filed an appeal.

“I will continue the lawsuit appeal, expected to be heard within the next few months,” Colton said.

Colton also announced that he is forming a neighborhood watch group whose members will keep an eye out for any problems stemming from the trash plant construction.

“I am urging residents of the neighborhood to join our neighborhood watch program to document the construction of the proposed garbage station. I am asking neighborhood residents, especially those who live in the area surrounding the garbage station site, to document any unsafe environmental and public health hazards, and to take photos of the site as construction is ongoing.  This neighborhood watch will also document other types of quality of life issues such as potholes, broken traffic signals, etc,” he said.

Here are the types of conditions Colton is asking residents to report:

1. Uncovered mounds of soil and debris left uncovered overnight.

2. Blowing soil debris or dust.

3. Strange and noxious fumes or smells.

4. Any signs of smoke or exhaust at or around the site.

5. Any dumping of soil, debris or other substances into the waters.

6. Construction trucks with uncovered loads of soil, debris or other substances without being covered by a tarp.

7. Any substances leaking from construction vehicles.

8. The presence of emergency vehicles or ambulances at the site.

“We need to document, photograph, and report any environmental and public health dangers that are the result of the construction of this garbage station,” Colton said.

For more information on the neighborhood watch group, email [email protected] or call Colton’s Brooklyn district office at 718-236-1598.


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