Bensonhurst pols demand city halt trash plant construction

May 5, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Bill Colton charges that the construction site where a new trash pant is being built contains violations. Photo courtesy Colton’s office
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Two Bensonhurst lawmakers charged that the construction site of a new waterfront trash plant is rife with violations and demanded that the city halt the work immediately.

Assemblymember William Colton and Councilmember Mark Treyger held a press conference on the Bay Parkway Promenade on Sunday to reveal what they claimed are violations of the construction permit for the Southwest Marine Transfer Station and called on City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia to halt construction at the site

Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) said the initial findings of a Neighborhood Watch program he organized to keep an eye on the construction uncovered the following: construction cranes doing work near the waters edge of Gravesend Bay without using safety netting and barriers to prevent debris from falling into the water; contaminated debris and soil from the construction site being stored in mounds of dirt that have not been covered; a lack of protective netting to prevent soil and debris from falling into Gravesend Bay; and extremely gusty winds causing windy conditions that created a “dust bowl” of contaminated soil and debris blowing around the site and into the surrounding air, water, and land on two recent days.

“These initial reports of our Neighborhood Watch are shocking and disturbing,” Colton said. “The city and the construction company performing the work at this toxic site are not following the special conditions of the construction permit that were added to the permit in order to ensure that the environment around the site and the community’s public health are protected from the dangerous toxins and chemicals present at the construction site.”

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Charging that the health of community residents is at stake, Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) said he and Colton will not stop fighting the city’s plan.

“We must continue to stand strong and send a clear message to City Hall that we will not accept this dangerous proposal in our community. It is outrageous that the administration has moved forward with construction while there are so many unanswered questions and a pending lawsuit. I am reiterating my call for the city to recognize our valid concerns and to immediately halt this ill-conceived plan,” Treyger said.

Construction of the Southwest Marine Transfer Station began in December on the Gravesend Bay waterfront at Bay 47th Street at the former site of the Southwest Brooklyn Garbage Incinerator. The marine transfer station will be designed to process household trash that will be trucked to the site. The trash will be placed on barges for shipment to out-of-state landfills.

The plant is part of the New York City Department of Sanitation Solid Waste Management Plan, a program approved by the City Council back in 2005.

Colton and Treyger charged that the plant will be an environmental hazard that will endanger the lives of local residents.

Kathy Dawkins, a spokeswoman for the Department of Sanitation, said the Bensonhurst trash plant has all of the necessary work permits.

“The Southwest Marine Transfer Station is a vital part of the city’s comprehensive solid waste management plan, which was overwhelmingly approved by the City Council, and has been issued all relevant permits,” she wrote in an email to the Brooklyn Eagle on Monday.


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