- New York elected officials are working to block construction of a waste transfer station at the Bensonhurst waterfront, formerly the site of a garbage incinerator. They argue that a dredging project there would violate the health and safety requirements for the project's permit, as reported in Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
- The officials also objected to permit modifications made by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), claiming they were made in the absence of public review.
- A video at the waste transfer station shows two problems: a large piece of metal stuck in the dredging machine, which stirs dioxins, lead, mercury and other toxins in the soil and water; and uncovered hazardous materials on the site grounds.
The waterfront location makes sense logistically, as household trash trucked there would be compacted, placed onto barges and shipped out of state. But the plan, protested by residents for years, presents safety hazards and is illegal, argue officials.
"Just as those of us who have fought this disastrous, irresponsible project from the start predicted, the dredging process … is violating all of the conditions set forth by the permit," said council member Mark Treyger to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. "This dredging must be stopped immediately, and DEC must hold a hearing so that any changes to the permit are vetted through a public review process."
"The health and safety of the residents surrounding Gravesend Bay must come first. We cannot be so hasty to complete a project, regardless of its merits, that we put Brooklynites on a collision course for harm,” added Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
New York Department of Sanitation spokesperson Kathy Dawkins said a digging bucket has just been tried out that is appropriate for compacted material. She went on to explain that once the compacted areas are dredged, sediment will continue to be removed from the remaining areas in accordance with the DEC permit.