Protestors Cite Environmental Concerns At Planned Dump Location

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn have been protesting plans for a garbage transfer facility that they say will amount to a toxic dump.

Many Bensonhurst residents are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, they told CBS 2’s Steve Langford that a new trash dump is the last thing they need. On Sunday they gathered to oppose a plan that would bring trash to Bensonhurst by truck, to be transferred to a barge on Gravesend Bay.

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Activists, who have taken the city to court, told CBS 2 that the plan is setting off environmental alarms, because the polluted bay would have to be dredged to make room for barges to dock.

“Our own studies have shown increased levels of mercury, arsenic, and lead buried deep in Gravesend Bay, that will be unearthed and returned to the surface,” said Mark Treyger, an aide to state Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn.)

The city appears determined to build the transfer station. On Sunday, city spokesperson Kathy Dawkins released a statement addressing environmental concerns.

“The Department of Sanitation has done an extensive and thorough environmental review for the Southwest Marine Transfer Station which was upheld by the courts. In fact in a most recent decision dated April 16th, the Kings County Supreme Court dismissed all substantive challenges brought by Assemblyman Colton to the NYS Department of Environmental  Conservation permit which authorizes the Department to construct and operate the facility.”

The site of the proposed station was once the home of a garbage incinerator which operated for several decades.

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Adding to concerns over the facility is a children’s amusement park that is located on a road that leads to the transfer station.

“It’s not good, the atmosphere for the kids to breathe in all that,” explained a concerned resident.

Boat owners have also sent up an S.O.S, they told CBS 2 that their marina will not be safe from potential environmental problems caused by the facility.

“The facility, when they bring it on-line is going to damage and destroy what this environment is right now,” said Mel Gagliano at the Marine Basin Marina.

The issue is unlikely to fade away anytime soon.

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