City To Begin Construction On Southwest Brooklyn Waste Station “Very Soon”

Source: Flickr/jpotisch
Source: Flickr/jpotisch

Construction on the highly controversial Gravesend Bay Waste Transfer Station near Caesar’s Bay is scheduled to begin any day now.

Despite years of fierce opposition from residents, politicians, and environmentalists, the city will move forward with the plan and start the demolition phase in early December, the city’s Sanitation Department confirmed. The work will take place at a facility owned by the Sanitation Department located at 400 Bay 41st Street.

The city says it is trying to address the community’s transparency concerns regarding the project. In a letter to Senator Marty Golden’s office, the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) says it has assigned a community liaison to work closely with community leaders to keep residents informed on the project, and has vowed to be “extremely responsive” to any quality of life issues that may arise.

“Our mandate is to complete projects in a timely manner, while continually keeping safety in mind, and with an eye towards being a good neighbor in those communities experiencing our construction,” the letter states.

Senator Golden’s press secretary tweeted the full letter here:

Last year, Assemblyman William Colton filed a lawsuit on behalf of residents, citing concerns that the waste plant would dredge up toxins in the Gravesend Bay floor, potentially causing health problems for residents and wildlife. He also voiced concerns that garbage trucks would cause traffic congestion in the area. After a judge ruled in favor of the city, Colton filed an appeal, which is still pending.

We’ve reached out to local politicians to get their reactions to the disappointing news.

Update (1:50): Senator Marty Golden urged his constituents to continue to fight the waste station in a statement:

“I have been a long standing opponent of putting a garbage dump here in our community of Southwest Brooklyn for a number of reasons. The truck traffic, the noise, the odor and any challenges to our environment and water make this a bad idea and site proposed by the Department of Sanitation. I have joined with my colleagues in the past in efforts to oppose this location for the waste transfer station, but our voices have not been heard by the City.  We must mobilize and continue the fight to stop this dump immediately.”

Update (4:00): Councilman Treyger echoes Golden’s sentiments:

“The fight is not over. There is still a battle to be waged on multiple fronts … This is one of the worst environmental decisions that I have seen so far, to basically dredge in an area that we now know is riddled with WWII explosives. It is grossly irresponsible; it’s outrageous! This effects the entire Southern Brooklyn coastline, which is especially exposed to flooding that comes from Gravesend Bay. The fight is not over. There’s still a legal fight being waged and we will continue to mobilize the community to apply maximum public pressure to let the decision makers know that this threatens our health, our environment, and our quality of life.”

Update (5:00): Colton said he was appalled by the city’s decision.

“What it means is that the city is starting construction while the appeal is still pending. The city and the state had 30 days to put in an answer, but instead they have asked for more time and started construction,” Colton told us. “This is not a forward-looking policy, it’s a backwards policy and it’s going to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions, maybe even billions of dollars.”

Colton vowed to take legal action to block the construction.

“We are going to continue fighting,” he said.