The first stages of construction on the hotly contested Gravesend Bay Marine Waste Transfer Station are underway, and now Assemblyman William Colton is turning to neighbors for help in halting the project.
The assemblyman, who has been fighting a legal battle against the building of the trash facility since 2012, is requesting that residents whose homes overlook the construction site, or who are impacted by the comings and goings of trucks, send tips and photos to his office through a new email tip line.
“Hopefully, we are going to get the people in the neighborhood to get that documentation. But we need to make people aware of what to look for,” said Colton.
Colton filed an appeal on October 22 of last year, citing test results confirming fears that the water and seafloor of Gravesend Bay – the site of an old garbage incinerator – were teaming with harmful chemicals. These findings were only revealed after the permit for construction was issued, according to the motion.
“The way the judge proceeded in the decision was irrational,” said Colton. “They should redo the hearing and see if they still would issue a permit.”
Colton is still waiting for the court’s appellate division to set a date for oral arguments — which he hopes will happen before the end of June — but despite the pending appeal, the city has moved ahead with the controversial project.
In December, right before the holidays, the city started demolition on the foundation of the old incinerator, a move which the assemblyman called “very dangerous” as it could dredge up toxic materials found at the site like mercury, lead, and pesticides.
In response, Colton plans to hold rally on May 3rd, at 1pm, at the Bay Parkway Promenade near Caesar’s Bay Shopping Center, to protest the building of the waste station and to inform folks of his new crowdsourcing effort.
Neighbors are asked to report anything that seems out of the ordinary that could potentially spread toxic materials from the construction site. Here are a few red flags to look out for:
- Trucks driving to and from the site uncovered
- Leaking trucks, debris falling from trucks
- Trucks creating traffic problems
- Debris left uncovered overnight
- Construction at odd hours of the night or early in the morning
- Unprotected water during construction
- If it is raining, look out for truck tires tracking toxic mud through the neighborhood
Residents can send tips, photos, and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Colton’s office at 718-236-1598. The assembly asks that neighbors include the date and time of the incident. Also, if there is a construction vehicle involved, try to take down a license plate number.
The waste station is being built on 1824 Shore Parkway, between Bay 41st Street and 26th Avenue.