The fierce winds earlier this week caused a six-foot long piece of metal to blow off the roof of the nearly-completed Southwest Brooklyn Waste Transfer Station, landing on the adjacent marina property, nearly hitting two people and some parked cars, according to a neighborhood watch group.
A neighbor who witnessed the incident filmed footage of the metal object — which landed near the Marine Basin Marina — and notified a construction site supervisor. He also reported this incident Assemblyman William Colton’s Anti-Waste Task Force.
Colton, who has been leading the fight against the construction of the waste station, called the city’s subsequent removal of the metal piece a “cover-up” and compared the situation to the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
“As strange as this may seem, it is even more unbelievable that the heavy piece of metal mysteriously disappeared from where it crashed down,” said Colton. “Once again rather than immediately launching an investigation into how this accident occurred, the city continues to rush the completion of the harmful garbage station, which has once again proved itself to be a danger for the community.”
Colton said this incident reflects the city’s recklessness and demonstrates a lack of concern for the neighborhood. He pointed to previous reports of negligence at the site including sludgy water being spilled into Gravesend Bay due to a faulty latch on construction equipment; continual ponding of storm water leaching onto the neighboring property from the site; and other sloppy construction practices.
The Anti-Waste Task Force, co-chaired by district leaders Charles Ragusa and Nancy Tong, launched a hotline last year, inviting neighbors call in problems at the construction site.
Echoed previous calls to shut down the garbage station, Ragusa questioned what happened to the fallen piece of metal, and called on the city to investigate the situation.
“We are now demanding the City to investigate this case of disappearing metal, while work continues as if nothing happened,” said Ragusa. “With private construction job, the Buildings Department would immediately dispatch an emergency response unit to respond to such an incident such as a piece of a roof under construction flying off onto a neighboring property. Work would be stopped until an investigation ensured there was no danger to the public. Why should this construction project be treated differently?”
Tong expressed concern for the safety of neighbors and adjacent properties.
“Here again the public was only able to discover this latest dangerous incidents from the efforts of neighborhood volunteers doing the oversight which the City has refused to do,” she said. “We are lucky no one was seriously hurt in this incident but government needs to act to prevent future accidents.”
This is the latest development in Colton’s years-long battle to halt the construction of the trash facility since 2005. Most recently, Colton and environmental activists headed to court in June to once again ask the court to halt the construction at the site, noting that an old garbage incinerator that used to be on the site contaminated the sediment on the sea floor, and the toxic chemicals would spread when dredging began for the waste transfer station.