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Officials Call for Superfund at Gravesend Transfer Station

[Via Bensonhurst Bean]

Residents of South Brooklyn have been doing anything and everything to stop the construction of the controversial Gravesend Bay Waste Transfer Station, and now, local politicians are trying to make it a federal case.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, United States Representative Dan Donovan, Assemblymember William Colton, Councilmember Mark Treyger, and Councilmember Vincent Gentile have all petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency, arguing that the site at 400 Bay 41st Street where the transfer station is under construction is heavily contaminated with "dangerous toxins" and should thus be designated a federal Superfund site.

Such a move would halt construction of the transfer station and launch a massive environmental cleanup, similar to the ones currently underway at the Gowanus Canal and Ridgewood.

Previously, the site housed a garbage incinerator that closed following complaints from neighbors. Moreover, in 1954, a ship carrying munitions capsized in Gravesend Bay, littering the ocean floor with "potentially active shells."

Councilmember Gentile wrote a letter to EPA regional director Judith Enck, arguing that the city runs the risk of "the chemicals left by the incinerator being disseminated throughout New York City waters should the shells explode."

While that particular environmental disaster sounds a tad farfetched, the opponents do seem to have something a case for Superfund designation. Donovan, Treyger, and Colton penned their own letter to EPA head Gina McCarthy, citing a 2012 study that found "extremely high levels of metals, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and pesticides" in the area.

"The study listed the following contaminants at Type C levels, the highest degree possible: Mercury; Chlordane, a pesticide; Mirex, an insecticide which the EPA banned in 1976; and Dioxins," the letter reads. "Dredging and other activities necessitated by construction of the Southwest Brooklyn Marine Waste Transfer Station could further disturb the dangerous toxins, threatening the health and safety of the nearby area."
· Pols push for feds to declare trash plant as Superfund site [Brooklyn Eagle]
· Gentile Calls On EPA To Make Waste Transfer Station A Superfund Site [Bensonhurst Bean]
· All Gravesend Bay Waste Transfer Station coverage [Curbed]