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There’s a corridor of light industrial businesses that runs through the Ravenswood Section of Western Queens. The area is bounded by Crescent and 21st Streets to the east and west, and 36th and 40th avenues to the south and north. It is home to lots of small to medium sized businesses – many of whom are involved with automobile repair.

The Scalamandre Silk building is in this zone, as is a square city block sized Consolidated Edison Electrical Substation. It’s called the Queensbridge Substation, although I’ve also seen it referenced as the Queensbridge Central Substation. This is the block found between 38th and 39th avenues, and between 22nd and 23rd Streets. The facility, and the high voltage equipment it houses, sounds like this – hmmmmmmmmm.

More after the jump…

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Thursday night at a public meeting at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the state unveiled its plan to decontaminate the long-vacant Kent Avenue Generating Station site, which sits on the south Williamsburg waterfront at Kent and Division Street. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation has analyzed the former power plant site and discovered several contaminants, including asbestos, arsenic, PCBs, VOCs (volatile organic compounds like benzene) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). It also found an underground oil storage tank on the north end of the site, and a big part of its cleanup plan will involve excavating the tank and digging up the asbestos, which is buried a couple feet underground. The plant was built in 1909 to power elevated trains and streetcars for the Brooklyn Rapid Transit company and then sold in 1950 to Con Ed, who used it as a power plant until retiring it in 1999.

Although Con Edison demolished the century-old seven-story power plant in 2008, they didn’t start decontaminating the site until the fall of 2011. But before they pulled the building down, they did do an asbestos abatement, meaning they removed all the asbestos from the plant and disposed of it safely. Many neighbors present at the meeting were concerned that they had been breathing contaminated dust from the site, but state officials assured them that Con Ed had backfilled the ground with clean soil after pulling down the old electric power plant, and that the rest of the contaminants are buried a couple feet below ground.

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Image source: Independence LED

We’ve talked about green buildings in LIC before, but Maspeth beats out all others when it comes to energy efficiency, taking place in a warehouse in Maspeth, reports the Queens Ledger. The Davis & Warshow warehouse at 57-22 49th Street (GMAP), one of the oldest suppliers of bath and kitchen plumbing in NYC, “converted its entire warehouse on 49th Street to LED lighting, making it the most energy efficient building in the United States in terms of watts per square foot.”

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McBrooklyn noted that at around 5:20 yesterday “an explosion rocked the Con Edison plant (at the John Street substation) in the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO and thick black clouds of smoke filled the sky.” Also of note: “In September 2011, a transformer fire erupted at the substation but was quickly extinguished. Con Ed has plans to tear down the plant. Brooklyn Bridge Park leadership has discussed expanding into part or all of the site.”
Explosion, Fire at Con-Ed Plant in DUMBO, Brooklyn [McBrooklyn]