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According to a presentation given recently by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection at a Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group meeting the phase out a 800,000-gallon sludge storage tank and dock in Greenpoint is moving forward. DEC will replace the dock and tank, which has been in place since 1967, with new infrastructure that is around the corner from the Greenpoint dock on the Newtown Creek and is much closer to the wastewater treatment plant that produces the sludge. This move makes room for an expanded Newtown Park and is a step in the the much larger Greenpoint Williamsburg Waterfront Access Plan.

Google has captured a good picture of a DEP boat docked at the storage tank in Greenpoint (GMAP).

 

You’ve seen the DEP sludge boats a million times going up and down the East River.


 Photo Courtesy Mitch Waxman

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On Thursday, January 31, New York State DOT is holding a Public Information Meeting regarding phase 1 of the Kosciuszko Bridge reconstruction. More specifically, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has applied for a permit a for temporary dewatering during construction of the Kosciuszko Bridge in Queens.

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Image source: DNAinfo

We were thinking about Newtown Creek and decided to see if there was any news regarding how it was affected during Hurricane Sandy. Turns out the EPA did go in and test the area (.pdf) right after Hurricane Sandy. Knowing that Newtown Creek is a Superfund site and all, it is not surprising to learn that there were chemicals and bacteria in it, though it is interesting to see the breakdown of pollutants.

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The Greenpoint Star reports that toxic Superfund site Newtown Creek did overflow and it “overwhelmed the streets of Greenpoint, flooding homes and companies in the area.” And since Newtown Creek is on the border between Queens and Brooklyn, it also overflowed into parts of Queens, including LIC/Dutch Kills and Ridgewood.

The flooding is going down, but “lingering questions” remain.

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Image source: Newtown Creek Armada

Get ready for the Newtown Creek Armada, an “art installation that invites the public to explore the past, present and future of this contaminated New York City waterway.” It launches tomorrow – Saturday, September 8 from 1-4pm, and repeats throughout the month on the 9th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, and 30th. It will take place at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk, which is a paved trail that goes along a section of Newtown Creek. We recently spent some time by Newtown Creek exploring its industrial context; the Creek is, of course on the border between Queens and Brooklyn

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There are many walking tours to go on in NYC – food tours, ethnic history tours, neighborhood tours, Central Park tours, Wall Street tours, etc, etc. This past Saturday morning we took a walking tour in Greenpoint, which took place just on the other side of the Newtown Creek from Queens – and not in the part of Greenpoint that people generally want to visit. Part of the area sits under the Kosciuszko Bridge, which connects Queens and Brooklyn via the BQE, and the neighborhood is currently home to diverse companies, most of which focus on either transportation or recycling.

The focus of the tour was the environmental effects of Greenpoint’s industrial history. 

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The Brooklyn Paper and The Post report that the city and several companies responsible for polluting Newtown Creek have reached an agreement to pay for studying the waterway’s contamination. The deal means that “that the parties responsible for the pollution, not the taxpayer” will pay for the study, according to an EPA official. The Superfund site still has a long road ahead of it in terms of decontamination, according to The Brooklyn Paper: The remedial study is expected to last for several years, and actual cleanup could take up to 10 years after that.
Newtown Creek Set for Detox Treatment [NY Post]
Toxic Summer! Contamination Studies to Begin at Newtown Creek [BK Paper]
Photo by themikebot.