A toxic plume containing 40,000-60,000 gallons of phthalates sits below the former NuHart Plastic Manufacturing Site. This is especially alarming since this NuHart Superfund Site is located on Dupont Street in north Greenpoint, adjacent to the Greenpoint waterfront and across the street from an existing public park, playground, and a proposed public school. In addition to the phthalates, Environmental Stewardship Concepts reported about other chemicals found on the site:
“Additional contaminants include the carcinogen trichloroethylene (TCE) and petroleum compounds present both on and off site. In the next 10 years, the NuHart site and other nearby sites are proposed for residential development for thousands of residents within a few block radius. Residents are concerned about the safety of the site, given that the toxic plume underneath the NuHart Site has been documented as reaching near the border of the public park and into the street bed adjacent to the proposed public school and potential development sites.”
Dupont Street Developers, who owns the Superfund site, held a public meeting for residents to learn about upcoming plans to clean the site, and this gave Greenpointers the opportunity to ask questions about the site’s progress (Click Here to read about it).
However, what has been done since that meeting?
When one of Greenpoint’s leading activist Mike Schade moved to area and learned about the NuHart site, he knew he could help.
Leveraging his experience with Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) and Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group, Mike helped draft a proposed cleanup plan for the site, which was submitted to the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for review. Ultimately, the DEC will review the plan and make any necessary changes to it before handing it back to Greenpoint officials.
In addition to Mike’s submission, NAG hired Environmental Stewardship Concepts to help the community understand the technical documents being produced for the NuHart State Superfund Site process. This will help Greenpointers stay more informed about this matter.
It’s worth noting that there are four major reports that are issued for a State Superfund Site that residents will need to review and understand more in detail:
1) Remedial Investigation by site property owners (released in October 2015 for NuHart site)
2) Feasibility Study by site property owners (awaiting final release for NuHart)
3) Proposed Remedial Action Plan by NYS DEC (uncertain release date for NuHart)
4) Record of Decision by NYS DEC (uncertain release date for NuHart)
According to NAG, we are currently at the Feasibility Study phase. This report assesses different alternatives for remediation of the site. For the NuHart site, we are waiting for the final version of the report since the initial Feasibility Study was rejected by the NYS DEC for failing to fully address required issues. NAG’s environmental consultant also weighed in on concerns about the initial report.
After the DEC reviews the alternatives addressed in the final Feasibility Study, the DEC will release the Proposed Remedial Action Plan (“PRAP”), which will explain what will be required for the site remediation.
Along with this PRAP, there will be a public comment period! This is where we need to band together, voice concerns about the cleanup process and convey the urgency of how it should be handled before any new development is created. As an additional resource, NAG and their environmental consultant will assist the community in generating public comments.
If you can’t wait until the public comment period to review the report, you can stay updated on new developments around the NuHart Superfund site by visiting NAG and attend their community meetings that discuss this issue to learn more about making a difference. Visit nag-brooklyn.org to learn more about the Superfund Site, proposed plans, and how to help hold the developers accountable for their promise to cleanup the site.