Toxi City: Exploring Brooklyn's Industrial Legacy


Williamsburg/Greenpoint

Posted in Brownfield,Greenpoint,Williamsburg by Robin on July 17, 2009
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I started this morning under the BQE. Between Metropolitan and Union Avenues along Meeker is a State Superfund site. The NYSDEC website states that debris from the Ansbacher Color & Dye Factory, which was at North 7th and Union, was used as fill under the roadway. I haven’t been able yet to find the footprint of this factory though I looked last week at the old maps at the Brooklyn Historical Society but I did learn that Paris Green, copper(II)-acetoarsenite, was made there on the Brooklyn page of Colorantshistory.org.
Looking out from under the BQE towards where I guess the factory would have been.
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Under the BQE between Metropolitan and Union.
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The next site, 291, 285 Metropolitan is under review for the Brownfield Cleanup Program. It appears to be an ordinary auto repair. This brings up the very important issue of what sites become designated brownfield sites. There are manufactured gas plants in Brooklyn that are not on the list. So why this auto repair?
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Next, I walked over to the Williamsburg Works site. The remedial investigation is visible. On the north portion of the block, something was set up to take a deep underground sample. Men were working a hose down into the machine when I was there. There were new small piles of dirt in spots around the lot since I visited the site last month.
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There is also a great view of Bayside Oil from 13th Street.
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There was a gas holder on 13th street as well. There is now a pallet company there now.
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Then I went up to West Street to try to find a site that theoretically has been remediated. I could not find the site right away. 101-105 West Street is supposed to be between Kent and Java on the West side of the street. According to the NYSDEC database, it is a construction material storage yard but from what I observed today there are two buildings on this block. It actually must be between Kent and Greenpoint Avenue. it is now boarded off with plywood.
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June 17th-Williamsburg

Posted in Brownfield,Williamsburg by Robin on June 17, 2009
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I started this am at the former Nassau Works site which is now a sanitation department facility. I had taken a shot of this sand pile the last time I was there that I liked but the focus was off. This time the light wasn’t on the sand. I also hadn’t noticed the Municipal Building in the background before.
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A lot of the facility is used for parking.
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Next I went to the Fyn Paint and Lacquer Co site at 230 Kent. I think this is the building. the site has high levels of both VOCs and NAPL. The ground water is contaminated and flows towards the East River.
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Then I went to the site of the former Williamsburg Works. The last time I walked by this site over a year ago, it was being used as a parking lot for Sanitation Department vehicles. Today it was empty. Two women were inside the fence working at the back of a car. When I talked to them they gave me a fact sheet from the NYSDEC about the ongoing Remedial Investigation. This site was a MGP from 1850 until the 1930s. There is a large amount of tar in the soil.
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Immediately adjacent is Bayside Oil, another site targeted for remediation.
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