Saturday, January 12, 2008

340 Court: Block Assocation Meeting & Asbestos Removal

Union-Sackett Block Assocation

We're a day late and dangerously close to a dollar short in posting this, but we figure that it's still worth pointing out that the Union-Sackett Block Association is having a meeting today (1/12) at 11:30AM at the Carroll Gardens Library. Representatives from both State Sen. Martin Connor's office and Rep. Yvette Clarke's office will be there. More information, as always, available at the group's informative blog. The library is at the corner of Union and Clinton. The group formed recently, motivated by issues surrounding the big development at 340 Court Street.

In addition, there's an interesting exchange on the issue of asbestos removal at 340 Court, which generated a bit of back and forth in our comments section, including a number of anonymous ones that would appear to have been left by someone connected to the developer. In any case, the Association writes to David Lowen, the Clarett Group's Development Director:
Thank you for your response on the Union-Sackett Block Association blog. I am pleased you read it and have an interest in what the community is doing. I'm confident that you and Clarett, as well as your construction team, are doing the work at the 340 Court St. site correctly and safely. My concern lies in the fact that the information you have given me about asbestos, concerning permits and their placement, does not correspond with the information I have received from the Department of Environmental Protection...

The neighbors of the site on the Union St. side of the site were unaware of the abatement. One tenant was unpleasantly surprised, particularly after he spent the whole day raking in his yard. Can you clarify why permits or notices were not posted? There seems to be continual discrepancy about the law and my response from D.C. conflicts with the information I have received from you via the blog.

The purpose of our blog is to make Block Association members and other community members aware of what is going on in our neighborhood, particularly at the 340 site. It would be much more direct if a member of Clarett could communicate to the community directly about what is going on at the site, especially when it is something as serious and of a concern as asbestos abatement. A posted notice, a phone call to neighbors, or even an email would have been appropriate.
Mr. Lowen sends in reply. Here is some of what he says:
I have just double checked the notification requirements per our third-party monitor. The only entrances that need to have signs are those that are unlocked. As you know, all entrances to the building are locked, except for the rear entrance of the building, which is how our workers are entering the building. That rear entrance has signage on it indicating that asbestos abatement is in process.

Also, I am surprised to hear that anyone has been unaware of the abatement activity. As you no doubt recall the topic of asbestos abatement was discussed at length at our meeting in December. At the time, we indicated that abatement activity would begin right after New Years and would last for about 3 weeks. Therefore I believe we have provided the Association with several weeks notice of the commencement of abatement activity, and we asked that all in attendance spread that word. In addition, I received an email from Tom Gray (from Bill Diblasio's office) requesting an update on the abatement timing, and responded that day, that abatement was set to begin right after New Year's day..
An email list is being put together in order to distribute information.

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