Sunday, January 20, 2008

Things Going Bump in the Night at 340 Court

340 Court Air Monitor

We got three emails yesterday from three different people last night and in the very early hours of this morning about goings on at 340 Court Street. It appears that workers doing asbestos removal continue to toil late into the night. One neighbor reports five men "tossing construction debris" off the roof into a dumpster at midnight. Another neighbor emailed to say the same thing. Here is the first email:
We went out at 6pm tonight (Saturday), to the sounds of construction at the corner of Court and Union in Carroll Gardens, and are now home at 11:59pm, enjoying the periodic boom of about 5 guys tossing construction debris off the roof of the building across the street into a metal dumpster. You'd think the n'hood opposition to the building so far would have made the developer a little more sensitive...I've called 311 and the local precinct, for what it's worth.
The other email said, "Disturbing my sleep is one thing, but tossing asbestos around like that?"

We saw another email that said the Department of Environmental Protection responded to a 311 call and our special Carroll Gardens-Cobble Hill Correspondent sent in the photo above of air monitoring machines in back of the building. We don't know if these are newly-installed or have been there throughout the process.

In the same vein about concerns in the neighborhood about what is going on at the Clarett Group project, a couple of comments left by GL readers are also of interest:
I live nearby and routinely see shadowy figures leaving the building and driving out of the parking lot at midnight. It's a very sketchy scene. I can only assume they've begun the demolition and asbestos removal in the dark of night...that or they're having some great poker games in an empty building.
And this:
I live adjacent to the project - they seem to be doing all of the asbestos transfer to the enclosed dumpster from 11:00pm on through the night.

As an Architect who deals with construction issues on a day-to-day basis, this is a perfect example of sneaking around and questionable business practices. There does not seem to be work going on during the day that would necessitate a "night shift" due to trade conflicts.

Unless a tight deadline requires a 24 hour shift, the only reason to do the work at night is to avoid drawing attention to what's going on and begs the question: What exactly IS going on?
We're not sure whether the complaints about noisy midnight work tweaking the neighborhood quality of life or the bags of unknown debris being tossed off the roof in dark of night are more compelling. Both are equally interesting in an "I wouldn't want to live near this (possibly dangerous) mess" kind of way. It would appear there are some serious questions and/or fears about how a potentially deadly substance is being handled right in the middle of Carroll Gardens.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad everyone is banding together on this one, but, is it possible that they work at night because there are less people around to poison???? Regardless of their work protocol, tossing potentionally asbestos laden debris around still defeats the purpose. Isn't asbestos a number one hazard? Men in white jumpsuits and face masks hustling into buildings? 5 o'clock news stories? Whay hasn't it been stopped by now?

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My educated guesses for why asbestos removal would happen at midnight:

1. They don't have proper permits.
2. They are not using union labor and want to avoid trouble.
3. They are not using an accredited asbestos removal company - which would be expensive - mostly because dumping asbestos is expensive.
4. They're carting hazardous materials away to non-approved locations at night to avoid authorities and the public's notice.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have asked Bill Deblasio's office to stop the work at night. If you see them throwing things off the roof call 311 or DEP, DEP is concerned about asbestos. We have some skepticism about their efforts. They have been there and have expressed concern but we need to keep calling. Please email and join the concentrated effort by union-sackett.blogspot and the block associaton to restrict this development to something decent we can all live with. Can the blog manager of Gowanus please continue refer poeple to our group or post this as more than a comment. Thank you.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Gian said...

I believe this note I took from the 12/21 Meeting with Clarett Officials seems relevant today:

Gian Trotta asks Mr. Hollander to explain what kind of procedure the asbestos-abatement teams will follow and what kind of oversight they are subject to.

Mr. Hollander said they will follow all established procedures applying to asbestos-removal firms licensed by New York State. Asbestos will be bagged inside of building and brought out in special sealed bags into a secured

Gian Trotta

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Thank you for this concern. All who see this work being done should call 311 or DEP. If you want to join a concerted effort to try insure we get a develpoment we want to live with at 340 Court St please join the Union-Sackett Block Association. See and email us. We will meet again on Feb 12 at the Carroll Gardens Library 11:30 am. We are aslo working on all these issues daily and need help.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please if you see activity like throwing debris out windows or the roof call 311 immediatly. We have been aware of this but when inspector arrived from DEP nothing was done ands we are suspecious of this so please continue to call. Also to help try to insure a development we can live with at 340 Court St please join the Union-Sackett Block Association, see their blog at There will be a meeting Feburay 12 11:30 am at the Carroll Gardens Library.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone and Everyone please contact 311 ASAP (specifically the DEP division). I am not a neighbor of this site but a concerned resident of Carroll Gardens. I walk Union St everyday to and from the F Train. On my walk to work today as the sun was shining I could see what appeared to be snow flurries falling... BUT there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Then I look to my left and see workers in full haz-mat style suits clearing debris from the second story rear roof of the building. If they need all this protective gear from the dust what are the residents being subjected to? New development can be a major issue for some residents but all that aside if this project is going forward as it obviously is... MAKE SURE IT'S SAFE!

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday the union rat appeared outside the building. Yesterday he was facing in; today he is facing the street.
Thus explaineth midnight work, methinks.

10:27 PM  

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