Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Asbestos Issue Settles in Carroll Gardens, But Residents Steamed

Allegedly Open

As we noted yesterday afternoon, the MTA sent out a reply via its Government and Community Relations staff downplaying the asbestos removal work that upset many Carroll Gardens residents over the weekend. The agency said that the work was done in a safe manner and that air monitoring showed acceptable levels of airborne contaminants. It noted that the only complaint was "an alleged open dumpster" (a photograph of the allegedly open door, which was one of about four that landed in our email box, is above) and said that the Department of Environmental Protection found the dumpster closed at 4PM. (A resident demanded that workers close it earlier in the afternoon, GL was told, long before DEP officials arrived. Before that it was open for hours.) City Council Member Bill de Blasio sent us a statement that said he was "troubled that New York City Transit chose to move forward with the asbestos removal near the Carroll Street station without informing the local elected officials or any of the community boards or residents" and added that "it is essential that the proper notification of the community take place." One email we saw, however, indicated that the MTA's own community relations staff was taken by surprise by the asbestos removal and subsequent barrage of email messages to local officials.

It is unclear whether residents fears were calmed by the MTA's statement, which said the workers were "removing cable insulation, duct sleeves, duct seals and debris" and that nothing was detected in the air that exceeded state standards. Residents still appeared steamed about the lack of community notification as well as by the claims the dumpster was only "allegedly" open. As one resident put it, "The dumpster was open. There are plenty of pictures around to prove that. Why wasn't any worker near it to prevent children or others from getting too close?" On the bright said, the MTA said the work is finished and they don't anticipate doing more asbestos removal at the Carroll Street Station right now.

Related Story:
Subway Asbestos Removal Leaves Carroll Gardens Breathless

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