Monday, March 03, 2008

Carroll Gardens Subway Asbestos Removal Anger Has Not Abated

Asbestos Truck Closeup

Whatever the MTA was doing in terms of asbestos removal at the Carroll Street Station this weekend had wrapped by up by yesterday afternoon, but a local City Council Member Bill de Blasio said he was "deeply concerned" about the work and criticized the MTA for not notifying the community in advance. Yesterday, we reported that neighbors were angry that they woke up on Saturday and found a big red dumpster with those ominous asbestos removal warning signs at the corner of Smith and Second Streets. Making matter worse, the dumpster was left open until a resident confronted workers and demanded that it be closed. A truck with warning signs and what appeared to be air monitoring equipment was parked at the station entrance near Second Place.

Residents were taken by surprise. They say that no signs were ever posted in the station and that there were no notifications made or any explanations given--which certainly would have allayed fears if the work was benign in nature. (The open dumpster is another matter.) Signal work was supposed to be going on over the weekend (and the Carroll Street station was closed, one of many on the F & G lines that had no service over the weekend), so residents were especially surprised and alarmed by the asbestos dumpster and truck. Last night, City Council Member Bill de Blasio sent us an email saying he was "deeply concerned" about the situation and had contacted the MTA for an explanation. He added that it was "unacceptable that the asbestos removal occurred without the proper notification of the community" and said he was working "to get to the bottom of this." Residents had also contacted the Department of Environmental Protection on Saturday. One resident with asbestos removal experience said he was concerned that it appeared that appropriate safety measures hadn't been taken.

This email posted via the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association by resident Barbara Brookhart was typical of the reactions we heard:
Pretty outrageous that the MTA forgot to tell the community, our elected offices, and the Community Board. Wouldn't you think that the MTA should be leafleting in advance of their abatement? We all know that the answer is "no", as letting the community know in advance would be too intelligent for the caliber of bureaucrats that run the MTA. I certainly don't want to go down into the confines of the subway station tomorrow morning to get to work. Get out your gas masks!
We will post any explanation that comes from the MTA about the nature of the work that was going on in the middle of the busy neighborhood.

Asbestos Dumpster Open

Asbestos Truck Across Street

Related Post:
Subway Asbestos Removal Leaves Carroll Gardens Breathless

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4 Comments:

Blogger Brenda from Flatbush said...

I'm not entirely certain what purpose is served by "notifying the community" of upcoming asbestos work, unless the community has an assigned watchdog with knowledge of appropriate abatement safety measures ready to spring into vigilant action. Presuming the job is being done appropriately, there should be no action necessary on the part of the community (and what sort of action would we be contemplating if it werent'? Shallow breathing? Taking the women and children to the Catskills?) If the MTA prefers not to stoke hysteria on this very misunderstood subject, I can't say I blame them.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

I very clearly recall public notices in the stations on the G line prior to asbestos abatement at Greenpoint Avenue station four years ago.

Apparently, they didn't think to do that this time.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course the public should be notified! Asbestos is a hazardous material and known carcinogen. That's why the dire warnings were all over the MTA's dumpster and truck. The MTA's job was done irresponsibly and unprofessionally which is truly scary for all of us.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is just it. There is nothing we can do but hope it was removed professionally. HOPE. The bad press is all the community van do.

7:03 AM  

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