Thursday, January 04, 2007

Whole Foods Speaking to Park Slope Civic Council Tonight

Why Whole Foods Won't Be Opening Soon, Part II

Whole Foods is slated to make a presentation about their 68,000 square foot supermarket in Gowanus tonight to the Park Slope Civic Council. The meeting is at 7PM in the Executive Dining Room at Methodist Hospital in Park Slope. The entrance is on Sixth Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Whole Foods made a presentation about its original plan to the Civic Council last year, but the both the store and planned parking (now nearly 800 cars) have grown dramatically since then and additional environmental problems (a "toxic plume" of highly carcinogenic benzene) near the site have recently been revealed. The project is "as of right," which in plain English means there is no public review or input. The proponents of putting a green roof atop the store--which is currently slated to be a parking lot--will also speak at the meeting.

In a rational world, one would think that the environmental issues would be thoroughly aired in public and that something as potentially threatening as a concentration of underground benzene near the site would possibly ring enough alarm bells to merit an examination of any potential health risks, particularly to workers that would be impacted if a very potent cancer causing chemical is present and they face long-term exposure.

UPDATE: You can check out an update in the form of a report from last night's meeting here and a summary of the presentation on environmental issues at the site here.


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