Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oily Stink in Williamsburg at N. 5th and Bedford?

Call us weird, but we look for signs of oil in development sites in Williamsburg and train our noses too. Yesterday, someone left a comment about a smell of oil so strong on N. 5th Street near Bedford Avenue this weekend that the Fire Department was called. It's worth noting, as it's not the first such notation of oil smells in the neighborhood that we've seen:
The Fire Dept was called to the Mini Mall bldg corner of Bedford and N 5th street across from Urban Green project on Sunday may 19th after about an hours or so of rain...due to smells of "petroleum" said one of the apt residents of bldg. The NYFD came after the Gas Co had been called and said after checking the source was not a gas leak. The NYFD could not figure out source of smell either...They just hosed down the gutter...Note the gutter drainage by the bldg taps into the bigger drainage system in the neighborhood...Could it be that the as all the big dev happens here, they are disrupting the multiple oil leaks/pools that lie underneath williamsburg for decades?...some known, some forgotten...Now when it rains and the water tables rises there are often "petro" ordors...and as they set to break ground on more condo much of the toxic oil pollution will get displaced and spread under existing homes that to date have had not problem...What a fu*king mess. Where is Bloomberg?
We are not naive about the neighborhood's industrial heritage and all this entails, yet what surprises us is the official disinterest in what might or might not be underfoot. There is a long-circulating story about an oil spill that originated long ago with the Astral Oil Works, which was located roughly where the Bayside storage facility is today near the Bushwick Inlet. There are also multiple ruptured fuel tanks that show up on environmental maps and surveys. We were right around the location mentioned on Sunday and didn't smell anything, but it was before any rain, so who knows. Greenpoint residents have long noted one can smell oil from the Greenpoint-Exxon/Mobil spill when it rains.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU CANNOT SMELL OIL IN GREENPOINT WHEN IT RAINS. STOP LYING. Spreading false rumors about Greenpoint to divert attention away from the real problems in Williamsburg is an old tactic that is getting tired.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luis Garden Acosta, Founder/President & CEO of El Puente, a highly respected community human rights institution that promotes leadership for peace and justice through the engagement of members (youth and adult) in the arts, education, scientific research, wellness and environmental action has called Williamsburg "the most toxic place to live in America" in a documentary created by Williamsburg based VBS organization. Other rare cancer clusters in Willamsburg have been reported in the NY Post, CBS news and Geraldo at Large on Fox.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Williamsburg environmental issues have been ignored by the media. Stories have tried to divert attention away from Williamsburg toxic issues by lying about Greenpoint. Isn't the lack of media attention when it comes to an environmental issue located in Williamsburg, and not Greenpoint, revealing. In contrast, the fifty year old Standard oil spill on the Newtown Creek was renamed the Greenpoint oil spill last year in an attempt to mislead the public about phony health issues. The Roebling oil spill (aka Williamsburg oil spill) never even makes it in the press. It should be noted that the Greenpoint residentail community was built on clean farmland in the 1800's. Even the waterfront industry in Greenpoint was clean. The major factory was a producer of rope. Not so with Williamsburg. The Eastern District terminal site along the Williamsburg waterfront is a designated toxic brownfield that was home to numerous polluting industries including the Astral oil site. These toxic brownfields are where the new residential properties are being built.

Lets do a Greenpoint vs Williamsburg toxic score card.

Liquid Natural Gas storage facilities in Williamsburg: Yes, in East Williamsburg

Liquid Natural Gas storage facilities in Greenpoint: none

Radioactive storage facilities in Williamsburg: Radiac on Kent Ave

Radioactive storage facilities in Greenpoint: none

Williamsburg oil spill size: Unknown (it might be even bigger than the Exxon Valdez) The Astral oil company operated on the Williamsburg waterfront for decades and may have spilled over 100 million gallons of oil into the ground under Williamsburg contaminating ground water and creating toxic vapors. Many of Williamsburg's cancer victims may have died because of this oil contamination. Many more may die in the future. Williamsburg's high cancer rates may now be better understood. How many new residents know about the potential deadly health risks that this oil poses?

Greenpoint oil spill size: defined and now half its original size.

Williamsburg oil spill location: Under newly developed luxury condos and possibly under the majority of the developing community. The full devastating results can only be determined by a lengthy study.

Greenpoint oil spill location: Under the remote industrial property next to the East Williamsburg industrial park.

Greenpoint condos being built on former toxic brownfields: none

Williamsburg condos being built on toxic brownfields: Many (including the Eastern District Site, and now the Williamsburg Oil field site)

Blogs dedicated to spreading lies about toxic hazards in Williamsburg: Hard to find

Blogs dedicated to spreading lies about toxic hazards in Greenpoint: You can hardly swing a stick without hitting one.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is up with your toxic land greenpoint conspiracy issue? yes, williamsburg is horribly polluted, but so is greenpoint. if you are telling yourself that all the industries in greenpoint in the 19th and early 20th century were clean you are insane. yes, there was a rope factory, but there was also a glue factory. do you know how they made glue back then? NASTY stuff. no one is "spreading lies" about pollution in greenpoint except the oil companies downplaying the extent of it.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but all of Greenpoint less desirable industries of the past were located in the eastern industrial section along the Newtown creek. Greenpoint's East river waterfront had been home to lumberyards, rope factories for a century and then was abandoned for nearly half a century. None of Greenpoint's East River waterfront has the toxic history that Williamsburg's Eastern district terminal has. The smear campaign unleashed on Greenpoint, just when we it was rezoned curiously excluded Williamsburg's toxic issues. The media still isn't covering the issues, just day after day coverage of hipsterville. Do a williamsburg search in the NY times. It's pretty revealing.

12:11 AM  

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