Friday, January 25, 2008

"Serious Smell" Mystery on Williamsburg's Grand Street

grand street

Back in November we posted about a truck that was sucking muck from sewers on Grand Street in Williamsburg between Bedford and Berry Street. At the time, a reader noted that residents kept smelling something like gas but that Keyspan had said there was no gas leak. Readers noted that the trucks were probably just cleaning sewer lines. In any case, a reader emailed again to note "a serious smell problem on Grand Street." The email, which is as much a question as a statement says:
There is a mysterious smell on Grand between Berry and Wythe that smells like natural gas. Keyspan has visited several times and so has the fire department none of us are getting straight answers but the smell persists. Keyspan says it is not natural gas BUT it smells like natural gas..
Yesterday, the FDNY was back on Grand Street checking out more complaints of a gas smell, but we're told they departed finding no evidence of any gas leaks. A follow up email said, "Keyspan said it wasn't gas they checked and their equipment didn't read any gas in any of our basements. The problem is its smells a lot LIKE natural gas.. and we aren't sure what is causing the smell."

If any readers are picking up the same scent or have any info about the problem, drop us a line at thegowanuslounge (at) gmail (dot) com or leave a comment.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since natural gas is odorless, the smell is probably Thiopene, which is the stinky additive used so people can identify it. This kind of stink is also emitted from a variety of industrial processes, including oil refining, wood pulp production, wastewater treatment and synthesizing pharmaceuticalsis, but I'm not sure there's any kind of business like that on Grand Street. But if a Matzo Ball factory can secretly stay in business in the basement of a Williamsburg loft building, you never know.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have lived in Southside almost 10years and I have never seen any of those trucks until the last few months.

There have been repeated gas smell incidences and they seem to happen around times when there have been heavy rains. If the smell is not natural gas as the Gas Co says, then its smells like some petro product. Given the cases over the last few years of developers "striking oil" as it were when they started to drill down for ocures to some locals on Grand that this aspect in coordination with the fact that there are a few underground streams that cut under Grand that its certainly likely that all the development in teh area has disturbed long sleeping pools of toxic petro products and that they are seeping now into the underground stream system in Williamsburg and carrying the toxic petro substances underground to new areas in Williamsburg and that the smells of gas are coming from this occurance. Which if true means that
1.) lerge scale dev with deep verticle drilling has dislodge formerly contained toxic materials
2.) the stream system particulary when it rains is now taking the dislodged toxic material and contaminating now other real estate property, old low rise residential buildings that were formerly NOT contaminated
3.) Where is are the enviromental testers?
4.) Does Williamsburg--Southside/Northside have an problem like Greenpoint's oil spill just on a more fragmented basis
5.) Can it be cleaned up? It seems like it could be very hard to do so AND what of the health of those living in the buildings say on Grand St that may be now sitting on toxic ground?
6.) Who will pay? If the City does not get the tests done, the developers who are the current land owners who appear to have set triggered this problem will not be held accountable and the City itself should have done far more study of williamsburg and its toxic history before it granted huge dev permits to these developers!!! Do you really think people want to buy an $800K condo or a $1.5 mil 3 story brick residential building on a toxic lot? and in a toxic neighborhood when they could and probably will be held liable for the clean up or health risks down the road? The City gravely ignored its duty to the Public here. Was this Dan Doctoroff doing?

11:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I live on Grand St. I used to call Keyspan about the smell of natural gas, they would come out and drill holes in front of my house and tell me there is no leak. No kidding. I was calling to complain about the George Pataki Power Plant at the end of Grand St., which is a jet engine that runs on natural gas. There was no smell before the power plant. Could everyone please call 311 and tell them the power plant stinks. If a Matzo factory is considered explosive, what about a leaky jet engine.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smelled that on Hope st. a couple nights ago. It was driving me crazy trying to figure out what it was...

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who's paying you to keep the full court press constant negative editorial slant about williamsburg?
please keep it up it only reinforces the desirability of the place.

2:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This same exact scenario played out on the corner of Huron Street & Franklin Ave. in Greenpoint approximately 4 months ago. There was a heavy gas odor and a massive truck sucking up god knows what from the street grates. The truck must have been there for a week.

1:42 PM  

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