Friday, February 22, 2008

Preventing a Different Kind of Brooklyn Waterfront Boom

The Federal government is going to try to figure out whether there is unexploded ordinance at the bottom of Gravesend Bay that might cause a very unwanted kind of boom on the Southern Brooklyn waterfront. The issue has come up in the context of plans to dredge the bay so the city can open up a marine garbage transfer station. The latest development is that the Department of Defense is going to try to figure out if live ammunition is still down there more than a half century after a barge with more than 200 tons of live ammunition capsized. Depending on which story one listens to, it was either all recovered or there is a lot still sitting down there. The Brooklyn Paper calls it "a key win for opponents of a city plan to put a garbage transfer station near the possibly explosive site." There are other objections to the dredging. Besides massive underwater explosions, some are afraid that dredging will stir up a "black mayonnaise" of toxins dumped into the water that have settled on the bottom. There is also a push to have the bay declared a Superfund site because of the toxic dumping thanks to an incinerator that was on the site of the proposed waste transfer station.

[Photo courtesy of gkjarvis/flickr]

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