December 2006


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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 17 Dec 2006 02:56:50 -0500
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Toxic Chemicals found in floor of Gravesend Bay: Call to Cancel the 
Garbage Transfer Station Planned for Site of Old Incinerator

Brooklyn Greens and other Community and Environmental Groups to Join 
with Assemblymember William Colton at Press Conference Opposing the 
Dredging of Gravesend Bay. (Colton is chair of the NY State 
Assembly's Solid Waste Management committee.)

Date: Sunday, Dec. 17
Time: 11 a.m.
Place: Bay Parkway Promenade (end of Bay Parkway, near Caesar's Bay 
shopping complex, directly overlooking Gravesend Bay).

Contact: Mitchel Cohen (718) 449-0037 or email: [log in to unmask]

"The Brooklyn Greens opposes the dredging of Gravesend Bay," said 
Brooklyn Greens' member Mitchel Cohen. "It will churn up toxic 
pollutants from the ash generated by the garbage incinerator that 
poisoned our neighborhood for thirty years," Cohen said. "Those toxic 
metals and other chemicals have settled on the Bay bottom and are now 
covered by mud, rendering them relatively harmless unless disturbed. 
However, when the contaminants are exposed by dredging, they will 
poison fish. Fish move around; even fish caught miles off shore may 
be full of toxins. When we eat these fish, the poisons enter our bodies."

Cohen also expressed indignation that the Department of Sanitation 
had not mentioned the increased levels of toxins in the mud, and that 
it took an independent investigation by reputable scientists to 
discover them. "We suspected they were there all along," Cohen said, 
"but for the Department of Sanitation to lie like this in their 
Environmental Impact Statement shows the contempt they have for this 
community. Their duplicity is grounds for canceling the entire 
dredging," Cohen said.

Cohen will speak at the Press Conference called by NY State Assembly 
representative William Colton on Sunday, December 17, at 11 a.m. at 
the Bay Parkway Promenade (end of Bay Parkway, near Caesar's Bay 
shopping complex, directly overlooking Gravesend Bay).

NY State Assembly Representative Colton's Press Release

Assemblymember William Colton
47th Assembly District - Kings County
155 Kings Highway - Brooklyn, NY 11223

Fax: 718-236-6507

Contact: Mark Treyger 718-866-6090

December 13, 2006
Press Advisory
For Immediate Release
Press Coverage Requested

Assemblyman Colton to hold press conference releasing results of A 
study of samples taken from the bottom of Gravesend Bay. Testing was 
Done by a scientist from the Department of Cell biology and molecular 
medicine, at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of  New Jersey, 
Medical School.

Increased levels of Mercury & Lead Found in the surface sediments of 
Gravesend Bay
Colton warns city sanitation and state environmental officials:
Don't stir up toxic bay

Colton's Press Conference
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2006
Time: 11 a.m.
Place: Bay Parkway Promenade (End of Bay Parkway, near Caesar's Bay 
shopping complex, directly overlooking Gravesend Bay)

On Sunday, December 17, 2006 at 11 am, at the Bay Parkway promenade, 
directly overlooking Gravesend Bay, Assemblyman William Colton 
(D-Brooklyn) will release the alarming results of a study he ordered 
of samples taken from the bottom of Gravesend Bay, investigating the 
presence of elevated amounts of toxic metals and other harmful substances.

After calling for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study 
at the bottom of Gravesend Bay, Colton did not wait for the 
bureaucracy to act and instead organized a study of the surface 
sediments of Gravesend Bay. A scientist from the Department of Cell 
Biology and Molecular Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry 
of New Jersey, who studies the environmental effects of heavy metals 
in aquatic organisms, performed the study after receiving grab 
samples of the surface sediments of Gravesend Bay.

"We only scratched the surface, yet the scientist was able to find 
increased amounts of mercury and lead at the bottom of Gravesend 
Bay," said Colton. "With the city's plan to repeatedly dredge deep in 
this vicinity, the consequences of such action can be deadly and 
severe," the Brooklyn lawmaker warned.

Colton is referring to the New York City Department of Sanitation's 
plan to construct and operate a Marine Transfer Station at the same 
location where the former Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator once stood. 
The plan was recently approved by the New York City Council and is 
now in the hands of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. 
The plan calls for repeated dredging in Gravesend Bay in order to 
make the water deep enough to allow barges to move into and carry 
waste out of the site. Colton, along with environmentalists and 
community activists, is warning city and state officials that such 
repeated dredging will stir up harmful toxins in the bay which can 
then spread into adjacent waters such as Coney Island Beach, Lower 
New York Bay, and elsewhere. Colton is strongly opposed to the plan 
and has mobilized a task force in his district to stop it.

The significance of this surface sample study is linked to the New 
York State Department of Environmental Conservation's own data that 
reveals Gravesend Bay as home to a very diverse population of fish 
and wildlife. Ida Sanoff, Vice President of the Natural Resources 
Protective Association, has studied this case and warns, "Little 
critters such as baby lobsters are plentiful at the bottom of 
Gravesend Bay. If they ingest harmful toxins and get eaten by the 
fish which we then put on our dinner plates, we have cause for grave concerns."

Along with the surface sample study, Colton's office was also a part 
of a bird species evaluation study near the proposed site (near Shore 
Parkway and 26th Avenue in Bensonhurst). The bird group was able to 
identify dozens upon dozens of bird species including a bird that is 
on the federally endangered species list. The bird group stated that 
this site is an important migration rest area for many birds.

Colton has initiated a letter-writing campaign to the Commissioner of 
the New York State DEC asking community residents to voice their 
concerns against the harmful waste station proposal. Through many 
community organizations such as Wake up and Smell the Garbage, fliers 
are being distributed around the community raising community awareness.

Colton will be flanked by environmental groups, community leaders, 
and activists to unveil the study's findings on Sunday morning.