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September 1, 2015

Honorable Gina McCarthy


Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
Re:

Southwest Brooklyn Marine Waste Transfer Station

Dear Administrator McCarthy:


We write to you as a follow up to the July 31, 2015 letter from the Brooklyn Anti-Waste Task
Force regarding construction of the Southwest Brooklyn Marine Waste Transfer Station. Major concerns
over the projects impact on environmental and water quality persist. We therefore respectfully request
your office, in compliance with applicable federal law and regulations, including the Clean Air Act and
Clean Water Act, investigate this matter and consider designating the area a Superfund site.
Of utmost concern to us is the documented presence of dangerous contaminants at the
construction site. The City of New York is building the Southwest Brooklyn Marine Transfer Station on
the same property on which the Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator operated without a permit for decades.
Disturbingly, a 2012 study conducted by the New York City Department of Sanitation identified
extremely high levels of metals, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and pesticides at the incinerator site. The
study listed the following contaminants at Type C levels, the highest degree possible:

Mercury
Chlordane, a pesticide
Mirex, an insecticide which the EPA banned in 1976
Dioxins

Further, the study found the following contaminants at Type B level, indicating moderate
contamination:

Arsenic
Cadmium
Copper

Lead,
Aroclors, a hydrocarbon
Dieldrin, a pesticide
p-p-DDD, p-p-DDE, and p-p-DDT, also pesticides

As further cause for alarm, samples taken from the site in 2003 before the City demolished the
incinerator indicated only Type A contamination levels; as the 2012 study showed, contamination
escalated to Type C after the incinerator demolition. Dredging and other activities necessitated by
construction of the Southwest Brooklyn Marine Waste Transfer Station could further disturb the
dangerous toxins, threatening the health and safety of the nearby area.
This outcome seems more likely due to the apparently reckless construction activities now taking
place. The attached photo shows a slick of dirt has actually entered the water surrounding the work site.
Further, the photo shows old debris including broken up concrete in the water near the ramp of the
Transfer Station. Piles of debris that were left carelessly uncovered along the edges of the construction
site will inevitably find their way into the water.
Given these facts, we respectfully request that your office, in compliance with applicable federal
laws and regulations, examine this matter and consider designating the area a Superfund site. Such action
would cease degradation of the environmental quality of Gravesend Bay and the surrounding land
resulting from the disturbance of confirmed contaminants in the land.
We appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

_________________________

_________________________

Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.


Member of Congress

William Colton
Member of NYS Assembly
47th Assembly District

_________________________
Mark Treyger
Member of New York City Council
47th Councilmanic District