Skip to main content

At the AY site, soil contains "a limited amount of small vials containing arsenic," but that arsenic's pretty dangerous; state says it's under control

You never know what you'll find at a construction site, apparently, including potentially lethal concentrations of arsenic. But the state says it's under control.

From the ATLANTIC YARDS CONSTRUCTION UPDATE, weeks of March 28, 2011 through April 10, 2011, produced by Forest City Ratner and circulated by the Empire State Development Corporation:
Soil discovered during excavation that contains a limited amount of small vials containing arsenic has been covered with and staged on plastic on the southern area of Block 1127. The stockpiles of soil have been secured and will be inspected daily to ensure secure containment and compliance with the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. The origin of these vials is unknown. Samples of this soil and vials have been collected and are being analyzed to evaluate proper off-site disposal options. Endpoint samples have been collected from the area where the vials were first observed in order to ensure that no additional impacts to surrounding or underlying soils have occurred. All remediation work associated with these vials will be performed in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Health and Safety Plan. Several potential disposal facilities are being evaluated and the stockpiled soil may be disposed of offsite during this reporting period at a properly permitted disposal facility.
I asked the ESDC about the next steps, and spokeswoman Elizabeth Mitchell responded last week:
A permitted disposal facility has been selected, and once the follow-up paper work has been filed, the soil will be removed from the site (expected within the next 2-3 weeks). Until then, the soil is stored onsite and is sealed on top of and under plastic.

The powder in the vials tested at 148 mg/L, and the results from the TCLP (USEPA Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) testing of the soil currently stored on site tested at 0.02 mg/L. The USEPA regulatory limit for arsenic is 5 mg/L.

FCR’s contractors are treating the soil pile as a hazardous material even though the soil tests showed concentrations well under the EPA regulatory limits. Since the contents of the vials found in the soil are above this limit, it is more practical and a more prudent safety measure to treat the soil pile as a hazardous waste than to try and extract the individual vials from the soil and dispose of them separately.
Disposal facility announced

From the ATLANTIC YARDS CONSTRUCTION UPDATE Weeks of April 9, 2011 through April 24, 2011:
Soil discovered during excavation that contains a limited amount of small vials containing arsenic has been covered with and staged on plastic on the southern area of Block 1127. The stockpiles of soil have been secured and will be inspected daily to ensure secure containment and compliance with the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan and Hazardous Materials Health and Safety Plan. The origin of these vials remains unknown. Endpoint samples collected from the area where the vials were first observed indicated that there were no additional impacts to surrounding or underlying soils. A potential treatment and disposal facility for this stockpiled soil has been identified (EQ of Belleville, Michigan). The stockpiled soil may be transported to the aforementioned facility for treatment and disposal during this reporting period pending formal facility paperwork review and approval, which is currently underway. All remediation work associated with this stockpiled soil will be performed in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Health and Safety Plan.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

"There is no alternative": DM Glen on de Blasio's affordable housing strategy

As I've written, Mayor Bill de Blasio sure knows how to steer and spin coverage of his affordable housing initiatives.

Indeed, his latest announcement, claiming significant progress, came with a pre-press release op-ed in the New York Daily News and then a friendly photo-op press conference with an understandably grateful--and very lucky--winner of an affordable housing lottery.

To me, though, the most significant quote came from Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who, as the Wall Street Journal reported:
said public housing had been “starved” of federal support for years now, leaving the city with fewer ways of creating affordable housing. “Are we relying too heavily on the private sector?” she said. “There is no alternative.” Though Glen was using what she surely sees as a common-sense phrase, it recalls the slogan of a politician with whom I doubt de Blasio identifies: former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a Conservative who believed in free markets.

It suggests the limits to …