Toxins found in Gravesend Bay

Assemblymember Bill Colton has obtained a report that confirms that there are dangerous toxins in Gravesend Bay, renewing his determination to fight against the proposed waste transfer station at Bay 41st Street and Shore Parkway.

The tests that were conducted for the Sanitation Department, show that there are Type C or “acute toxin levels” at the bottom of the bay, including dioxins, mercury lead, chlordanes and mirex, an insecticide banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1976.

Colton said this information gives him all the more reason to oppose the proposed waste transfer station.

“These dangerous toxins now are buried under some 20 years of covering since the closing of the Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator in 1991,” Colton said. “But if the planned dredging is allowed, it will release the toxins into the water of Gravesend Bay and the surrounding waters of Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay.”

Colton argued against the proposal in Kings County Supreme Court as this paper went to press on Wednesday, March 13. He is also seeking a preliminary injunction to stop any building and dredging activities until a final decision is made regarding the feasibility of the waste transfer station.

Mark Treyger, an aide to Colton, formed a coalition dubbed Sandy Task force Recovery Of Neighborhood Groups (STRONG) and is circulating a petition calling upon the city to stop the station.

“Families who live in flood zones – God forbid we have another storm – it’s going to be mercury and arsenic ending up in your basement, not just mold,” Treyger told this paper. “Those who recreationally fish in Gravesend Bay are also in jeopardy. It’s harmful in so many ways. “

Christian Charvet is a sales manager at Mercedes Benz of Brooklyn, located right next to the proposed transfer station. He said that being right on the water, the business will be affected in a “big way.

“Garbage trucks would be constantly coming down the one-lane road. There would be a lot of traffic coming in and out,” he explained. “Not to mention, waste that comes off the barges goes into the water. The smell is a problem. The marina next door has boats docked there. The smell and the garbage in the water would be a big concern.”

For more information on STRONG or to obtain a copy of the petition, send an e-mail to

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