Coney Island watchdogs demand DEC revoke permits for ferry project after illegal dredging


A cadre of Coney Island activists diligently monitoring the dredging of Coney Island Creek are calling on the state to finish work on the peninsula’s coming ferry touchdown after new video exhibits poisonous supplies being dumped into the waterway.
“Today we are standing here because our worst suspicions have been confirmed,” mentioned Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus at a Nov. 10 press convention on the improper dredging. “The city is telling us one thing — they are keeping us safe — but they are doing something else when they think no one is looking.”
The group, Coney Islanders for an Oceanside Ferry, took to the location that day to show the New York Metropolis Financial Growth Company’s alleged failure to abide by allow laws to guard the encircling space from toxins when dredging in Coney Island Creek to make approach for the incoming ferry touchdown on the westerly fringe of Kaiser Park.
“A resident recorded work being done right here behind us,” Frontus advised the group, “which clearly shows in undisputed terms that materials were being removed from the polluted creek without employing any of the required safeguards to ensure toxins wouldn‘t be released into the air or water.” 
The ferry touchdown has been a years-long matter of controversy on the peninsula. Environmentalists fear concerning the poisonous sediment being uncovered from the dredging and its potential longterm results on marine life, whereas residents of the close by Gravesend Homes concern they are going to lose their native greenspace to vacationers — and say their well being is being impacted.
“My voice goes to be heard loud and clear on behalf of everybody in Coney Island who’s sick,” said Coney Island resident Charlene Davis. “My bronchial asthma has been getting worse since they began this. My query is who accepts accountability for this? It’s good to challenge them a positive, however what about individuals like me who’re getting sick?”
Many others additionally argue that the touchdown must be located on the ocean facet of Coney Island, nearer to the amusement district.
Representatives for EDC — the quasi-governmental company spearheading the development of ferry landings throughout the town — has advised Brooklyn Paper on a number of events that they take what’s seen on the creek very severely. This time, they’ve halted any additional dredging work with the subcontractor Mechanical and Marine Building Company and launched an investigation into the matter.
“We’re dedicated to security and defending the surroundings on this project, so we take what we noticed in that video extraordinarily severely,” an agency rep said. “NYCEDC mandated Skanska launch an investigation into the incident and work carried out by their subcontractor, Mechanical and Marine Building Corp. Consequently, Skanska has knowledgeable us the subcontractor is not engaged on the dredging project.” 
Frontus, who represents the Folks’s Playground in Albany, mentioned on the Nov. 10 press convention that EDC advised her workplace that there was a lapse of supervision on the similar time the video was taken.
“In 24 hours, we obtained an e mail stating the subcontractor on this project didn’t observe established protocol resulting from a lapse in supervision this was our worst fears coming true and certainly it’s a nightmare for these of us who reside proper right here on the peninsula,” she mentioned.
Now, Frontus is asking the state Division of Environmental Conservation, which ensures tasks just like the ferry touchdown building observe metropolis environmental measures, revoke EDC’s permits and take steps to verify the creek is being dredged correctly.
“I am standing here today to demand that the state DEC immediately revoke the permits issued to the City of New York and stop this construction project,” the pol said. “We need to take steps to ensure that this community’s health is protected that is the bare minimum that they could do and it’s the right thing to do.” 
The state company has up to now issued two violations to EDC for work associated to the ferry touchdown. The primary violation was issued on Sept. 21, greater than three months after DEC obtained complaints that building particles was present in a tidal wetland space. The second violation was issued Nov. 9 for falling out of compliance on dredging protocols, although the investigation continues to be ongoing. 
“The New York State Department of Environment Conservation closely monitors all projects under its jurisdiction for compliance with permits and has been doing so in the case of the City’s Economic Development Corporation ferry terminal project on Coney Island,” an company spokesperson mentioned in a press release to Brooklyn Paper. “DEC is committed to being responsive to community concerns about the ferry project construction and has investigated all complaints received to date. DEC has issued two Notices of Violation for this project to date. Pursuant to DEC’s oversight and enforcement authority as laid out in state law, DEC will conduct robust enforcement when violations are found.”

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus calls on the Division of Environmental Conservation to place an finish to Coney Island Creek dredging for the sake of her constituents.

This is not the primary time Coney Islanders for an Oceanside Ferry raised alarm over the development.
The group final month unveiled images [1] documenting a suspected oil sheen on the water instantly surrounding the ferry touchdown building, which the EDC maintained was unrelated to their work, and DEC mentioned could not be confirmed to be oil.
“What is going on right here is prison,” said Coney Island-born business owner and historian Michael Quinn. “The creek comprises dangerous chemical compounds from gasoline, coal and crude oil, dyes and uncooked sewage and leaving susceptible residents uncovered to those dreadful toxins can have long-term results on their well being. Sure, Coney Island deserves a ferry, on the ocean facet, as proposed by the EDC again in 2012, the place it’ll ease seasonal site visitors and never disturb the neighborhood and trigger sickness.”
Representatives from each companies have been invited to talk additional on alleged dredging points at an Oct. 27 assembly of Neighborhood Board 13, at which an EDC rep addressed environmental protocols which weren’t seen being taken within the activists’ video.
As a part of their allow from the US Military Corps of Engineers, EDC is required to make the most of three preventative measures to make sure toxins should not being launched into the creek: a turbidity curtain, which surrounds the dredging space to maintain any sediment that’s dredged up inside the barrier; an environmental bucket, which permits the water to empty from the poisonous sediment that’s then transferred to a disposal location; and the company avoids work throughout any spawning seasons of delicate species within the space. 
Along with what’s required of their work allow, the company mentioned they make use of safeguards to recurrently measure the water’s turbidity, or what number of particles are suspended within the water, earlier than and after work. With reference to future dredging, it’ll solely be performed if there’s a critical storm occasion or some situation that adjustments the creek dramatically and impedes the ferry’s passage.
Although, if there does must be upkeep dredging, the EDC rep promised board members that the company would alert the native panel, which can also be within the technique of scheduling a gathering with the Coast Guard relating to the latest oil slicks, and with the Environmental Safety Company relating to the creek’s potential Superfund standing.
Within the meantime, DEC encourages the general public to say one thing in the event that they see one thing. Locals can attain out to the company’s “Spills Hotline” by calling 1-800-457-7362.

[1] https://www.brooklynpaper.com/coney-island-oil-spill-ferry-health-risks/

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