A salt on Columbia Street

Pass the pepper! Columbia Street is too salty
The Brooklyn Paper / Michael Short

A waterfront shipping company has once again poured salt in the wound on Columbia Street.

Last Wednesday, locals near Baltic Street emerged from their apartments into a surreal winter wonderland — the result of dusting of America’s favorite flavor-enhancer from American Stevedoring’s port.

“It was like it had snowed,” said one resident, Lauren Young. “You walk outside and you get a nasty film in your mouth. It’s just gross — like someone dumped a saltshaker on you.”

The 30,000-ton mound of salt was finally covered up by Saturday.

This is not the first time salt has covered the neighborhood. Earlier this year, the same thing happened, prompting criticism from neighborhood associations and local politicians.

The heaping pile of salt, which first appeared in 2005, is cause for concern among some locals, who cite studies that found that the granules could be damaging to the environment and possibly a health hazard.

“It’s more a nuisance than anything else,” said Young, who sent over some pictures of drooping flowers, dusted doors and soiled steps. “For a while, cocoa beans were being shipped nearby and it smelled like chocolate. That wasn’t so bad — but salt!”

American Stevedoring says the incident was actually the result of an effort to better secure the tarp for the winter.

“We were performing some covering work [on the salt],” said Matt Yates, a spokesman for the company. “Unfortunately, the contractor picked a windy day to do it. No good deed goes unpunished, and the wind created a rip in the tarp.”

Baltic Street resident Lauren Young snapped these pictures of her stoop swamped in salt.