Court: Hurst garbage depot is ok

It stinks!: Mel Gagliano of the Marine Basin Marina says the city’s planned waste transfer site for this location will be a disaster for Gravesend Bay.
Photo by Derrick Lytle

A State Supreme Court justice scrapped Assemblyman Bill Colton’s hopes of keeping a city trash transfer terminal off of Gravesend Bay.

Justice Bert Bunyan dismissed the pol’s claims that the facility proposed for the foot of Bay 41st Street — which will collect Southern Brooklyn’s household garbage and ship it to an undecided landfill location — would lay waste to the surrounding neighborhood. He signaled for the city to go ahead with its plans.

Colton (D–Bensonhurst) and his supporters argued that construction of the waterfront processing station would release long-dormant toxins such as arsenic and pesticides left behind by a city trash incinerator that occupied this spot decades ago. The assemblyman also warned that the plan would clog nearby streets with garbage trucks delivering trash to the facility, and could lead to the accidental detonation of anti-aircraft shells dumped in the bay 50 years ago when a military transport ship flipped over in the water.

“This is a dangerous plan,” the pol said last year when he filed a lawsuit to get an injunction against the plant. “The city has not taken the proper precaution and this is not the place to build it.”

Bunyan tossed Colton’s concerns, arguing that the city would take precautions to protect the neighborhood when building the facility, and that the years when the incinerator was in operation proved that traffic would not be a problem.

“The petitioner’s position is untenable,” Bunyan said in his decision.

But the justice did declare that the city has not been completely up front with the public during the planning process, and ordered the Department of Sanitation to post all updates about the construction and maintenance of the station on its website going forward. In his decision, the justice said this would prevent future lawsuits.

“Transparency through timely and adequate disclosure is necessary as a prophylactic measure designed to ward off any future litigation about this project,” Bunyan wrote.

Colton said he found Bunyan’s demand for greater clarity and candidness from the Department of Sanitation encouraging. He was unsure if he would appeal the ruling — though he vowed to continue the battle in some form.

“We’re going to continue to fight the garbage station,” said Colton. “But we might fight it by accepting the judge’s decision and fighting Sanitation, using the information on the website.”

The city is accepting proposals from contractors to build the terminal. There is no time frame yet for the construction.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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