City to Red Hook: Park is safe! No PCBs found in soil tests

The Brooklyn Paper

Red Hook Park is no red zone.

Moving quickly after state environmental workers discovered cancer-causing chemicals near the popular park, the city tested the soil — and declared the grounds safe on Wednesday.

Department of Health workers dug down two inches at 18 spots in and around the two soccer fields closest to the alleged source of the contamination — a defunct plastic additive manufacturing plant at Court and Halleck streets.

None of the samples revealed PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, the once-ubiquitous compounds that were banned in the 1970s after they were discovered to cause cancer.

The operator of the plant, the now-bankrupt Chemtura Corporation, is being sued by the state to continue its abandoned clean-up of PCBs, which were discovered seven feet underground and in groundwater near the park, court papers show.

Despite the city testing, residents were not sold on the safety of the park, which is packed with soccer players and food vendor customers every weekend.

“It’s very difficult for us to trust the city, particularly with everything that has been dumped on Red Hook,” said Pete Morales, a regular park user and co-commissioner of the Red Hook Little League. “The trucks, the cement plant — things we learn about in the last moment. I would like to see more testing.”

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.