A controversial radioactive waste plant three blocks from a Williamsburg school will be forced to close under a bill passed by both houses in Albany late last week.
Radiac Research and Environmental Sciences, a hazardous waste facility on Kent Avenue since 1969, could finally be compelled to relocate after the state Senate and Assembly made it illegal to operate such a facility within 1,500 feet of a school.
Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-Williamsburg), who sponsored the legislation, called the bill “a real victory for the North Brooklyn community and the safety of our children,” particularly students at PS 84 on Berry Street and S. First Street, just steps from the waste-processing site.
“No one wants to live next to a dump, let alone one that contains radioactive waste,” said Lentol. “It is appalling that the students in this community are going to school next to radioactive waste.”
The bill marks the coda of a 20-year campaign against Radiac, which processes medical waste from medical research centers, university hospitals, and city environmental agencies.
Students at Williamsburg’s El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice School helped Lentol draft the bill and even wrote a play last year, “Toxic Avengers,” inspired by the environmental campaign.
“We are poised to take a major step in reclaiming the safety and environment of our communities, especially, our school young,” said El Puente founder Luis Garden Acosta. “Our schools can, now, teach another ‘R’ — the right of North Brooklyn and all communities to peace and environmental justice.”
The company has not had any leaks or accidents that endangered the safety of its neighbors, but it has been recently named a terrorist target by the Department of Justice.
Calls to Radiac were not returned in time for our glowing hot deadline.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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