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Excavation of toxic Trump Village soil begins next month

Vent tent: A temporary structure with an air-cleaning system — just like this one in Williamsburg — will protect Brighton Beachers while Natnal Grid cleans the toxic land beneath Trump Village Shopping Center.
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Now the real clean up can begin.

The controversial work to remove contaminated soil in preparation for construction at the site of the old Trump Village Shopping Center in Coney Island is set to begin in September.

Last month utility company National Grid completed preliminary remediation work at the site — which is set to become home to a new residential tower — and the state’s environmental conservation agency has signed off for a full-on remediation plan involving digging up and carting away contaminated soil.

“The underground injection program has been completed and what remains is to excavate the zones of concentrated contaminat­ion,” said a spokeswoman from the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

National Grid, which is in charge of cleaning the site that used to be home to a gas plant in the early 1900s, will do the digging inside a large tent to limit the release of potentially harmful chemicals into the neighborhood’s air.

“This excavation work will be conducted under a temporary building in order to control odors,” the spokeswoman said.

Neither National Grid nor the state have been forthcoming enough with the community about the progress of the work since a public meeting in June, said the co-op president of Trump Village.

“I wish they would disseminate this information to shareholde­rs,” said Igor Oberman. “I haven’t received notification to share with the complex and I don’t know what they’re doing.”

Oberman said he is not confident that the utility company has the best interests of the residents at heart, pointing to last-minute changes to the work plan they had assured him would not happen.

“They tell us not to worry, however their statements and actions don’t match,” he said. “They previously they told me not to worry and it’s going to to hazardous chemicals uncovered during construction.

After several meetings with residents, initial work to limit the chances of escaping contaminants was completed in June, which is also when the plan for the full remediation was approved by the state, according to the spokeswoman.

Work on the full remediation is planned to start in early September around Labor Day, and could take about four months to finish, said a spokeswoman for National Grid.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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