stop the power plant
greenpoint williamsburg waterfront task force
What's Happening
The Inside Story
Health Risks? You Bet!

The TGE site is adjacent to a public park now in development, as well as private residences (both existing and proposed). The plant would operate just a few blocks from McCarren Park, schools, businesses, houses of worship, a landmarked historic district, and a proposed national historic site. The plant's 325 foot tall smokestack would release over 1000 tons of pollutants into our environment each year, including some 400 tons of particulate matter. With the help of prevailing easterly winds, these emissions would be driven 2.5 miles and further in to the densely populated Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods.

What does all that have to do with your health?

Plenty!

WHAT'S BEING RELEASED? HOW CAN IT AFFECT YOUR HEALTH?

  • Nitrogen Oxide: Increased allergy reactions; increased risk of respiratory illness in children; significant increase in acute respiratory infections.
  • Carbon Monoxide: Linked to hospitalization for cardiovascular disease and congestive heart failure.
  • Sulfur Dioxide: Exacerbates already existing diseases, including allergies, asthma and cardiovascular disease.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds: Definitively linked to cancer and asthma.
  • Particulate Matter (PM): The American Cancer Society and Harvard Medical School have linked PM2.5 (a "fine particulate matter") to increased asthma rates, upper respiratory illness, and increased frequency of heart attacks and cardiac fatalities.

WHAT'S THAT AGAIN ABOUT PARTICULATE MATTER?
Not a specific pollutant itself, particulate matter refers to a wide range of airborne substances classified by size. The size and composition of these particles will determine how our body will be affected. Large, coarse particles may reach the upper respiratory system and cause problems such as asthma. Small, fine particles may reach deep into our lower respiratory system and cause problems such as heart disease and lung cancer. The size and composition of particulate matter is most often referred to as PM 10 ( large coarse particles ) and PM 2.5. ( small fine particles ). So far, TGE has refused to specify how much of the approximately 400 annual tons of their plant's particulate matter will be fine particulate matter, but an estimate has been made of approximately 200 tons.

Particulates are also capable of picking up additional chemicals before they reach our lungs. These particles may contain a toxic cocktail of chemicals that cause damage to our environment and our health. The additional chemicals in the particles may reach the tissues of our organs and cause other types of environmental disease and symptoms.

NOW ADD ALL THAT TO A LONG LIST OF ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS ALREADY BURDENING OUR COMMUNITY.

  • Newtown Creek Sewage Treatment Plant: This sewage treatment facility is already the largest on the East Coast and is in the midst of an upgrade in both operation and size.
  • The Greenpoint Incinerator: This facility, slated for demolition, was once ranked one of the worst in NYC due to it's low stacks and heavy dioxin contamination (dioxin is one of the most dangerous toxins known to man).
  • Multiple Power Plants: There is presently a "choke collar" of 5 existing or approved power plants along a one-and-a-half stretch of our East River waterfront.
  • The Highest Concentration of Waste Transfer Stations in the City (including marine transfer stations), including their related truck traffic. Stations in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community are presently handling ONE THIRD of NYC's garbage!
  • Mobil Oil Spill: A 12 million gallon underground oil spill (larger than the Exxon-Valdez spill in Alaska) jeopardizing Greenpoint's aquifers.
  • Past Offenders: Hazardous waste remediation sites, superfund sites.
  • RADIAC: A nuclear waste and hazardous chemical storage facility.
  • Plus paint and plastic bag manufacturing, the aftermath of lead paint removal and ship sandblasting, over 3500-per-day truck traffic, and more...

As it stands, more than a hundred polluting facilities are presently located within one mile of the proposed TGE site! This in a community that already does not meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards for carbon monoxide, ozone precursors, and particulate matter? In a community which includes the third-highest rate of asthma in the City, high rates of childhood leukemia, high lead poisoning rates, as well as a cancer rate several times higher than the national average?

Given the alarming environmental factors currently degrading our community health, another power plant is the last thing we need! Stop TGE and start reclaiming OUR neighborhood now!

Contact your elected representatives now and tell them to protect our community's health by fighting the TGE plant! Contact TGE and tell them the health of our community is the only bottom line that matters!


For references and related reading, see the excellent Articles and Information page at Williamsburg Watch



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© 2002-2008 Greenpoint/Williamsburg Waterfront Task Force - updated 2008.02.28
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