Protesters in Brooklyn and Manhattan joined forces Sunday hoping to change the city's policy on trash removal sites they say will pose a threat to their health. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
More than one hundred people spent part of Sunday protesting the construction of a marine transfer station on Brooklyn's Gravesend Bay.
"Right behind you I can see my building so it's just gonna be straight across from us," said one resident.
The community coalition Pledge 2 Protect and the Brooklyn-based group S.T.R.O.N.G. announced their formal partnership at the rally. They worry that associated dredging of the bay will dredge up toxic chemicals left by an old incinerator that operated for decades on the site.
"If you have a dredged bay and another coastal storm it will not just be mold people have to clean out of their homes in Coney Island it will be mirex, mercury it will be arsenic," said City Councilman Mark Treyger.
"It's detrimental to our health, you know, our children, the smell alone," said one resident.
The main complaint is the influx of garbage trucks to the Shore Parkway area. The trash is to be transferred and shipped out via barge.
It's a concern voiced by Manhattanites as well. Dozens of them traveled to Brooklyn and say the battle is similar to one they're waging.
Regine Lacourt says she's among those arrested trying to stop tree removal by the city as it prepares for the 91st Street marine transfer station.
"This rally represents two neighborhoods representing Brooklyn and Manhattan coming together," said State Assemblyman William Colton.
Colton has filed a lawsuit and wants to stop the city's Solid Waste Management Plan calling it a disaster.
"The answer that makes sense is to use the hundreds of millions of dollars and the billions of dollars into this antiquated plan and use it for creative solutions to eliminate garbage to make use of garbage," Colton said.
Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia issued a statement that read, in part, "This administration has taken a new approach...which is guided by a commitment to fairness and borough equity, while also being responsive to air quality, traffic and pedestrian safety concerns of communities."
Final permits are still needed in Gravesend. A station on Hamilton Avenue and one in College Point are set to open in the fall while the 91st Street station is scheduled to open in 2017.