BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Kim Masson has been living along the Greenpoint waterfront for 15 years and says its rapid development is overwhelming.
"Sixteen towers, 40 stories. It's massive amount of people within a 10 block radius. It's an enormous change, that Greenpoint is kind of buckling under at the moment," Masson said.
The city's 2005 rezoning of the industrial area prompted this mega-residential development called Greenpoint Landing. Now plans call for demolishing this former plastics plant and constructing a six-story apartment building and a school for the growing community. All of this on highly contaminated property. The state designated the NuHart Plastic Manufacturing plant a Superfund site in 2010.
"This is a hotbed of toxic land that they're building and redeveloping and yeah, everybody in Greenpoint should be concerned about this," Masson said.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for monitoring the cleanup but the developer Dupont Realty is charged with the remediation work. Work the DEC and community activists say is massive because of an underground plume of contamination made up of toxic chemicals such as phthalates and trichloroethene that has spread.
"The phthalates itself has actually gone underground beneath the street to that very corner so it's migrated underground to the doorstep of the school. It's an endocrine disruptor and so it can very easily disrupt your hormonal systems," said North Brooklyn Neighbors Board Co-chair Lisa Bloodgood.
There's also an existing playground across the street from the old plastics plant. The factory shutdown in 2004 but it had produced plastic and vinyl products for nearly seven decades.
Last week the DEC presented the remedial action plan to the community with an estimated cleanup cost of $20 million.
Activists say the remediation should have happened before the city rolled out plans for more housing and a school.
"This is actually a really good example of a rush job rezoning. To put a school right next to this extremely contaminated site is clearly a mistake," Bloodgood said.
Attempts to reach Dupont Realty went unanswered.
Meantime, DEC has a public comment period until mid November.
Community activists say they plan to have their voices heard.