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CB18 opposes medical waste station

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Community Board 18 last week joined with opponents of a proposed medical waste transfer facility in Canarsie, calling for the state to postpone the application until all concerns are addressed.

The board dispatched the letter with just one day left in the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) comment period for the facility, proposed for East 100th Street and Farragut Road.

“The board supports the position taken by the South Canarsie Civic Association, and asks the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to halt movement on the application until all of their concerns are fully addressed,” the Sept. 18 letter reads.

DEC must issue a permit in order for the facility to open, and has not said yet whether it will heed the board’s request.

The facility is proposed by CMW Industries, which currently runs an ambulette service on the site, 100-02 Farragut Road.

The proposal calls for bringing 15 tons of medical waste—including formaldehyde and mercury—through the neighborhood every day.

The waste brought to the property in cargo vans or box trucks would be stored inside a 40-foot tractor trailer container, which would be removed when filled.

Citiwaste owner Gershon Klein has repeatedly insisted that the facility will not impact local residents.

At a public hearing held earlier this year as part of the DEC’s permitting procedure, he said, “It’s not impacting Canarsie. We’re not treating waste. It’s no different than if we had a grocery store and were getting boxes. I don’t believe it’s dangerous. It may be dangerous, but not any more dangerous than Brookdale Hospital.”

Mary Anne Sallustro, the president of the South Canarsie Civic Association, welcomed the community board’s support.

“We are asking people to be informed and to be aware how dangerous this thing is,” she said.

“We went through hell to get that letter,” Sallustro noted.

Last January, opponents of the facility urged the community board to take formal action. At the time, member Mercedes Narcisse asked the board to support those who are opposed to the facility. “We need to fight this as one,” she said. The board took no action on the matter.

At the time, Dorothy Turano, the board’s district manager said the matter is “not in the board’s purview.”

She said the only “real legitimate complaint” about the facility is opponents’ concern about traffic.

Turano said the DEC would never grant a permit to anything “dangerous to the community.”

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