Trump tower toxins

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Fears of chemical contamination could now trump all other issues in the controversial demolition of the Trump Village Shopping Center.

The shopping center was built on the site of a manufactured gas plant that operated from the late-1890s until the mid-1900s and the land still has traces of hazardous chemicals — including cyanide and heavy metals — all above the recommended standards, according to state data.

Residents are concerned that major construction on the site of the former Dangman Park Manufactured Gas Plant could stir up these contaminants and pose a health threat to locals, who are mostly senior citizens. Some question if it would be appropriate to build a 40-story residential tower on a polluted lot that is being tracked by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

“That is an old contaminated site,” said Steve Barrison, the President of the Bay Improvement Group. “There are records showing that there is significant contamination. The stuff leeched and leaked into the groundwater.”

In 2011, Acradis — a consultancy that focuses on environmental issues — prepared an extensive, 1,433-page remedial investigation work plan for the site on behalf of National Grid, which bought the company that originally operated the plant. The National Grid plan — which is under the supervision of the state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation — outlines numerous “chemicals of concern” and other toxic threats.

In addition to cyanide and heavy metals such as mercury, manganese, and selenium, the site’s soil also has extensive evidence of pesticides, highly flammable chemicals, and compounds that can cause chronic breathing problems, according to the 2011 report.

The Department of Environmental Conservation said that if the site is completely demolished, the department will help ensure residents are protected from the chemicals.

“If redevelopment occurs at the site, DEC will require appropriate monitoring and protections for both cleanup workers and the surrounding community to protect against human exposures during all phases of investigation and cleanup work,” said a department spokesman.

The department said National Grid will be required to conduct additional investigations and remediate the site before redevelopment begins. Further steps include a feasibility study, which will evaluate potential remedial actions to address the contamination, and a remedy, which will be subject to a public comment period, according to the department.

Locals protesting the closing of the shopping center have so-far focused on fears that senior citizens in Trump Village with limited mobility would lose their independence with the shops’ destruction, but one resident said the revelations of contamination change everything.

“The conversation has to be focused on the environmental issue,” said Brian Gotlieb, who has lived in Trump Village for 29 years.

A source close to the developer, real estate mogul Rubin Schron, said the tentative plans for the tower include a shopping center on the ground floor of the building, with stores similar to the existing shops — though he did not say how many of the existing stores would be returning to the new complex. He also said there are provisional plans to put some stores and the post office in mobile trailers while the area is under construction.

He said he was not aware that the site was contaminated.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
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Reader feedback

clean the site from coney island says:
clean the site and build a 50 story building.
what is the problem?
Nov. 7, 2014, 8:21 am
Marc Schwartz from Trump Village says:
The problem is that it will take away views that people have paid a premium for, three years of noise pollution, taking away public parking for visitors,upsetting a major bus hub for students, along with taking away shopping for local seniors who don't fraud the system with Assessor ride
Nov. 7, 2014, 9:44 am
Carly from Sheepshead Bay says:
Not Fraud the system?? Not in the old days it wasn't "Fraud"!
Who is living there now ?? Mainly- those that are getting freebies and handouts!! Nobody wants anyone to live on toxic land.. Yes - it would mess up things, but most of the people living in those apartments don't deserve to live there....
Nov. 7, 2014, 10:22 am
Nicole from Trump Village says:
I lived in trump towers building 7 my whole life and I did all my shopping in that shopping center. I know most of the residents there and for someone to say that most of the residents don't deserve to live there just shows how ignorant someone is. You obviously don't know what your talking about. That shopping cente is crucial to the existence to most f the tenants in trump
Nov. 7, 2014, 1:04 pm
Lisa from Trump village says:
Carly, do u know what u r talking about? I think not. I grew up there. And where r people getting freebies and handouts? Ignorance is bliss obviously. The people in Trump need that shopping center. Unfortunately last time I visited there was no supermarket. I don't know if things changed since but the shopping center needs one. I hope things work out for the residents.
Nov. 7, 2014, 4:03 pm
Howard from Trump says:
I moved in bldg 6 when it went up in 1964. My mom still lives there. To Carly I'd like to say you're an idiot. No freebies no handouts to my mom. To everyone else. WTF. This is the first time I've heard about toxins under the shopping center where I worked ate and hung out. How far did the site extend. Is it under trump is it under sea breeze park where my children crawled in the grass?
Nov. 7, 2014, 10:54 pm
GLORIA from Trump Village says:

What kind of freebies are you talking about, I have lived here for 50 years. 2nd family to move into this building. Daughter born here. Put down hard to get money then to live here. No freebies.
So if you deserve to live here, put your money down and buy an apartment here, or is that a problem because you can't afford it.
Your comments are really off the wall.
Nov. 8, 2014, 6:32 am
WTF from Former CI says:
What freebies? How bizarre!. State and city funding, Mitchell-Lama status, section eight, well below market value purchase
PRices, well below market value coop maintenance fees (all stipulated by the urban renewal funding given to Trump.) Not to mention the high number of welfare recipients especially during the 80's and 90's. In addition, in recent years, residents were essentially given their coops when Trump went private further depleting the city of affordable housing. (You really don't know that Mitchell-Llama privatizations almost always requires people to purchase their apartments?)
Nov. 8, 2014, 8:43 pm
Tim from Coney Island says:
Don't just complain. Express your opposition to all local elected officials as well as the Brooklyn Boro Pres, NYC Public Advocate and Mayors office. Make phone calls, send emails, write paper letters. Your influence does count.
Nov. 10, 2014, 3:31 am
Tim from Coney Island says:
To the person who mentioned freeloaders before, you think there won't be any free loaders moving into the new condo? Are you that naive?
Nov. 10, 2014, 3:36 am
Phyllis from former Brighton Resident says:
For those of you who are concerned, find out where the report that Arcadis prepared is available for review (contact DEC). It will give some information on the extent of contamination. It is a good idea to not speculate on this. You might want to find an environmental professional who can do some sleuthing on your behalf. Be aware that cleanup of these sites is very expensive and is a long term issue.
I grew up on Brighton First St and although I am now living in Arizona, I am a registered geologist and worked on cleanup of several contaminated sites in NY state and Arizona.
Nov. 10, 2014, 11:15 am
Brightwater resident from coney island says:
Maybe this is a real issue about toxins, call Erin Brockavitch, but honestly this could be something to stop the "building of a 40 story building". The entire thing is sick. Yes money talks, but if this new construction occurs, it will DESTROY THIS NEIGHBORHOOD. We need the stores for all the residents in the area. It's not just Trump, it's Warbassee. Brightwater Towers and more. I lived here for 50 years and it's imperative that we KEEP OUR SHOPPING CENTER! We don't need a new highrise buiding. We need our politicians who we voted for to HELP US. IF THEY CARE, THEY'D BE TRYING HARDER THAN THEY ARE! So far they've not done ANYTHING!!!
Nov. 11, 2014, 11:13 pm
WTF from Former CI says:
Tim, I'm not at all naive. Even if the building is market rate on the order of Oceana there of course will still be "freeloaders." Especially true if it is being built with government incentives to the builder (a/k/a corporate welfare) to allocate a certain number of units to moderate income families. If that is the case, it can nevertheless help working class people. Trump Village's privatization gave affordable housing a massive blow. Not to mention the tens of millions owed by the residents for back taxes.
Nov. 17, 2014, 7:34 pm
Cynthia from Florida says:
Phyllis originally from Brighton 1st st. Knew your mom Annie. That advice that you gave was so professional.hope the community follows it.po
Nov. 17, 2014, 8:30 pm
judygee from trump village says:
The most important issue in this whole project is the environmental issue. The health of all citizens in our area is at stake if they break ground to start this project! This issue of pollution must be addressed. Our health is much more important than any billionaires interest in building this 40 story tower in our shopping center!!! I sincerely hope that our politicians look into this matter thoroughly and hold a public meeting on the matter. Let no amount of money deter us from doing the fact finding work with regard to this issue. Money does not buy our peace of mind and our precious health!!!
Nov. 21, 2014, 11:24 pm
Eye opener from West 8th and West 5th rsident says:
I grew up, live and had kids in the area. Now I know where my Lymphoma came from. I was told it's not genetic but environmental. Residence please wake up highriser or not area needs to be cleaned up!!! The soil our buildings are standing on should be tested also. Think of our kids if not ourselves!
Nov. 22, 2014, 1:42 pm
Larry hoover from trump says:
I truly never knew about this, but it's truly sickening. Where are the 'caring' politicians? FILLING THEIR POCKETS! The current management for trump buildings 6 & 7 are the most corrupt snaking schemers. Who are supported by Hakeem Jeffries... These people belong in jail for their thefts, money laundering and other corruption. But what can we possibly do about this?
Dec. 9, 2014, 9:52 am
Tim from Coney Island says:
The politicians are not to be trusted. The people of the area need to file a class action lawsuit to prevent this project from moving forward on environmental issues alone.
Jan. 22, 2015, 12:48 am
Ari from Oceana says:
Not to worry, Mark Treyger will always make sure to look the other way, for the developers and greedy landlords who paid for his campaign for city counsel. Mark Treyger was bought and sold by the very developers who need to get waivers and have regulators look the other way. Who is the best person to get this done on the quite? your elected official Mark Treyger
Jan. 19, 2016, 12:16 pm

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