1999-09-18 / Front Page

Army Corps Pulls Plug
On Dumping Of Toxins

Congressman Anthony D. Weiner has noted that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided not to proceed with a proposal to dump dredged material in Jamaica Bay. After objection by community residents and intervention by the Congressman, the Army Corps of Engineers abandoned its plan to place dredged material taken from Castle Astoria Terminals, in Jamaica Bay’s Norton Basin. Congressman Weiner’s office was notified of this decision last Friday, September 10.

"This was a wrongheaded plan from the start," Weiner said. "The Army Corps of Engineers decision is a victory for the residents of waterfront Brooklyn and Queens and for anyone concerned about our coastal water quality. The waters of Jamaica Bay are cleaner now than at any time in recent history. The dumping plan would have been a major setback after years of progress for the bay. I simply would not allow that."

Castle Astoria Terminals, which sits on Steinway Creek, is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to find a site at which to dump the dredged material. The Army Corps originally chose Norton Basin as one of the primary sites in which to dump, despite vocal opposition from local residents.

In a July 29, 1999 letter to Joseph Seebode of the Army Corps of Engineers, Weiner cited an independent study by the leading environmental group, Clean Ocean Action, that indicated that the mud to be dredged and deposited was not safe. Contaminants including lead, cadmium, silver, PCBs, DDT and petroleum hydrocarbons were found in the Castle Astoria mud, according to this study. These elements have been found to cause such harmful effects in marine life as malformations, cancerous lesions and tumors, and reproductive failures.

Weiner has since kept in close contact with officials at the Army Corps of Engineers and was the first to be informed as this decision was made on Friday.



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