TGE's assertion that our neighborhood is
"an excellent location" for their power plant is based on arguable technical considerations and obvious
profit motives. Is another power plant a good match for a community already struggling under a heavy environmental burden?
The location for TGE's proposed power plant is at the existing Bayside Oil Terminal at One North 12th Street
between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The site consists of approximately 9 acres, bounded on the north
by the Bushwick Inlet (which the community has been trying to acquire for open space development), on the east
by Kent Avenue, on the south by North 12th Street, and on the west by the East River. There, TGE proposes to
construct and operate a combined cycle electric power plant fueled by natural gas and oil, with a power capacity
of approximately 1100 megawatts ("MG") annually. This would make it one of the largest power plants in New York
TGE's plans also include infrastructure for potential steam sales to Con Edison, connecting the facility
with Con-Edison's 14th Street Repowered Plant through a tunnel crossing the East River.
Are There Reasons for Concern? Plenty!
Our neighborhood is already over-burdened with the highest concentration of waste transfer stations in the city,
the largest sewage treatment plant in the Northeast, an underground 17-million gallon Mobil Oil spill (larger
than the Exxon-Valdez spill in Alaska), a nuclear waste disposal facility, freight transportation, paint and
plastic bag manufacture, and over 3500-per-day truck traffic. There are presently five existing or approved
power plants along a mile-and-a-half stretch of our waterfront. More than a hundred facilities with air pollution
permits are now sited within one mile of the proposed TGE site.
North Brooklyn is presently included as part of a severe ozone non-attainment area. TGE's facility can only
contribute further to our pollution problem. Based on TGE's air application, additional environmental pollutants
would include the following:
|CARBON MONOXIDE: ||297.9||TONS ANNUALLY|
|SULFUR DIOXIDE: ||61.4||TONS ANNUALLY|
|PARTICULATE MATTER: ||204.8||TONS ANNUALLY|
|PM-10: ||204.8||TONS ANNUALLY|
|NITROGEN OXIDES: ||158.4||TONS ANNUALLY|
|VOC: ||99.5||TONS ANNUALLY|
|SULFURIC ACID MIST: ||15.4||TONS ANNUALLY|
|LEAD: || .02||TONS ANNUALLY|
All of which adds up to 1042.22 tons of proposed additional pollutants released each year into an already toxic
environment! This includes over 400 tons of fine particulate matter, which has been strongly linked to increased
asthma rates, upper respiratory illness, and increased frequency of heart attacks and cardiac fatalities
(see health impacts). With wind velocities in this area averaging 12 miles per hour,
prevailing easterly winds can drive these pollutants 2.5 miles and more into our densely populated Greenpoint and
What About TGE's Suggestion That Its Plant Will Actually Improve Our Environment?
Various ground spills have already occurred at the Bayside site (now considered a "brownfield"). TGE likes to
point out that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requires that any purchaser of the
site for the purpose of constructing a new facility be required to fully remediate the site; therefore (claims
TGE) the community stands to benefit from their project! The fact is, however, that the current and past owners
are already obligated to clean up those spills. TGE is doing our community no special favors!
TGE also suggests that air pollution in our area will actually go down as a result of removing Bayside Fuel
truck traffic from our streets. But how does truck traffic stack up against the tons of projected toxic emissions
Finally, while the site in its current state includes white oil storage tanks which can be seen from several
locations in the neighborhood, TGE's proposal includes a 325 foot smoke stack! This structure would stand as
high as the tower of the Williamsburg Bridge--taller than the Statue of Liberty! Views in the neighborhood would
be profoundly and permanently impacted, with particular disruption of our views of the Manhattan skyline as well
as Manhattan's view of our own historic steeples and low-rise neighborhood. Do we want a belching smokestack to symbolize our community in the future?
Contact TGE and your elected representatives now and tell them our neighborhood is no place
for another power plant!
For references and further reading, link here to the
excellent articles and information files at
GWAPP and Williamsburg Watch websites.
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