AIR ASSAULT: Asbestos Puts Brooklyn Community on Edge
Posted on April 17, 2013
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Every day, 30 Americans die from a preventable asbestos caused disease, and exposure continues. I have grave concerns about the asbestos abatement and demolition occurring at the Domino Sugar Refinery owned by Two Trees in Brooklyn, New York. The community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn feels at risk.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was given the “Open air asbestos abatement at Domino Sugar Refinery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn” video. Workers wearing protective clothing called Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be seen visibly breaking asbestos-containing cement board with heavy tools on the roof, which if done incorrectly can violate EPA and OSHA regulations.
Mothers, fathers, schools, community leaders, and ADAO have all reached out to the New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for help on the matter, but our questions remain unanswered and request are ignored. There are significant EPA OSHA and State/Local requirements that must be met when asbestos is disturbed.
According to National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), “…Visible emissions means any emissions, which are visually detectable without the aid of instruments, coming from regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) or asbestos-containing waste material.”
In an April 10th New York Daily News article, Richard Weiss, spokesman for Local Union 78, the Union that represents asbestos abatement workers in New York, New Jersey and Long Island, was quoted as saying “given their history, and the serious actions state and city officials took in barring this company, it is clear that they are not up to performing a job of this magnitude in a safe and responsible manner.” Jeremy Soffin, Two Trees spokesperson stated, “We are fully confident they will do the job safely and effectively,” and “As required by law, an independent environmental monitor will be on site to ensure that all of the work is done safely.” Yet in 2012, New York Insulation was debarred from performing public work in New York State for wage theft and lying to government agencies on official documents.
According to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, “Activity that disturbs asbestos causes small asbestos fibers to float in the air. Inhaling these fibers leads to asbestos-related diseases. Three of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure are lung cancer; mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and heart; and asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs.”
On behalf of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn we are requesting:
- An immediate “field investigation”
- Copy of all air testing reports
- Evaluation the current asbestos abatement procedures occurring at Domino Sugar Refinery
- Evaluation of the asbestos-containing material that has been subjected to sanding, grinding, cutting, and abrading or that which has been crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder in the course of demolition that may be in violation of federal regulations
We request that the local, state, and federal government agencies fax documents and reports to ADAO by Friday, April 19, 2013.
As a mesothelioma widow and ADAO co-founder, we need to take a stand for demanding clean air and let developers know that AIR RIGHTS isn’t about what you see, it’s about what we breathe. Together, we demand the transparency to protect our livelihood.
Domino Sugar Refinery Video by 2 Trees PR
Domino Sugar Refinery Photos