Reprinted from City Limits
A Tale of Two Brownfields
Even as a city program for cleaning up contaminated sites shows promise, two tainted areas in Brooklyn reflect different challenges that remediation can face—like pricetags and politics. WG Ed. Note: This may not be in everyone’s consciousness but it needs to be there. Almost all of the Brownfields are in our neighborhood.
By Jake Mooney
As far as anyone knows, the long, low brick building at 1127-1129 Irving Avenue, just on the Queens side of the Brooklyn-Queens border, became a brownfield-in-waiting around 1940, when the building’s owners began importing monzanite sand from the Belgian Congo. The owners, at the Wolff-Alport Chemical Company, extracted rare earth elements from the sand to sell, and then sold some of the leftover thorium, a radioactive byproduct, to the federal Atomic Energy Commission. The rest, they dumped down the sewer. Click to continue reading.