Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sewage Discharge at Troy

On August 25th we found a dry weather sewage discharge at Troy. I contacted NYSDEC via cell. An Environmental Conservation Officer met me at Troy and we returned to document the site together. DEC and Riverkeeper contacted City of Troy independently and the outfall was shut off. This event will be part of the evidence used by DEC in a potential enforcement action against Troy. The sample bottle contains sewage and toilet paper fragments – microbial levels were too high to measure – “off the chart.”

Monday, August 17, 2009

Coal Tar in Gowanus Canal and Poughkeepsie

Coal Tar was a by-product of a process which extracted gas from coal. The gas was used for heating, cooking and lighting until the 1960’s. Today there are hundreds of polluted sites in NYS, including many in the Hudson Valley, where the Manufactured Gas Plants (MGP) once operated. On the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn we routinely see coat tar bubbling to the surface from contaminated bottom sediments. But it’s not just a NYC problem. The second photo shows coal tar in the reflection of the new Railway Bridge Park at Poughkeepsie. This one is about 4000 feet from Poughkeepsie’s drinking water intake pipe. MGP sites are slowly being targeted for remediation by NYS DEC - which is a good thing.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Successful Enforcement on Newtown Creek

We observed glass and mixed paper and plastic labeling falling off a deck barge at Sims Municipal Recycling facility on Newtown Creek. We contacted Sims management and within ONE DAY had a response from the facility manager and his staff. They immediately shifted to deep hopper barges. Great response – problem solved. We wish all polluters behaved this way.