Sunday, October 19, 2008

Willets Point not as toxic as they say

WILLETS POINT SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING REVEALS ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AT WILLETS POINT NOT AS DIRE AS CITY CLAIMS

At the Willets Point Land Use Subcommittee Planning, Dispositions and Concessions hearing yesterday, Council Members grilled officials from the Deputy Mayor Robert Leiber and Seth Pinsky, President of the NYC Economic Development Corporation on topics including the use of eminent domain to seize land and raised serious questions about the City's claim that the site is a toxic wasteland and all businesses need to be removed in order to remediate the area.

"The city's own studies have failed to detect the terrible contamination they claim is present in Willets Point. There are official federal and state processes for identifying the most contaminated sites and those processes have never shown that Willets Point is contaminated at even a fraction of the levels that would warrant designation," said Michael Gerrard, noted environmental attorney. "The only times the government tears down communities because of contamination is when there is a horrible chemical legacy such as at Love Canal. The key point here is that of if Willets Point had that kind of legacy, the city would never want to take title to it because of the liability it would be assuming."

The EDC today announced 3 additional deals to relocate businesses in Willets Point, bringing the total number of deals to 8 out of the total 260 businesses in the area. Based on this low number of negotiated deals, the City's plan currently appears to rely significantly on the use of eminent domain to take private property for its development plan, raising question from several Council Members. Council Member John Liu stated, "Seizing 90% of the land would be wrong and inexcusable, and we cannot, in good conscience, support a plan that amounts to that."

Council Member Vicent Ignizio stated his belief that the use of eminent domain to take people's land to give to a private developer was "fundamentally wrong."

Council Members also questioned the spending of billions of dollars of taxpayer money at a time that the city is looking to cut spending for education, public safety and environmental protection, while raising property taxes and personal income taxes.

Also at issue was the fact that 1,700 above-average wage jobs would be lost during an economic recession if the city council were to vote in favor of the redevelopment plan.

Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez said, "Shame on the City of New York! The plan just doesn't make sense. Don't we need to protect manufacturing jobs and blue collar jobs?"

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, the financial crises will negate this project from ever occurrung.

Another good thing: there is all of 3 people who are passionate about wanting this project badly - no else cares to see this project built because there is zero need for it!

Fight ON!

Taxpayer said...

For how long have the most rabid promoters of this land seizure known of how little contamination there is?

From the beginning.

The Commissar and his posse thought they would get away with the seizure with nobody really paying attention.

Like thieves.

Anonymous said...

WPIRA needs to ensure that each and every Council member -- not just those who were there on Friday -- become aware of Gerrard's testimony re: environmentals.

Anonymous said...

Michael Gerrard is a paid shill of the WPIRA.

Anonymous said...

It matters not who pays Michael Gerrard. The statements that he made are true; they can be independently verified; and they severly undermine the City's proposed basis for removing all of the Willets Point businesses.

Anonymous said...

It matters not who pays Michael Gerrard.

But all the EDC witnesses are completely with out merit? Talk about a double standard.

Anonymous said...

"But all the EDC witnesses are completely with out merit?"

Yep, they're lying and making up stories. They have no proof, no data to back their claims up. If this were court, they'd be sent up the river for perjury.

Anonymous said...

They have no proof, no data to back their claims up

they have more data on the condition of the iron triangle than Gerrard can ever imagine. Read the EDC report.

Crapper is censuring poss again so this one may be shut down as well when the debate turns against the website owners agenda.

Queens Crapper said...

The Crapper is not censuring anything. Go learn to spell. The other post was shut down because it is old and there is a new one on the same subject that you can comment on. You seem to have found it just fine.

Anonymous said...

since Crapper shut down comments on the 'Willets Point City Council hearing today" post ill do it here..

That image linked to isnt the Kelo house in its original location. It is in it's NEW location and fully refurbished on New London Taxpayers dime.

And guess what? Sussette Kelo doesnt even own it anymore. So much for the principles she "stood for" all these years.

She essentially did what she could have done 7 years ago. Take the money and go move somewhere else. The only people who made out on the Kelo deal where the lawyers who pressed the case for 7 years.

Anonymous said...

That photo shows the house is not run down and this one shows the old area is was in was not blighted.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it, that area doesn't look bad.

Anonymous said...

It's just what was argued earlier. The government can make up any excuse to take your land and then get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the federal government is not allowed to use this practice, but states are?

Anonymous said...

They have no proof, no data to back their claims up.

where on the WPIRA web site is this supposed evidence that the land in Willets Point is not contaminated?

That is the most ridiculous claim anyone has ever heard.

The WPIRA.com web site hasnt been updated since April 08 so they must not have anything in terms of real data or anything of substance to add to the debate.

Anonymous said...

You don't make an accusation against someone without having something to back it up. The accusation is that the land is contaminated. The proof would be testing done according to official federal and state processes. These results have not been revealed. Therefore, the claim has no basis in fact.

Anonymous said...

read the EDC report. They've done the testing on the public areas and have found substantial levels of toxic pollution..

This pollution is leaching in from the private land. The private land owners WOULD NOT allow the testers to come onto their land and conduct tests.

there is a 19 page document detailing the tests on the EDC web site yet nothing similar on WPIRA IF they have done any testing at all.

Anonymous said...

There are also DOZENS of DEP cases outstanding for open petroleum and HAZMAT spills on private land that has not been remediated.

Anonymous said...

As there are throughout the city. I guess we should just bulldoze the whole borough and start over. LOL

Anonymous said...

so your argument is that because there are thousands of areas in NYC that have oil spills we should not worry about it, let bygones be bygones, Let live and let live and not be concerned with cleaning anything up?

Anonymous said...

There is a double standard when it comes to this property, but all this other contamination don't seem to warrant the same concern from the City. The difference is the interest that developers and Fred Wilpon has shown in developing Willets Point.

Anonymous said...

I think the concentration of contamination in the iron triangle warrants a concerted effort to change the dynamic. Given its location and its current condition change needs to happen.

And I applaud Mayor Bloomberg and the parties from spending so much political capital to effect change in this abused area.

Anonymous said...

The Crapper is not censuring anything.

Then it is curious that there are numerous old posts still open for comment regarding term limits even though there are more recent posts on the same topic.

Queens Crapper said...

Wow you stopped your schpiel to go back to that? There aren't people arguing back and forth on term limit posts from days ago. They have moved on. You needed to do that, too, and all I did was guide you in that direction. You can either stop commneting here or create yet another EDC-sponsored pro-development site that no one will read if you don't like it.

Anonymous said...

sure.. Why would you want an active discussion when the commenters dont agree with your point of view

Guess the Adams quote on the home page doesn't apply to opposing viewpoints.

Queens Crapper said...

You have had your say multiple times. You are becoming histrionic. You ran out of points to make about Willets so now you are whining about how the blog is handled.

Anonymous said...

Crappy, look, this guy's entire life is spent fantasizing about what will be built at Willets Point. Never mind that he will probably be dead and buried by the time it is finished. It's sad. So sad.

Anonymous said...

What opposing comments about this subject haven't been allowed? You come here and rant about it all day, every day. Your comments were redirected to a newer post that more people will read. You should be happy about that. Get a grip and get over it.

Anonymous said...

i dont mind debating one it two dedicated knowledgable individuals who are civil.

When crappy shuts down a post like that she forces the opposing issue to be attacked by her mobs of apologists who just rant and rave with no real value added or points made to the debate.

This is done to drown out the opposition. I'm just pointing it out.

Anonymous said...

You mean like what the tweeding government does?

Anonymous said...

How can you expect to have a debate with anyone with such poor spelling and grammar skills?

Anonymous said...

Focusing on spelling and grammar means you have nothing to add to the debate and no counter arguments.

So keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Focusing on how the blog is moderated means you have nothing to add to the debate and no counter arguments.

So keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Not focusing on spelling merely
pointing out a detail of your poor education.

Now that subject's worth a debate!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't look very good for the "Wellington Pointe"project.

Too many delays in a downward spiraling economy indicates a scaled back development or an end to it
entirely.

Anonymous said...

Not focusing on spelling ...

Now that you mention it, YOUR first sentence is poorly constructed and grammatically incorrect.

So there.