As you may know, as the primary justification for its takeover of Willets Point, the City has claimed that the area is in dire need of environmental remediation, and that such extensive remediation first requires the removal of all of the present occupants.
However: I have uploaded to YouTube a 4 minute video, showing the portion of environmental expert (the City consultant) Kevin McCarty's October 17, 2008 testimony, in which he apparently admits that there is NO direct scientific proof of the purported contamination at Willets Point private properties.
This testimony occurred during the October 17 meeting of the Planning, Dispositions & Concessions committee (which is a subcommittee of the Land Use committee). Councilman Monserrate sums up McCarty's testimony well: "As of today's hearing, you cannot give me, with specificity -- scientifically -- exactly what's contaminated, and how contaminated it might or might not be."
I believe that the Council must consider the absence of scientific evidence that would support the need for extensive remediation, when voting on the redevelopment proposal next Thursday.
This video is derived from material that I recorded as part of a comprehensive, scholarly documentary video program that I am producing, concerning all aspects of the proposed Willets Point redevelopment.
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And here's an update from Crain's. According to Iron Triangle Tracker, an affordable housing compromise isn't going so well.