Rep. Grimm Raises Dredging Safety Concerns over Unexploded Munitions at Proposed Waste Transfer Station Site in Gravesend Bay

Aug 10, 2012

BROOKLYN, NY – Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-Brooklyn/S.I.) sent the following letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers raising concerns over the waste transfer station proposed at the foot of Bay 41st Street in Brooklyn.  The proposal has come under scrutiny over dangers surrounding unexploded ammunition that fell to the bottom of the harbor from the USS Bennington in 1954. Rep. Grimm is requesting more information pertaining to any possible dangers surrounding the dredging.

“Safety should always remain a top priority when moving forward with any project, and the presence of unexploded munitions certainly raises strong concerns among members of the southwest Brooklyn community.  Before any action begins on the proposed waste transfer station, I am seeking assurance from the Army Corps of Engineers that any dredging will not compromise the safety of the residents, their property, or the bay.  No project is worth jeopardizing public safety, and I look forward to working with the Corps to receive its full assurance that the dredging will be 100% safe,” said Rep. Grimm.

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Text of the letter is below:

August 9, 2012

 

Colonel John R. Boulé

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza, Room 2109
New York, NY 10278-0090

Dear Colonel Boulé:

I am writing in regard to the City of New York’s proposed waste transfer station at the foot of Bay 41st Street in Brooklyn, NY, and the dredging of Gravesend Bay required by the proposal. As you are well aware, opposition to this plan is largely based on the potential danger caused by disturbing the unexploded ammunition which fell to the bottom of the harbor from the USS Bennington in 1954.

A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers has assured that “the area has been dredged several times over the years, and it’s unlikely that dredging there again would present any hazards.” However, The Army Corps of Engineers and the City of New York owe the residents of southwest Brooklyn more thorough substantiation before moving forward. With hundreds of explosive shells of anti-aircraft ammunition unaccounted for, it would be well worth the extra effort to achieve more certainty in the claim that no hazards would be presented by this project.

In the interest of my constituency, I would like to formally request the release of any information pertaining to previous dredging of Gravesend Bay. It is imperative that public safety concerns of this degree be exhaustively addressed before any new dredging begins. The taxpayers deserves a comprehensive explanation of how the Army Corps of Engineers can be so certain that future dredging will cause no harm to the residents, their property, or the Bay itself. I would appreciate your cooperation in providing this information, so the affected population may be fully assured that any new dredging will indeed pose no danger.

Thank you for your attention and understanding. I look forward to moving forward in this matter together.

Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Michael G. Grimm
Member of Congress