95 & 251 Lombardy St., 513 Porter Ave., 72 Anthony St., and 540 Morgan Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222

East Williamsburg

TCE PCE "chlorinated solvents" "Meeker Ave. Plumes" "vapor intrusion" CVOCs Superfund

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Acme Architectural Products manufactures specialized steel products - doors and frames, bathroom stalls, office partitions and work stations - in 260,000 square feet of space in seven buildings.  Established in 1924 by Joseph Teich as Acme Steel Partition, the company later changed names under the management of Joesph's sons, Bertram and Jack Teich, who currently run the company.  Originally located in Manhattan, Acme relocated to East Williamsburg and set up operations at 513 Porter Avenue in 1953. By 1986 it had 600 employees and annual revenues of $42 million.  In 1986 Acme was purchased by the Detroit based Masco Corporation.  Masco saw the Brooklyn operation through lean times, downsizing from 600 employees to 330, and was finally bought back by the Teich family in 1995.[1]  The property is currently owned by the New York City Industrial Development Agency, and was previously owned by the Whitehead Co.
imageMeeker Ave TCE/PCE Plumes Map.
imageExterior of 95 Lombardy at Vandervoort
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The Meeker Ave. Contaminant Plume
According to a recent investigation by the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation, Acme Architectural Products is responsible for contaminating the soil and groundwater beneath a large swath of East Williamsburg with chlorinated solvents [PDF map of the Meeker Ave Plumes w/ multiple layers].  The contaminant plumes, collectively referred to by DEC as the "Meeker Ave. Plume", are the direct result of illegal dumping and improper disposal of toxic chemicals used in the dry cleaning, dyeing, and metal working businesses.  The volatile gases from these chlorinated solvent plumes have been intruding into homes and businesses for decades, compromising the health of the residents and employees who live and work in the area.  Human exposure to chlorinated solvents has been linked to the development of autoimmune diseases, birth defects, nervous system disorders, infertility, and cancer.

State Superfund Site
95 Lombardy is now part of the New York State Superfund Program and according to DEC the "site poses a significant environmental threat due to ongoing release of TCE into soil and groundwater [and] since the possibility exists for vapors from site-related chemicals to migrate into nearby homes and businesses, soil vapor intrusion sampling will continue in the area and data evaluated as they become available".[2]

Water Pollution
Acme Architectural Products was listed on the NYS Dept. of Environmental Protection's July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006 "Significant Non-compliance List" for not properly pre-treating their waste water before discharging it into the sewer system.  Since sewage overflows are common in New York City, triggered by as little as a tenth of an inch of rain, Acme's "Non-compliance" status meant that they were discharging toxic chemicals directly into Newtown Creek.


Air Pollution, 2002 National Emissions Inventory
(pounds)

Total Emissions

25,440.81

Volatile Organic Compounds

16,763.79

Butyl Cellosolve

5,243.00

Diethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether

991.00

Nitrogen Oxides

851.00

Carbon Monoxide

714.84

Propyl Cellosolve

307.00

Primary PM (Includes Filterables + Condensibles)

270.00

Ammonia

175.00

Primary PM10 (Includes Filterables + Condensibles)

64.66

Primary PM2.5 (Includes Filterables + Condensibles)

44.33

Xylenes (Mixture of o, m, and p Isomers)

11.10

Sulfur Dioxide

5.09

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