688-700 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Red Hook

superfund VOCs "vapor intrusion"

VIP Builders LLC
Site Description[1] 
Location: The site is located at 688-700 Court Street within the Red Hook Industrial area of Brooklyn. The site is located southwest of the Court Street and Halleck Street intersection. Site Features: At one point, the main site features included 19 buildings, five designated tank farms and a wastewater pretreatment system. However, the site has been substantially decommissioned. Current Zoning/Use(s): The site is zoned for industrial use, but is currently mostly unoccupied. Some light manufacturing (stone countertops) takes place on site. The surrounding parcels are currently used for a combination of commercial, light industrial and recreational uses. The site is bordered immediately to the east by Court Street, Brooklyn Union Gas and Spentonbush Red Star Companies, to the west by Clinton Street and American Import Export Trucking and to the south by Bryant Street and Hess Oil Company. A recreational park (Red Hook Recreational) is located immediately to the north of the site. Historical Use(s) Milliken Brothers Iron Works occupied the southwestern portion of the site in 1904. The remaining property was occupied by Barrett plant from 1904 to 1949 for the manufacturing of tar paper. In 1939 John F. McKenna, Inc. Lumber Yard, Marine Canvas Supply Corporation and John Menton Boiler Maker occupied the site. The site remained a lumberyard and marine canvas supply business until approximately 1958, when manufacturing at the site began. Historic manufacturing processes at the site include production of metallic-organic soaps and salts, phosphates and epoxy plasticizers. A hot-oil system, that used PCB containing oil, was part of the manufacturing process. Contamination at the site appears related to several historic operations, including materials handling from the tar paper operation and the various manufacturing processes, as well as releases to the environment from the hot oil system. Site Geology and Hydrogeology: The site was formed by backfilling the marsh and waterfront areas of the Gowanus Canal in the late 1800s through the early 1900s. Fill material consisting of fine to coarse sand-sized particles with varying amounts of silt and miscellaneous debris (ash, slag, coal, wood, brick, concrete, etc.) was observed across the site from ground surface to a depth of 12 ft. Underlying the fill materials, a clay layer was encountered with lateral continuity across the site. This layer (former base of the Gowanus Canal) acts as a low permeability barrier between the overlying fill and the underlying water-bearing zone located within the glacial deposits beneath the site. Based on the manmade coastline (rip-rap, pile sheeting), well gauging data and the generalized hydrogeological cross-sections, a horizontal and somewhat radial (north, northwest, west, southwest, south) pathway for groundwater flow exists. Depth to water beneath the site has ranged from 2.0 ft to 9.0-ft bgs over the course of investigation. Groundwater beneath the site does not appear to be tidally influenced.

Site Environmental Assessment
Nature and Extent of Contamination: Based on investigations conducted to date, the primary contaminants of concern at the site include petroleum related compounds, phenolic compounds, and PCBs. BTEX is found in soil from the ground surface to the water table throughout a significant portion of the site. Xylenes were detected at concentrations up to 560 ppm (UUSCO of 1.6 ppm); benzene was detected as high as 5.3 ppm (UUSCO of 0.06 ppm.) The highest concentrations of xylenes are located at the east side of building 14 and north of building 19. The SVOCs phenol; 2,4-dichlorophenol and naphthalene are found in soil from the ground surface to the water table throughout the center of the site. SVOCs, carcinogenic PAHs and metals related to historic fill are found throughout the site. Carcinogenic PAHs (up to 100 ppm) and metals (4370 ppm for lead; 1420 ppm for Barium and 305 ppm for cadmium) were detected well above UUSCOs. PCBs are found in soil at concentrations as high as 320 ppm. PCB contamination is located near buildings 13 and 14 in the north and northwestern part of the property where the hot oil system was located and operated. Contaminated soil is a source of groundwater contamination. Benzene is found in groundwater above the groundwater standard of 1 ppb at concentrations as high as 3,400 ppb. SVOCs in soil from the use of tar in the manufacturing of tar paper are of a source of groundwater contamination. For example, naphthalene is found in groundwater as high as 5,500 ppb (groundwater standard 10 ppb.) Non-aqueous phase material, in the form of tar and less viscous oil, is found in the environment.

Site Health Assessment
Direct contact with contaminants in the soil is unlikely because the majority of the site is covered with buildings and pavement. However, people could come into contact with contaminants if they dig below the ground surface. People are not drinking the contaminated groundwater because the area is served by a public water supply that is not affected by this contamination. Volatile organic compounds in the groundwater may move into the soil vapor (air spaces within the soil), which in turn may move into overlying buildings and affect the indoor air quality. This process, which is similar to the movement of radon gas from the subsurface into the indoor air of buildings, is referred to as soil vapor intrusion. The potential for soil vapor intrusion to occur in the existing buildings will be investigated.

Contaminants of Concern
Type of Waste Quantity of Waste

  1. DEC Environmental Site Remediation Database.  Site Name: "Chemtura 688-700 Court Street".




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