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TOPIC: Meeker Plumes DEC/DOH "Availability Session" this Wednesday, 11/12.

The NY State Dept of Environmental Conservation and the NY State Dept of Health are holding an "availability session" regarding the Meeker Ave. Contaminant Plumes. For a map see: (http://habitatmap.org/maps/123). For more information visit the NCA website: http://www.newtowncreekalliance.org/meeker.htm. To download the DEC/DOH fact sheet regarding the Meeker Ave. Contaminant Plumes and the upcoming "availability session" visit: http://habitatmap.org/habitatmap_docs/DEC-DOH_Meeker_FactSheet.pdf.

Where:
St. Cecilia's School
1 Monitor St., Brooklyn, NY (MAP)

When:
Wednesday, November 12th from 2:00pm - 5:00pm & 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Why:
"Representatives from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) will be on hand to answer questions about the site and the recent investigation results, and to provide one-on-one meetings to discuss an individual property owner's sampling results. Those living in the vicinity of the Meeker Avenue Plume Trackdown site are encouraged to attend."

Background:
The NY State Dept. of Environmental Conservation has identified several large plumes of chlorinated solvents (TCE & PCE) in the soils and groundwater beneath Greenpoint and East Williamsburg. These plumes are collectively referred to by DEC as the "Meeker Ave. Plume". The plumes are the result of decades of dumping and irresponsible manufacturing practices by historic and contemporary drycleaning, dyeing, and metalworking businesses.

During the winter of 2007/2008 DEC/DOH conducted indoor air sampling in East Williamsburg just south of the BQE and discovered hazardous vapors from the Meeker Ave. Plumes in the indoor air of almost every residence they tested. Of the hundreds of homes that are potentially impacted by hazardous TCE and PCE vapors from the Meeker Ave. Plumes, DEC regrettably tested only 12. Of the 12 homes tested: 10 require mitigation, 1 requires mitigation/monitoring, and 1 requires that residents "take reasonable and practical actions to identify source(s) and reduce exposure". Human exposures to TCE and PCE have been linked to the development of autoimmune diseases, birth defects, nervous system disorders, infertility, and cancer. Hundreds of Greenpoint and East Williamsburg residents and employees are potentially affected.

The Newtown Creek Alliance calls on DEC and DOH to take immediate action to protect human health and clean up the Meeker Ave. Plumes. DEC/DOH:

* should work with the Newtown Creek Alliance to establish a cooperative vapor intrusion testing outreach effort for those residences potentially impacted by the Meeker Ave. Plumes. (Of the hundreds of homes with potential vapor intrusion problems, only twelve have been tested to date). The outreach effort should target tenants in addition to building owners.

* should organize a public information session to notify the community about the Meeker Ave. Plumes.

* should mitigate the residences impacted by the Meeker Ave. Plumes and mitigation should proceed according to the most rapid schedule possible. Because the cost of mitigating homes and businesses with vapor intrusion problems is comparable to the cost of testing and because seasonal and daily variations make it difficult to accurately measure the true concentration of chlorinated solvents under foundations and in indoor air, mitigation systems should be offered to all the homes and businesses within the footprint of the plumes.

* should remediate the Meeker Ave. plumes and remediation should proceed according to the most rapid schedule possible.

* should work to revise the New York State air guideline for TCE of 5.0 mcg/m³. DOH's guideline is two orders of magnitude higher than the most protective risk-based concentrations for TCE in air developed by California, Colorado, New Jersey and several EPA regional offices, which range from 0.016 to 0.02 mcg/m³.
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