Lead Paint and other toxics in Brooklyn, USA


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Located in Brooklyn across the East River from Manhattan's Lower East Side, Greenpoint-Williamsburg is an ethnically diverse community of approximately 156,000 people, with substantial Hispanic, Polish and Hasidic Jewish populations. The community is among the poorest in New York City. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">Greenpoint-Williamsburg suffers from severe environmental degradation. It has the highest percentage of land devoted to industrial activity of any community in New York, and industrial waste combined with the storage of toxic waste and petroleum has had serious consequences for the environment.<br/><br/>The way in which New York Department of Transportation's (NYDOT) accomplished the maintenance on the Williamsburg Bridge in 1992 became a major concern for residents. Residents complained how the sandblasting of the bridge was causing rain of lead chips and dust in the community. In 1992, tests at more than 200 sites near the bridge found lead levels that the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considered dangerous.<br/><br/>In 1994, the community brought a lawsuit to get the NYDOT to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on its bridge repainting protocol. After several years of litigation, the case was settled. In the lawsuit settlement, NYDOT was required to develop technical specifications for its lead paint removal activities on New York City bridges. The specifications of the settlement included general planning approaches and objectives, notification procedures, lead paint removal techniques, containment methods, certification and training, compliance and monitoring procedures, oversight, cleanup, disposal and transport, and worker protection. Although the battle for better bridge maintenance was successfull, there are still several environmental concerns across this community that need to be addressed. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Lead Paint and other toxics in Brooklyn, USA</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/united-states-of-america">United States of America </a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>New York</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>New York City</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Infrastructure and Built Environment</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)<br /> Urban development conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td>Lead</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">The principal protective coating for the main cables of the bridge would be a 92% pure lead paste, all of which would result in a waste stream containing 100 tons of lead.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>150,000-200,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>1992</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">End Date</td><td>1995</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>City of New York Departments: Transportation, Health, Environment</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Community Alliance for the Environment (CAFÉ), El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, Los Sures Housing Development Corporation</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups<br /> Religious groups</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Objections to the EIA<br /> Public campaigns</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Air pollution</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Lead exposure leads to damage of neurological systems of young children</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Court decision (victory for environmental justice)<br /> Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution<br /> Application of existing regulations<br /> New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study<br /> Project temporarily suspended</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Yes</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>In 1994, the community brought a lawsuit to get the NYDOT to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on its bridge repainting protocol. After several years of litigation, the case was settled. In the lawsuit settlement, NYDOT was required to develop technical specifications for its lead peint removal activities on New York City bridges. <br/><br/>However, although the battle for better bridge maintenance was successfull, there are still several environmental concerns across this community that need to be addressed.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Susser, I (2012). Norman Street: Poverty and Politics in an Urban Neighborhood<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Csogi, Ralph D. "Controlling Lead-Based Paint Emissions During Rehabilitation of the Williamsburg Bridge: A Partnering Approach." Transportation Research Board Conference Proceedings. No. 7. 1995.<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Myers, Steven Lee. "Fearing Lead, Dinkins Opposes Sandblasting." The New York Times. The New York Times, 17 Sept. 1992. Web. 11 May 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/1992/09/18/nyregion/fearing-lead-dinkins-opposes-sandblasting.html>.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.nytimes.com/1992/09/18/nyregion/fearing-lead-dinkins-opposes-sandblasting.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Jane Sweeney, Chantal Shipman & Anthony Tassi (1998). ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS PROGRAM<br />New York City, U.S.A<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.megacitiesproject.org/pdf/publications_pdf_mcp018g.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Godsil, Rachel. ""The Streets, the Courts, the Legislature and the Press: Where Environmental Struggles Happen,"" PRRAC. Poverty and Race Research Action Council, May-June 1994. Web. 11 May 2014. <http://www.prrac.org/full_text.php?%20text_id=385&item_id=3676&newsletter_id=26&header=Symposium:%20Environmental%20Justice%20Part%20One>.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.prrac.org/full_text.php?%20text_id=385&item_id=3676&newsletter_id=26&header=Symposium:%20Environmental%20Justice%20Part%20One" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Natta, Don Van. "Paint Sandblasting Returns Along Williamsburg Bridge." The New York Times. The New York Times, 31 Oct. 1995. Web. 11 May 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/1995/11/01/nyregion/paint-sandblasting-returns-along-williamsburg-bridge.html>.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.nytimes.com/1995/11/01/nyregion/paint-sandblasting-returns-along-williamsburg-bridge.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Mitchell, Alison. "Alarm on Tainted Dust Near Williamsburg Bridge." The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Aug. 1992. Web. 11 May 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/1992/08/22/nyregion/alarm-on-tainted-dust-near-williamsburg-bridge.html>.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.nytimes.com/1992/08/22/nyregion/alarm-on-tainted-dust-near-williamsburg-bridge.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Environmental Justice and Transportation:<br />Building Model Partnerships Community Workshop Proceedings. Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.ejrc.cau.edu/dotworkshops.PDF" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Comments</td><td>This is one of the top 40 influential environmental justice cases in the United States identified from a national survey of environmental activists, scholars and other leaders by graduate students at the University of Michigan</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Alejandro Colsa Pérez, [email protected], University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/07/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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