Soil Contamination at Maspeth School Site Deemed Routine
by Daniel Bush
Apr 14, 2009 | 1891 views | 4 4 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After reports surfaced April 14 that the approved site for the new Maspeth high school was contaminated, elected officials and city representatives rushed to convince the public there was nothing to fear.

The Department of Education (DOE) discovered soil contamination at the school's 57th Avenue and 74th Street site while conducting an environmental assessment of the property.

Reportedly, that information was sent to Community Board 5 and the City Council, though it was not made public until right now.

DOE spokesman Will Havemann said the occurrence was unremarkable: soil contamination is found on most city properties and will be removed with by the DOE before the new school is built.

"The Department of Education observes rigorous and very conservative standards in determining whether a site is suitable for school construction," Havemann said in a statement. "We proposed the Maspeth high school site only after establishing that it will be completely safe for the building's students and staff."

In a statement Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley agreed the contamination was routine and pledged to work with the city to ensure its removal before construction begins on the 1,100-seat school, which the City Council approved earlier this month despite her opposition.

"Toxins in soil on industrial sites is a given," Crowley said. She said by law the DOE, Department of Conservation and Department of Environmental Protection are obligated to identify and remove the contaminated soil if they wish to proceed with the building of a school.

"Bottom line," said Crowley, "I stand behind my vote which was against this school."

Comments
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Bushcrap
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April 24, 2009
Another one-sided and total useless article by Dan Bush who is nothing more than a Sanchez puppet. He writes articles that are essentially PR for politicians and he NEVER tells the complete story. He hasn't an ounce of journalistic integrity nor does he ever do his homework. But then again, a publisher gets exactly what he pays for.

sick of the b.s.
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April 19, 2009
what a joke, walter your on land usage and the board, why wasn't this brought out before the city council meeting? your all a bunch of crooks and should be held accountable for this. liz crowley is so full of crap and she does nothing to secure the safety of our community and the children at ps 58. when ps58 was being built so many complaints went to the sca with foundation damage to the surrounding neighbors, oh here we go again. walter, liz and all the council are not sending their children to this h.s. and don't live around the site so why should they give a flying crap about everyone else.
Tammy S.
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April 17, 2009
Why didn't Walter Sanchez, Chair of CB5's Land Use Committee and owner of this paper mention the contamination at any time during this debate?
anonymous
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April 15, 2009
WHAT ABOUT THE CELL TOWERS POINTING RIGHT AT THE SCHOOL SITE FROM ACROSS THE STREET AT STOP-N-STORE? ARE THEY PLANNING ON REMOVING THEM TOO?