DEC: Long Island City site needs a cleanup
by Andrew Pavia
May 01, 2013 | 622 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Standard Motor Products' rooftop garden
Standard Motor Products' rooftop garden
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The backyard of a Long Island City building is in need of some environmental help.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), a lot that was once home to Standard Motor Products at 37-18 Northern Boulevard is testing positive for hazardous waste.

It all began in 1990, when an oily sheen was observed in a puddle on the southeast side of the property, when the city’s Department of Health (DOH) and DEC launched an investigation.

The investigation determined that groundwater is contaminated, as well as the soil behind the six-story facility. Samples determined the site contained elevated levels of petroleum hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and it was classified as a Level 2 Superfund site by the state.

Approximately 2,700-square-feet of soil was excavated, and then DEC noticed that soil near the rear loading platform of the building tested positive for the same hazardous materials.

Groundwater samples were taken and revealed an excess of lead, however, DEC has stated the groundwater is not used for drinking or in irrigating the Brooklyn Grange, a one-acre rooftop garden on top of the building that provides produce to local green markets.

The cleanup will take roughly 3 months and begin in mid-2013 according to the DEC.

“The cost estimated is $416,000 construction costs with an annual cost (for 5 years) of $289,000,” stated a DOH representative. “Standard Motors is paying for the cleanup.”

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