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Block 1120/6th Avenue from north

FCRC covers dirt mountain three weeks late, offers creative interpretation of air quality policy

More than three weeks after it was created, a mountain of dirt the last two construction updates stated "will be completely covered" was finally covered last night.  

The lack of covering has been a real concern to nearby residents because of the hazard dust will migrate from the stockpiled material.  Dust did blow from a similar pile over the summer.  Winter weather conditions, especially this winter, are erratic and do not reliably suppress dust.

FCRC Community Liaison Brigitte LaBonte explained the delay in covering with the following statement to AYW, which was also provided by ESDC Project Director Arana Hankin to Atlantic Yards Report:

In accordance with the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments,  section N, Part 4, subpart (a), item (iv), we have maintained dust control of the soil stockpile at block 1129 via water misting.  Due to the favorable ambient weather conditions only a periodic misting has been required.  Dust monitoring has been in place, as it always is, and no monitors showed any dust events during this period, nor did our on-site OEM personnel witness any dust events during this period.  When the construction of the stockpile is complete it remains the intention of the contractors involved to switch to a cover as means of dust control until the soil is utilized for backfill.

Despite the statement, the section of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments (MEC) cited by FCRC that details the use of water misting or covering of stockpiled materials does not include an exception for weather.  

4. Air Quality

(a) FCRC shall require its contractors to implement dust suppression measures, including the following:


(iv) Covering or water-misting of stockpiled materials. All stockpiled dry materials (e.g., sand, aggregate) shall be water-misted; sprayed with non-hazardous, biodegradable suppressing agent; covered; or otherwise enclosed.

(v) Loading of any dry material which may release dust from trucks shall be accompanied by manual water spraying of the material.


Until this week, no water misting was observed on the pile or during unloading.  Further, the stipulation in the MEC to mist during unloading is not cited in FCRC and ESDC's statement.

The extent to which the air monitoring described in the statement took place has not been confirmed by AYW.  Even in the last several days when monitoring equipment has been visible on Dean Street, it was removed in the afternoon.  Work to add soil to the pile did not take place until late in the afternoon after the air monitoring equipment visible during the day was removed.  No air monitoring equipment was visible on Vanderbilt Avenue or Pacific Street at the time the work took place.