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Work Starts on $30M Newtown Creek Cleanup Infrastructure

Construction on 47th Ave

Construction on 47th Ave

Jan. 11, 2016 Staff Report

Construction has started on a $30 million garbage-trapping project intended to protect Newtown Creek from pollution, according to the City Department of Environmental Protection.

The project consists of four below-ground “litter capture devices” that will grab trash and debris that would otherwise wash into the creek, and direct it to a wastewater treatment plant – either the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn, or the Bowery Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant in Astoria.

One of the devices will be built at 47th Avenue between 28th and 29th Streets; the rest will be built at sites near the ends of the creek in Maspeth and Brooklyn. The DEP described these as key locations in the sewer system near the creek.

Litter Capture Device on 47th Ave

Litter Capture Device on 47th Ave

Newtown Creek is a notoriously polluted waterway, with substantial contamination from “its industrial history, including countless spills,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2010, the EPA designated Newtown Creek a Superfund site, bringing it into a cleanup program that addresses some of the most contaminated areas in the country.

“Cleaning up and revitalizing Newtown Creek is one of our top priorities and this $30 million investment will help to capture trash and debris and ensure that it does not foul the waterway,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with elected officials, environmental groups and residents on the many other projects we are working on to further improve the health of Newtown Creek.”

“The revitalization of Newtown Creek is essential to the growth and vitality of Long Island City, Queens and Brooklyn,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “This $30 million investment will improve access to waterfront while making our neighborhoods healthier.”

For his part, Community Board 2 Chair Pat O’Brien said, “We applaud this substantial financial commitment by DEP to advance the significant progress that has been made over the past few years to restore Newtown Creek, and return it to productive use for our residents.

“There is more to do,” O’Brien added. “But this is a very welcome announcement that we embrace with open, and grateful, arms.”

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2 Comments

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MRLIC

I agree with Jack. Cart before the horse mentality. Clean up the stuff still spilling into the Creek. It would help the smell a bit more than the litter pick up machine

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