To Whom It May Concern:
We are writing to express our opposition to proposed modifications of the Waste Connections 50th Street Transfer Station in Sunset Park. Waste Connections’ proposal to bring Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris to this facility will have adverse health and environmental impacts on the surrounding communities we represent.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and underscored long standing inequities in our city. Disparities in access to healthcare, transportation, education and other essential infrastructure fall along predictable, yet unacceptable, lines-- whiter, wealthier communities are rarely asked to carry environmental burdens, while neighborhoods like Sunset Park bear the greatest loads of pollution and environmental injustices.
Allowing C&D waste to be handled at the 50th Street facility will negatively impact the environment of a community that is already home to more than its fair share of pollution-generating infrastructure. Sunset Park is home to three peaker power plants, two solid waste transfer stations, the Gowanus Expressway, brownfields and a cement plant. These existing polluters have contributed to higher-than-average rates of asthma in some parts of the neighborhood, according to a 2012 study by SUNY-Downstate and Lutheran Medical Center.
We have significant concerns that this application to handle C&D debris will exacerbate the existing air pollution problems in the community at a time we should instead be making investments in environmental health and justice for all communities, especially those who carry outsized environmental burdens already. Therefore, we stand in solidarity with UPROSE, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, and the Sunset Park community in opposing Waste Connections’ application.
Zellnor Y. Myrie
New York State Senator, 20th District
New York State Assemblymember, 51st District
New York City Council, District 38