Crown Heights residents are worried about air and noise pollution from large generators at the Bedford Union Armory construction site. They say the fumes and noises it produces have been a disturbing menace.
Two large generators deployed on opposite ends of President Street in March have been running nonstop for more than two weeks.
Resident Elizabeth Fortune is worried about the environmental and health impact the generators will have on the neighborhood and its elderly population.
Fortune has been posting daily on her Twitter account about the generators while her husband, James Thomas has been making in-person complaints to construction crews..
The two have had to shut their windows and curtains to mitigate the smell of the fumes and even had to wear headphones and turn on noise machines to lessen the impact of the generators while they worked from home.
“I can smell it by the window, even with the window closed,” said Fortune. “It’s preventing us from using our fan and getting fresh air.”
According to the EPA and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, diesel generators and the particulates they emit in construction sites can affect the health of workers and the residents that live nearby.
Short-term exposure to such emission can cause headaches and dizziness, while long-term exposure can cause respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
However, according to emails that Fortune received from Eric Woodlin, director of community engagement at BFC Partners, the developers, the larger of the two generators which Fortune is most concerned about on Bedford Avenue and President Street is registered through the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and is code compliance through January 2022.
Woodlain claims the generators meet Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
The generators are also permitted to run 24/7 to power all three buildings of the armory to provide heating and lighting through July until Con Edison has finished setting up proper power to the buildings, which they estimated would be complete by May 1.
However as of May 6, the generators continue to run.
“The Armory will feature a cogent plant, which we are working with ConEd to bring online in a matter of days,” said Woodlin in a statement.
“This sustainable electrical infrastructure will mitigate consumption effects on our local environment and protect the community against blackouts and brownouts that are projected to become a growing issue across NYC.”
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