Monday, November 26, 2007

Riverbank State Park Is Over An Open Sewer

One of the reasons I did not return to Harlem in '98 was after walking under Riverbank State Park for the second time, I was clear that I did not want to live breathing in sewer air.

Those in charge were content to keep the conversation on odor and flow rather than the germs and toxins from the open sewer, North River.

I heard the smell problem is gone, which got me worried. I hope they did not just add more chemicals to the process, which the people will be breathing.

So I went to the City's page on North River.

Here's how they solved the problem, by putting sodium hydrochloride and sodium hydroxide (lye).

"Odor control

To improve the control of odors from the plant, New York City has recently spent an additional $55 million beyond the cost of construction of the original odor control facilities. North River’s odor control facilities are among the most elaborate in the country.

During the odor control process, plant air is pumped into a large tank and scrubbed clean with a mixture of two chemicals, sodium hydrochloride and sodium hydroxide (lye). The air is then funneled through activated carbon filters, which absorb odors and chemicals and remove the remaining odor-producing particles. The air is then released through 100-foot ventilation stacks on the plant roof."

If you're still in Harlem, check to see if the filters are working properly.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

ALEX JONES -Police Caught Posing as Violent Protesters

Beware of this police tactic of acting like a protester to start violence, and justify hurting folks.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Harlem's Surrounded By 5 Open Sewers

I pray that in the almost ten years since I left Harlem, this situation has changed, but I can find no evidence that it has. If you have any, please share.

Harlem is surrounded by 5 open sewers, North River Water Pollution Control Plant, Wards Island, Tallmans Island Water Pollution Control Plant, Hunts Point and Bowery Bay Water Pollution Control Plants.

The two most obvious, North River (135th & Hudson River, 10027) and Wards Island (Wards Island, NYC 10035) Water Pollution Control Plants (Sewage Treatment Plants) are on the west side of Harlem and in the river off of the east side respectively.

In great part due to the open windows at all ends of the North River Water Pollution Control Plant, and outdoor tanks at Wards Island, Harlem is breathing, daily, volatile organic compounds (VOC's -airborne living organisms) from these sewage tanks.

I've posted some pictures I took of North River shortly before I left Harlem.

Across the river on the east side, Harlem is also close to Hunts Point Water Pollution Control Plant, Tallmans Island Water Pollution Control Plant, and Bowery Bay Water Pollution Control Plant. The bottom line is if folks are smelling it, they are breathing it, the city's sewage and all airborne elements it produces. And by the way, there is relatively new technology that removes the smell, but the question is what about the toxins?

Politics and common sense need to merge in Harlem. Her best park, Riverbank State Park, is located over the North River plant and has people, among them children and seniors, exercising over an open sewer…not healthy.

The NYC EPA says “The roof of the building is the home of Riverbank State Park, a popular recreational facility with three swimming pools, an amphitheater, an athletic center, a skating rink, a restaurant and sports fields - and, of the two New York State park facilities in the City, the only one built on top of a water pollution control plant.” It’s won many awards while placing Harlem residents in danger of toxic chemicals, methane gas and mutating germs.

Established Harlem leadership had decided to put a Hudson River mall just south of the sewer.

Don't they think that the funk from the sewer may affect the quality of the meal or are they confident in the new equipment?

Environmentalists are being honored in Harlem who keep the conversation about odor and flow rather than toxins and germs coming off the sewers.

Sewer System As A Source of Germ Disbursement: “The greatest danger…in breathing of sewer air is that of inhaling with it the living particles (bacilli, etc.) contained or developed in the excrement of diseased persons.” {Roger S. Tracy, Handbook Of Sanitary Information For Households, NY Appleton, 1895}

Sick people from all over the world come to New York City to benefit from her extraordinary medical system. Though hospital waste is handled separately from the general sewer system, during the time before sick people check into the hospital, and, if they remain in the city, after they leave, they are using the general sewer facilities.

In this time of terrorism, toxic materials (both medical and chemical that could cause illness and death) can be dropped into the sewer system and a large portion of the population could be impacted days after the event.

Floating material could contain harmful elements and the results, devastating. This is because many, if not all of the NYC sewer plants, are not covered and in some cases could be easily contaminated from street or building levels without the culprit being noticed.

At North River, the large windows by the tanks are open. At Ward’s Island, the tanks are outside. Though we are encouraged to take comfort in the fact that chlorine kills 85-95% of the germs in the sewer, the more relevant question is what is in the other 5-15% that is strong enough to survive chlorine, food additives, genetically altered foods, human growth hormone, antibiotics, etc. Consider what happens when those strong germs and toxic chemicals get together in North River’s secondary tanks, with their steam wafting off the tanks next to open windows.

The additional chlorine put into the environment via tap water and flushed into the river can have a seepage effect on the land it comes in contact with, further empowering mutating bacteria.

The water in North River’s secondary tanks frequently has steam coming off them, which lifts some germs and they become air borne. Harlem's infant morality rate in the year after the North River Plant went into operation was 2.5 times higher than the rest of the City. Yet the discussion is limited to odor and flow, which haven’t killed anybody.

When you connect the dots between when the North River plant was open and rises and falls in her infant mortality rates over the years, you’ll see a direct correlation.

North River Plant and Infant Mortality Rates in NYC & Harlem 1984-1993

Year - NYC - Harlem
1984 - Plant Construction - 13.6 - 16.0
1985 - Plant built - 13.4 -23.3
1986 - 12.8 - 27.6
1987 - 13.1 - 20.9
1988 - 13.4 - 22.0
1989 - 13.3 - 23.4
1990 - 7.6 - 27.7
1991 - Primary Tanks Covered - 11.4 - 19.2
1992 - 10.2 - 15.9
1993 - Crack in tank - 10.2 - 25.

I failed at getting the people in charge to see the direct connection between actions taken at the sewer and the area's infant mortality rate.

I see a radical jump in the infant mortality rate the year the plant was built, a higher than normal rate during the early years of the plants operation, a drop in 1991, the year they covered the primary tanks. There was another radical jump the year there was a reported crack in the tank (I don't know if it was a crack in the tank or the cover, but it resulted in a higher release of toxins into the area.) Public information after that point was not longer available at community meetings between '93 and '98, when I left.

What needs to happen to correct the problem?

First, the windows need to be covered or at least the tanks sealed, like what was in the original plans. Hemp makes a good bullet proof plastic out of Hemp Stone that could be a cost effective solution. The glass needs to be bullet proof because the sewer is next to the river, which is an estuary, at the edge of the ocean, at the beginning of global warming. The plant is just above the river level and subject to danger in case of a radical tidal wave.

“The problem with covering and air treating the secondary tanks is one of expense … NYCDEP’s rough estimate for subjecting the secondary tanks in a similar odor control system as that for the primary tank is in excess of $100 million.” From “The Smell of Success? An assessment of Odor Control Measures at the North River Water Pollution Control Plant” (June, 1994)

Where are they shopping? Tiffany’s?

We need to honestly evaluate the situation at hand. Consider using sealed aircraft aluminum covers for the secondary tanks and using a NYC labor pool, featuring Harlem residents trained for the job.

Community residents will be motivated to do a good job because they and their families are breathing the air.

Second, regular testing of the sewer's contents and airborne materials need to be done and the results published. The people have a right to know what's in the air, water and land. As we remove or control the cause of the problem, the effects, what we experience as reality, will diminish like what happened in 1991 when the primary tanks were covered.

Asthma attack: Harlem's toxic trucks targeted - truckers fined!

Somebody please tell me they are kidding!!!




November 17, 2007 -- Smoke-belching truck tearing through Harlem are being ticketed with heavy fines for leaving a trail of toxic dust that has elevated the area's asthma rates to alarming levels, authorities said yesterday.

Over the past two weeks, 110 trucks have been slapped with fines that start at $750 for first offenders, and $1,300 for those caught a second time."

They're kidding right about the problem being the toxic trucks?

It is not the truckers who should be fined. It is the fools in charge who had created a toxic environment and are trying to blame the working people for the problem. If these are the folks making deliveries in this underserved area, what message is that sending?

If we had been using hemp biofuel or magnetic energy, there would be no air pollution from trucks. Our government has made clean burning hemp biofuel illegal and starved Bruce DePalma's invention, the N Machine that works with a Faraday Motor to create clean, free, sustainable energy. Instead they keep us on toxic energy and decide which will be the next war project.

I left Harlem screaming in '98 because the poverty pimps, no matter how many times I spoke with them, how many street corners I stood on for hours at a time giving out flyers, or rallies at Riverside Park, the leadership was/is stuck on stupid, evil or both if they are blaming the truckers for Harlem's asthma problem.

They would take their own families to Riverbank Park to swim on top of an open sewer because it was politically correct to support the best park in Harlem. It was like the movie JAWS beach scene on the 4th of July weekend.

Federal, state and city policy has legislated Harlemites to death, literally.

1. Harlem is surrounded by 5 open sewers, North River, Wards Island,Tallmans Island, Hunts Point and Bowery Bay. Hunts Point is where they make the fertilizer.

At Riverbank, they have added a new $55 million air treatment process that removes the odors. Does it remove or empower the toxins?

I remember being in shock at the environmental poverty pimps working to keep the conversation on odor and flow rather than the mutating germs and other toxins released from the open windowed sewers. (More information posted next blog entry).

2. Harlem is surrounded by high traffic highways on 3 of 4 sides.

3. The Harlem valley is a sink for a lot of the toxins in the area.

4. There are large rat and roach problems that could help cause asthma.

5. Some of those building are over 100 years old with mold, lead and other toxins.

6. World Trade Center dust was not cleaned up in Manhattan anywhere but in the hole. That toxic dust has to be impacting by now since the incubation time is 5-15 years, though the first person to die from WTC Illness passed in February, 2002.

7. Plus increased stress after the greatest inside job ever, 9/11, and they want to blame the trucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think they should check out the above list before giving the truckers grief.

Or maybe the fines are about greed. Like the environmental disaster could have been about the genocide necessary for clearing Harlem out to make way for modern times.