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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE99-19

April 2, 1999

Contact: Cathy DelliCarpini (DEP) (718/595-6600)

City Makes Improvements to Pennsylvania and Fountain Avenue Landfills

To improve the present condition of Pennsylvania Avenue and Fountain Avenue Landfills, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) installed Jersey Barriers at the landfills on March 26th. DEP Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E. and DOT Commissioner Wilbur Chapman marked this achievement by overseeing the installation of the final link of the barrier, which runs along the fence surrounding the landfill.

This cooperative effort addresses neighbors' complaints that vandals are creating a disturbance to the Starrett City community by repeatedly cutting the fence of the landfill and riding motor bikes on the property. The placement of the Jersey Barriers in front of the landfill's fence will impede access to the site and thwart trespassers.

DEP is actively involved in long-term remediation projects at the Pennsylvania Avenue and Fountain Avenue Landfills. The completion of these projects will convert the landfills into landscaped open space and will greatly improve the environment surrounding Jamaica Bay.

DEP Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E. said, "DEP is planning for the future of the Pennsylvania Avenue and Fountain Avenue Landfills by implementing an innovative capping and remediation effort. By spending the needed funds and building upon our partnerships with community leaders, we hope that the capped landfills will become a resource to the Starrett City community."

DEP has also begun to schedule long-term capping and remediation activities. The following five contracts constitute the capping and remediation components of DEP's involvement at the landfills.

  • The pier at Pennsylvania Avenue will be renovated. Construction began on March 1, 1999, and will be complete in November 2000. This project will cost approximately $5 million.
  • Fresh Creek Basin will be remediated and the "boom" that is presently in place to catch oil that emanates from the landfills will be removed. An onsite treatment system will be installed to catch and treat the oil, before pumping it to the 26th Ward Water Pollution Control Plant. Construction will begin in November 1999, will terminate in November 1999 and will cost approximately $6 million.
  • The 110-acre Pennsylvania Avenue Landfill will be capped and closed. Construction will begin in October 2000, will be completed in October 2003 and will cost approximately $49 million.
  • A pier at Fountain Avenue will be built. This project will be constructed between November 1999 and November 2000 at the cost of $5 million.
  • The 297-acre Fountain Avenue Landfill will be capped and closed. Construction will begin in November 2000, will be completed in November 2004 and will cost approximately $134 million.

When construction is complete, DEP will begin planting and landscaping at the two landfills. DEP has proposed planting native warm-season grasses, as well as more than 25 species of trees, 30 species of shrubs and 20 species of wild flowers. Many extirpated, rare, threatened or endangered species of trees, grasses and shrubs, which are indigenous to coastal areas, will be re-introduced to the Jamaica Bay area. This nearly 400-acre natural area restoration will provide tremendous wildlife benefit for the area around Jamaica Bay and will leave lands open for future passive recreational opportunities.

DEP anticipates that, when the capped Pennsylvania Avenue and Fountain Avenue Landfills are ultimately turned over to the Parks Department, they will be vibrant and secure natural resource habitat areas of which the neighboring community can be proud. The capping and remediation of the landfills is one of several major environmental planning projects centered around the Jamaica Bay region and is critical for the enhancement and protection of the water quality in New York Harbor.

 

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600