MTA: Subway Blasting Not Creating Pollution

Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 01:40 PM

Second Avenue Subway construction, looking south from East 79th Street (photo by Kate Hinds)


The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority says blasting for the creation of the Second Avenue subway line has not increased pollution.  But something else apparently did elevate some pollutants during the time the air was being tested.

The MTA commissioned the study from private firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. It did find elevated levels of three pollutants in the air.  But the MTA says the levels were not elevated while the agency was doing blasting.

According to the report, fine dust, sulfur dioxide and ammonia readings were above standard federal limits.

Most New Yorkers are thrilled at the prospect of a new subway line along Second Avenue, a north-south corridor along the city’s east side.  But residents in the area have complained for months about dust from construction fouling the air and degrading air quality.

The study was based on a monitoring program that collected data on ten pollutants at ten stations along Second Avenuefrom69th street to 87th street.  Monitoring began in September and lasted a month.  Additional details from the report will be presented at a meeting later this month of the Second Avenue Subway Task Force Committee.




Comments [2]

Connie Citizen

What folks need on the UES is better, more frequent service – happy to have that done on the existing, decaying 6, something the MTA doesn’t want to provide. Everyone wants this, but we do not want a 2nd Ave Subway built that will cause us (i) LT health issues and (ii) when up and running – currently scheduled to open FIVE years late, at least a billion over budget, and only for the first phase (96th to 72nd with only three or so stops, none the bet. 72 and 86 where the bulk of the UES) traffic is!); and (iii) ruining the quality of life of the neighborhood for decades to come. THIS WHOLE PROJECT IS A SHAM for the MTA to get further into debt (currently approx. $11 billion - although ED Joseph Lhota wants to increase that without restoring and deep service cuts -, keep the unions employed and have no accountability for their actions with YOUR TAX DOLLARS! We need to take action or the MTA will bankrupt this city as well as petition our elected officials to overburden tax payers with increased taxes to fund their folly!


Jan. 20 2012 11:13 AM
Connie Citizen

Parsons Brinckerhoff, the firm that conducted the study is conflicted; they are systematically engaged by state transit authorities (Tennesee/Massachusetts), including NYC. They also have been subject to lawsuits regarding their conduct. Why the MTA/2nd Ave Subway Staff did not let the Community chose the firm to conduct the study so that we are ensured impartiality is beyond comp...rehension. Note that the report did state that fine dust, sulfur dioxide and ammonia readings were above standard federal limits. The Community is silly not to organize itself against the MTA and the health hazards they are causing everyone - they are taking us for fools, stating that all of them due to increased traffic - which coincidentially were not around before construction.

FYI: Parsons Brinckerhoff is the General Engineering Consultant on the LI Rail Road/East Side Access Project;

Many have developed severe coughs (affectionately known as the Second Ave Subway Cough) and other ailments - I'm not litigious, but maybe it's time for a class action suit?!

PEOPLE WE NEED TO ORGANIZE AND TAKE ACTION! THE MTA IS MILKING THE CITIZENS OF NY by their actions, and if enough people get together and protect, we will see results!

Jan. 20 2012 10:34 AM

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