MTA: Subway Blasting Not Creating Pollution

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.