Greenpoint, LIC Warned Of Odor
If something smells rotten near the Newtown Creek over the next six weeks, it’s because crews will be dredging the waterway to allow sludge-carrying vessels to reach the Newtown Creek Water Treatment Plant in Greenpoint.
Work to remove sediment and debris as much as 12 feet below the Newtown Creek surface will begin in earnest this week in order to allow the vessels access to a new sludge dock and tank constructed adjacent to Whale Creek, a tributary near the plant.
The Whale Creek dock and tank replaces similar apparatus located on Dupont Street in Greenpoint, adjacent to the East River, which will be demolished to make way for affordable housing.
All of the dredging will take place on the Newtown Creek itself, with equipment placed on barges doing the work. Work will be concentrated at the mouths of the Newtown Creek (near the East River) and the Whale Creek, according to a Deaprtment of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokesperson.
At first, the dredging will take place in 12-hour shifts from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays; later during the project, work will take place around the clock to minimize the impact on marine traffic using the creek to reach nearby businesses.
Greenpoint and Long Island City residents and workers, however, may experience a rotten egg odor emanating from the creek while dredging takes place. According to the DEP, the odor results from the discharge of hydrogen sulfide gas as sediment is released from the creek’s bottom.
Hydrogen sulfide is the most common type of gas released from sewage. Short-term exposure to low levels of the gas does not result in serious health effects.
Reportedly, the DEP will monitor air levels during the project and, if necessary, take various measures to limit the amount of hydrogen sulfide gas released into the air.
For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dep.