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Historically, the North Brooklyn neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Williamsburg have been plagued with a disproportionate number of toxic and polluting industries. Decades of industrial retrenchment have witnessed the rapid growth—or rather invasion—of scores of waste-related industries along the North Brooklyn waterfront. Of the city’s 54 private waste transfer stations, 17 were located on the Greenpoint and Williamsburg waterfronts. This was in addition to the more than one hundred industries involved with hazardous materials, the seventeen petroleum and natural gas storage facilities, the nuclear waste transfer station, the state’s largest sewage treatment plant, and the underground oil spill estimated to be three times the size of the Exxon-Valdez catastrophe.
Given this tragic environmental history, it is no surprise that the residents of Greenpoint and Williamsburg have been especially vocal and active in demanding that the rezoning of the waterfront yield the promised open space along the river. NBDC has been involved with these efforts from the very beginning, participating as a charter member in the Open Space Alliance (OSA). NBDC has also supported the East River State, the Transmitter Park on the former WNYC radio station site, and the India Street Park and Mural Project. NBDC believes that North Brooklyn has been deprived of much-needed open green space for far too long; to create a cleaner, healthier community, we are committed to putting the “green” back in Greenpoint.