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NYC Plans New Migrant Shelter on Toxic Waste Site

With 67,000 migrants currently in the New York City shelter system, and hundreds more arriving on a daily basis, Mayor Eric Adams’ administration is desperately seeking new options to expand its housing options. According to a Dec. 26 article in The City, a long-shuttered manufacturing building located along the highly-polluted Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn is being converted into a 403-bed migrant shelter slated for opening in early 2024.

The building abuts a lot once used by a gas manufacturing plant, which has registered high levels of toxic substances in its soil. According to the article, “80,000 tons of contaminated soil have been removed and 1.2 million gallons of tainted groundwater have been treated” at the site. Both the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have requested that further remediation work be done in the area of the shelter, including what is called “soil vapor intrusion” testing in the basement of the building to check for the presence of noxious vapors that may be seeping in from the contaminated soil.

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