Representatives from the Department of Environmental Planning (DEP) were at the last Community Board 5 meeting at Christ the King High School in Middle Village last Wednesday with plans for constructing an oxygen aeration system in Maspeth in an effort to create a better habitat for marine life.
The project, currently in the design phase, includes the utilization of a vacant lot along Newtown Creek for construction of a treatment plant at 58-26 47th St. in Maspeth and the installation of an aeration pipeline along the bed of the creek.
Board members were concerned that the process might produce a smell, but DEP representative Anthony Costello assured the pressure of the proposed methods would be low enough to avoid agitating the polluted water.
“When the air comes in it’s going to transfer oxygen into the water, and if the dissolved oxygen in the water is greater than 1 mg. per liter, then hydrogen sulfide will not be produced,” Costello explained. “The main odor that comes out of the septic conditions is the hydrogen sulfide, so by putting the air in, there is no way or the odor to be produced.”
According to DEP representatives, a consent order to clear the property, build the new facility and install the pipeline allows for a three-year construction phase, if the Public Design Commission approves the plans.
Shane Ojar of DEP assured the board this is the best way to create a habitable Newtown Creek for area wildlife.
“We have projects that have similar goals,” Ojar assured the board. “This is the right method for this area.”
CB5's Environmental Committee plans to further discuss the proposal at its next meeting scheduled for May 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the board office, 61-23 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale.