Since 2009 our neighborhood has been plagued by the storage of a massive quantity of road salt on Pier 9 at Kane & Columbia Streets. Residents and elected officials have asked American Stevedoring Inc. (ASI) & the City of NY to remove the salt pile to no avail.
Covering the salt pile is NOT a solution. The salt pile is uncovered for months at a time while being used, loaded and unloaded, and on windy days when the covering comes loose. This substance gets airborne and disperses throughout the neighborhood. When the salt is being loaded out or new salt brought in, the trucks frequently work all through night without regard to the loud disturbance they create for the residents of the neighborhood. Salt is an irritant and can irritate the respiratory tract. Some pet advocacy groups claim that road salt is harmful to dogs, and aquatic life may be particularly susceptible. Canada has considered listing road salt as a toxic substance due to the salinity itself.
Some evidence suggests that sunlight and bacteria may trigger a toxic substance (cyanide) to be released from road salt.
Salt entering the port of New York in 2005 was of Chilean origin. It contained perchlorate, a contaminant regulated by the EPA. Perchlorate may affect the functioning of the thyroid gland in humans. In addition, the use of this location for the storage and loading of this corrosive substance is incompatible with the new waterfront park and greenway development plans.
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