The construction services company O&G, which has supervised a number of city projects including the ongoing construction of a new school to replace Harding High, wants to relocate its asphalt and concrete recycling facility from Seaview Avenue to the West End. The potential move impacts several city neighborhoods and led to the creation of the No To O&G Facebook page. A number of OIB readers including Madeline Dennis who populates Bridgeport In The Know are actively involved in opposition and/or negotiating safeguards if the proposal is approved by Planning & Zoning.
One of the leaders of the No Movement Joe Provey provides an update on the Facebook page sharing insight into the depth of the negotiations.
It has been a busy week: NO to O&G meetings included a Leadership Committee meeting to decide what direction to take as a group (see three options in previous post); a meeting with O&G’s marketing and communications director who is anxious to involve O&G in the Bridgeport community; a meeting with the Health department to meet its new director, Maritza Bond, to brief her on our concerns, and a meeting with P.T. Partners Director, Kate Kelly, to discuss what can be done to assist residents who have been victims of environmental injustice. Last week, at a meeting that included top O&G executives, we submitted a list of concessions we would like to see instituted in the West End in return for NO to O&G in return for considering the latest, semi-enclosed proposal for Howard Ave.
Briefly, the leadership committee agreed to continue negotiations, at least until we learn whether O&G is amenable to making substantial improvements. The meeting with Seth Duke, O&G communications and marketing director, was positive. He is interested in supporting Burrough’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, food pantry and job training programs … all of which he has implemented in other communities. Maritza Bond was very receptive to our requests, including our belief that we need better air monitoring in the West End. The list of requested concessions appears below. Please read them carefully and give us your thoughts.
At Existing plants:
1. Must use more aggressive misting, truck and equipment washing. This would include misting at all material handling points, including transfer of aggregate to mixers. O&G must have portable mister equipment in use.
2. Cover aggregate piles with tarps during all periods when material not being used and during non-operational hours.
3. Allow Bridgeport health dept. or their agents to make periodic unannounced visits.
4. In an effort to stop all offsite hazardous air emissions, perimeter air quality monitoring on all four sides on a weekly basis for one year or per recommendation of monitoring company.
5. Measure for hazardous air particles, including silica dust, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide, or others as recommended by Bridgeport Health Department. Operations cease when acceptable levels are breached.
6. In an effort to stop all off-site hazardous air emissions, efforts must be made to reduce diesel emission when trucks warm and idle.
7. Best practices noise mitigation.
8. Start and close times:
*Manufacturing/Production/Truck start up shall not begin until (7:30 am M – F) and end by 5:30 pm with exception for state-mandated nighttime roadwork.
*Manufacturing/Production/Truck start up shall not begin until (8 am) on Saturday and will end by (3 pm) with exception for state-mandated nighttime roadwork.
*There will be no manufacturing/production on Sundays and Holidays during the week and weekends, with exception for state-mandated nighttime roadwork.
At Proposed facility
1. All trucks must use retractable covers after loading and must be rinsed, including tires, before exiting from site.
2. All piles of processed aggregate/material must be contained inside a building with air exchange filter. A written plan must be created for maintenance of air exchange unit.
3. All dust emissions from handling recycled concrete or asphalt must be contained and controlled using best management practice … with goal of zero dust emissions off site.
4. All processed materials shall be enclosed in a permanent structure equipped with suitable air exchanger, preferably the same building where processing occurs.
5. All piles of material waiting to be processed shall either be covered or managed so there is no chance of fugitive dust escaping off site.
6. Recycling of water used for misting at doorways and elsewhere.
7. All dust emissions derived from truck and equipment material transport must be contained, controlled and minimized.
8. Noise from processing of concrete and asphalt shall be contained and reduced within new building structures.
9. Start and close times:
*Manufacturing/Production/Truck start up shall not begin until (7:30 am M – F) and end by 3 pm.
*Crushing/Production/Truck start up shall not begin until (8 am) on Saturday and will end by 3 pm, with exception for state-mandated nighttime roadwork.
*There will be no crushing/production on Sundays and Holidays during the week and weekends, with exception for state-mandated nighttime roadwork.
10. A traffic report, its scope to be negotiated with the city and neighborhood, shall be conducted and a written report prepared presented to the city and neighborhood.
Additional NO to O & G Demands:
1. Rezoning of Seaview Ave. site in conformance with Bridgeport’s waterfront plan.
2. Allow ample access for fishermen and kayakers at least for 50 yards along Cedar Creek.
3. Dedicated street/yard sweeper for West End sites.
4. Perimeter monitoring of water and air funded by O&G for one year. Scope to be decided by health department and neighborhood.
5. In kind donations valuing 50k per year for 5 years in materials to be administered by Groundwork Bridgeport and used for building and restoring parks and other public spaces.
6. Set up O&G Foundation for training/educating area youth, especially from areas most adversely affected by operations (P.T.Barnum Apartments, Marina Village, and East End neighborhoods near Seaview Ave). Funding level to be discussed but could be predicated upon a percent of work done in Bridgeport.
7. No expansion of asphalt and concrete recycling north of Howard Ave.
8. Landscaping on Wordin, Osborne and Bostwick, with plant choices designed to filter particulates from air. Removal of barbed wire where feasible.
9. Cease and desist if operation comes into non-compliance for any reason.
10. Repave heavily used roads in West End Eco-Industrial park as required by director of public facilities.
Above list was prepared with the assistance of Diane Lauricella, an environmental consultant. Please contribute to our Gofundme.com page to help support her work. Or send our treasurer, Vince Aurelia a check made out to NO to O&G Coalition, 150 Alsace St., Bridgeport, CT 06604.