O&G Relocation Battle Heats Up

O&G Seaview Ave
O&G operation on Seaview Avenue. CT Post photo Ned Gerard.

The administration of former Mayor Bill Finch urged O&G to move its Seaview Avenue operation to the West End. Following pushback from neighborhood residents, Mayor Joe Ganim’s not supporting the move by his predecessor. Not yet, anyway. How will it shake out?

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

Some West End residents and others in the adjacent South End and Black Rock neighborhoods are up in arms. And a politically savvy Ganim seems, for now, to be taking their side against the move.

“It’s nothing the city could really support until they can show they can be a good and responsible neighbor and corporate citizen in Bridgeport,” said Av Harris, Ganim’s communications chief.

Meanwhile, since Ganim returned to office with the help of East End political operatives, the city has been more aggressive at O&G’s current site. After over two decades of operation, zoning officials determined the company does not have the proper approvals to operate and in April ordered O&G to cease and desist.

Full story here.



  1. Waterfront sites can be practical locations for some or sites can offer natural beauty, pleasure and entertainment for others. They are generally valued higher than landlocked properties, even if there is only a “water view” rather than “waterfront.”
    These thoughts should be in the mind of residents at this time when decisions are in process in the East End and the West End or Side. Financial values, today’s whether we are buying or selling, and property tax revenues to flow to the City are of critical importance and need to be front and center. I suggest good negotiations, securing long-term values for Bridgeport citizens had not been at the bottom of many of the legal agreements and contracts signed by the City and approved, or at least reviewed by the City Council. We need more “watchdogs” like Joe and Mary Ann Provey and other long-term South End residents to stay on this topic.
    As for negotiating it is important to do so when “hiring” legal council. Aside from the subject of the objective of a group and the expense of legal representation, another subject to cover is the extent of other client representations that might or might not cause a conflict in a new representation. Generally, nothing is “free” in Bridgeport, especially legal advice. Time will tell.

  2. JML, THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR WISE WORDS. I do seek some clarification. Can you explain the last section of your posting starting from, “as for negotiating, it is important to do so when “hiring” legal counsel. Aside from the subject of the objective of a group” etc. until your signature sign-off. Thank you.

    1. Often citizens know something is wrong about an impending action, but they do not necessarily understand the structure or nature of the force. And often, if the community is a poor one economically, the idea of hiring or retaining counsel is unfamiliar and seems very expensive. When an attorney is accepted as representing them for free questions are not raised about why legal representation will be free, seemingly pro bono. I do not know about Mr. Willinger’s pro bono activities or policy but think such questions are fair, reasonable and professional. Time will tell.

  3. Talked with Doug Davidoff, doing significant rehab these days and absent from our activities. He had looked at an article on the Port of Tacoma, WA where transparency was the subject figuring out how to tell the public about big projects, sound familiar? “You want more honesty, more understanding of what the port is considering–and you want to hear it before it’s too late,” Bacon said along with his request for more financial impacts, project timelines, environmental issues, utility requirements, project safety and facility operations. Sound like something that would work for Bridgeport too? Time will tell.

  4. Let me preface my remarks by saying I know I’m racist, I know I always interject race into every topic and I always take the side of black people. Putting that aside, is it just me who is concerned about the health concerns for the blacks and Puerto Ricans who live on the East End? Is it just me who wonders why is it a major health concern now that they want to move it to an area that would affect more white people? The East End as of 2013 was 94% black and Puerto Rican and one has to wonder why it wasn’t a major health concern one, two or three years ago.

    Av Harris, Ganim’s communications chief said, “the city can’t support this move until they show they can be a good and responsible neighbor and corporate citizen in Bridgeport.” My question is why aren’t the Mayor and the elected officials of the East End concerned about O&G being a good neighbor to that side of town? Oh I forgot, the East End is predominantly people of color whose lives aren’t valued and whose health concerns aren’t that important.

    Ray Rizzio, attorney for O&G said they pay $30,000 a year in taxes to Bridgeport and he acts like the poisoning of children who live on the East End is money well spent. I can assure you there are a myriad of residents of the Black Rock area who should be outraged and appalled they are paying similar taxes or more in some cases and they aren’t making hundreds of thousands of dollars off their property.

    Finally Mayor Ganim, $5200 of fines a year to bring them into compliance with city and health regulations is merely a slap on the wrist and it allows you to say I got your back black folks when in reality you’re thumbing your nose at them again merely saying to hell with you and I’ll do more for you prior to my next election.

    1. Let me preface my remarks by saying I am white and I don’t like anyone.
      Where have the people of the East Side been while this operation has been going on? Why have they kept silent?

      1. There is plenty of information. Mr. Fardy, as a firefighter you know our lungs do not lie. Our lungs become a reminder of everything we have breathed throughout our entire lives. As a firefighter, I am sure you have seen people who have suffered greatly, even up to death, as a result of breathing bad things in a very short time span. Most fire fatalities are people who die from smoke inhalation. It’s not because they were burned. I myself was once caught in a house fire. I distinctly remember starting to feel overcome by the smoke. I only had a few seconds to make a decision. I had to get out. O&G’s air inhalation takes years but it is just as deadly.

      2. Andy, as usual you have a point. And I don’t believe you don’t like anyone, I think sometimes you like someone, and sometimes you don’t. That’s pretty normal to me, I do the same thing.

        1. Mr. Fardy. O&G with their CURRENT plan will be using open exposure to the air and wind to dissipate the creation of airborne silica materials. These silica materials WILL cause all types of respiratory symptoms/problems: asthma, COPD, etc. This is not a joke.

          1. Black Rock NRZ, April 24
            This is an email I sent to Attorney Ray Rizio regarding the O&G plan to locate a new concrete crushing and recycling facility where contaminants may well cause a health hazard to children and adults. Hopefully you’ll have enough information to draw your own opinion on the matter. There will be a scheduled community meeting posted shortly.
            Good morning, Ray:
            I’ve been informed that you are representing O&G’s plan to relocate their cement/concrete recycling (crushing) facility at 92 Howard Avenue, along Cedar Creek.
            Ray, we’ve worked well together over the years to head off potentially divisive projects that affect our community. I hope you’ll use your skills at convincing O&G to remove this particular site location application, thereby heading off what will cause the Black Rock NRZ to oppose O&G over their site plan.
            Simply put; it is an insupportable idea to locate a potential disease-causing facility near residential and school populations. Airborne silica, even in its purest form, without other contaminants airborne as well, remains one of the more dangerous inhalants to all air-breathing life.
            Silicosis is a terrible disease, on par with the horror of asbestos-causing Mesothelioma lung disease.
            A crush-and-process cement and stone detritus operation (from building demolition and/or removal operations) that predicates its basis on the assumption that no airborne fallout will find its way in to the immediate atmosphere is either purposefully ignoring the danger or naively turning away from the potential lifelong harm that excessive silica inhalation inevitably causes.
            I am now part of a team in my industry that is dealing with the harmful effects of silica inhalation in far lower doses than this proposed facility will produce in normal operations.
            Moisture containment is an imperfect ameliorative to large operations of silica production, especially those with large piles of crush or semi-processed materials sitting in the open.
            Effective recapture and filtration is the necessary protocol for containment. Unless this facility spends excessive capital on containment in a closed environment with filtration systems that protect workers and contiguous populations (according to EPA, FDA and OSHA protocols), this facility relocation application must be resisted by the community.
            A simple assurance from O&G that their protocols guarantee safety is not sufficiently reassuring to the community nor should it be to you or the Zoning Board of Appeals. Independent engineering analysis, OSHA, EPA and FDA review and air quality testing results from similar existing facilities must be brought to the table when considering such a proposal for site location. An impartial, scientifically comprehensive review must precede any further exploration regarding installation of such facility location in a densely populated area.
            I strongly suggest that you not rely upon assurances from your client that all these preventative measures have been taken. A corresponding engineering plan must be documented and approved by both Federal, State and local health authorities and agencies. Before you take this application through the hearing process you must fully research the above caveats and be prepared for extensive argument in defense of the health of the community as against the special interests of O&G’s operations.
            And even with all these measures taken, it is still highly unlikely that this site plan will remove the concerns of the communities within wind and drift path of potential silica airborne contaminants.
            Gerry Manning
            Black Rock NRZ

          2. The letter I posted from Mr. Gerry Manning, past president of the Black Rock NRZ, is a damning indictment of O&G. When I first read this letter, I was incensed that anything like this can happen here in Bridgeport. The sad thing is that this has been happening and poisoning the people of the East Side for several decades. And now O&G wants to perpetuate their poison pile on a new site. Will we allow ourselves to be used as a dump, to allow ourselves to breath the poison O&G puts into the air that we ALL breathe?

    2. Don, you have it right, it’s called “Environmental Racism.”

      Don, here’s the same problems with the same people who can do and say something but do nothing about the health of its residents. Always follow the money, what money/donations has O&G given to Mayor Ganim and City Council members? The second link is an article from the New Times, April 26, 1998. In part here is a portion of that article.

      “One Bridgeport site is near Seaside Village, a 257-home settlement in the South End that was built after World War I and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To the west it abuts the two-acre lot where the asphalt plant is proposed for construction, with several houses only yards away. Because of an oddity in the zoning, the site adjacent to the village has always been zoned for heavy industrial businesses.

      “Hundreds of residents of the South End and the East End, where still another asphalt plant is planned, have petitioned and protested at City Hall; their biggest frustration, they said, has been Mayor Joseph Ganim’s refusal to comment on the matter one way or another.

      “Mr. Ganim’s refusal to comment, an aide said, centers around what he believes to be a matter of propriety, not wanting to interfere with the independent Planning and Zoning Commission. Opponents of the asphalt projects link his silence to political contributions the Mayor has received from the principals of both proposed plants, and they note that Zoning Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor.

      “To which Chris Duby, Mr. Ganim’s press secretary, replied: “They’ve contributed to the campaigns of many people,” and that as a matter of policy “the mayor doesn’t take positions on individual matters before the Zoning Commission.””

      Who Wants to Live Near an Asphalt Plant?

    3. The possible move to Howard Avenue will impact thousands of people (especially children) in the West Side, South End and Black Rock. I also feel this is a city-wide issue. Includes people living up in the North End. The question is; WILL WE ALLOWS OURSELVES TO BE USED AS A DUMP? This is a question that needs to be proposed to everyone who lives in the City of Bridgeport. If the answer is NO!!!, it creates a completely new dynamic for those of us who live here in Bridgeport.

  5. Whenever this subject comes up, I ask anyone and everyone to PLEASE take a look at the FB page NO TO O&G, and get A LOT of information. PLEASE GET INVOLVED. It’s part of the battle to win back OUR city. Unfortunately, this article ONLY looked at one perspective, the possible political machinations of Mayor Joe Ganim. NOTHING was said about the poison that will be spewed out into the air and will add to the noise pollution (Resco plus this proposed O&G plant). There are so many other negative impacts to the area.

  6. Frank, here’s what white folks get when something affects their health and welfare, “they are putting the operation on the West End site in an enclosed building that’s welcoming to the neighborhood,” Timpanelli said. “Frankly a covered building was never part of the (original) conversation.”

    A covered enclosure was never an option for the blacks and Puerto Ricans of the East End then or now. Let’s just continue to poison the children of the East End with these toxic dusts even though we know it’s bad enough so the next time we need to enclose this mess. Let’s get it the hell out of the East End until they can find a better place to conduct this business without jeopardizing the health of children of color. Mayor Ganim needs to put their health above a meager $30,000 a year in taxes the city gets from O&G. My people are worth that much, aren’t they?

  7. Massive-scale construction/waste-disposal/waste-storage and waste-transfer sites that aren’t exclusively addressing Bridgeport needs must be sent packing. (Many people in Bridgeport are paying more than $30,000 a year in taxes for relatively modest residential properties that don’t adversely impact the health, well-being, aesthetics and taxable value of their surroundings.) Paul Timpanelli says such facilities “have to go somewhere.” Okay; we’ll relocate a “three-side, enclosed” facility in the 5000 block of Main Street, Trumbull, so Paul and Tim Herbst can enjoy all the industrial activity, noise, pollution, and truck traffic, as well as the aesthetically-pleasing three-sided building, of the relocated Seaview Avenue operation.

    O&G is, and has been, operating illegally and should simply be sent packing without fanfare. If necessary, the city should take the property by eminent domain and rezone it to preclude use for industrial activities other than for the manufacture of certain categories of consumer goods or transportation equipment.

    Our city leadership shouldn’t be considering adding more $#!@ development to the Bridgeport landscape. We should be thinking only in “high-end,” “upgrade” terms.

  8. Is there any proof the O&G site produces any of these pollutants or is this theory, rumor and innuendo? Has O&G ever been cited for pollution at the BPT plant? They did get cited for the appearance (anti-blight) of the plant but not for pollution problems. This citation also lists dust but no testing data. The current plant is ~600 feet from the nearest residence. If anything, the dust in question would be the biggest hazard to the workers at the plant. I cannot find any air sampling data for this site.

  9. One can be absolutely sure O&G’s other plants in Monroe, Stamford or other communities in the State aren’t 600′ from residential homes and you can bet there is dust testing done for those communities!

    1. The Stamford sites are much closer. Look at the photos I posted. Their is a huge apartment complex right next to one of Stamford’s sites. I guess being absolutely sure is no match for actually checking.

  10. I no longer talk to aliases. I DIRECTLY asked O&G’s attorney if the Norwalk or Stamford sites are in any way similar to the O&G poison pile in Bridgeport and the answer was NO. Bridgeport continues to be used as a dump.

    1. That is fine. If you and a large group of people do not want this in your town, make a referendum and vote it out. But do not try to play some kind of BS card that BPT is getting treated any different than any other place. Most of BPT’s problems are created by BPT, the people and the elected officials. You vote for the same people over and over and think something different is going to happen. You tolerate the same, small group of miscreants that run around causing havoc.

      You move your rock pile somewhere else then stand around and pat yourselves on the back. Congratulations, you are the proud owner of an empty lot. Maybe you will luck out and a liquor store, pawn shop or strip bar will open up. Google map the area. What is really going to move in there? You can see a half dozen empty lots in the area already.

  11. “Environmental Racism” is simply looking at what happens and charging it to what you already believe. Facilities like this are built in places where it is inexpensive to do so. Those places also tend to be inexpensive places to live. So you get these type of facilities in poor, mostly minority areas. That is a case of simple economic rather than some kind of institutional racist plot. An empty lot that is used to store a big pile of rocks is not a valuable thing. If the area becomes too expensive, the rock pile and the urban poor are chased to another area. It is just a coincidence.

  12. Frank, I agree with you about not responding to those who hide behind the cloak of anonymity and inscrutability. Bridgeport is the only city in CT that O&G has a recycling plant as opposed to Stamford that has a recycling center. Big Difference.

    That’s the problem with posting anonymously, a person doesn’t have to be responsible for the bullshit they put out in the atmosphere.

    1. Please explain the difference or correct me if I am wrong. I would say a plant is just a smaller facility. A plant only handles one kind of material while a center handles many.

      You two shouldn’t respond. That is why God gave you two ears and only one mouth. So you can spent twice as much time listening as you do talking.


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