Air-Quality Survey Dismisses Health Concerns for MTA’s Second Ave Subway


MTA recently hired Parsons Brickeroff to conduct an air-quality survey.

Starting on September 12, 2011 and continuing throughout a 4 week period, the firm collected minute-by-minute data for various pollutants at 10 locations between E 69th and 87th Streets.  The final report, revealed that most measured pollutants were below national air quality and industry standards. 

  • High concentrations of one type of particulate matter were “attributed to local traffic emissions, other local sources such as commercial and residential boilers . . . with no significant contribution from blasting activities”, according to the report.
  • Another spike during the 3 to 7 pm blasting period showed concentrations below acceptable levels to indicate no adverse health effects.

According to a statement released Thursday, MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu  “Based on the results of the study, there are no concerns that Second Avenue Subway construction si causing any danger to the public’s health. We will continue to do everything we can to be a good neighbor as we complete this critically important project as quickly as possible.”

Several measures were implemented to mitigate the odors and dust :

  • “Dust Bosses” that spray water mist to force the dust particles to settle within the “muck house” structure were installed in two of the structures.
  • Wet burlap curtains were installed in the shafts to act as screening for dust.
  • Permanently sealing some overhangs
  • Installed additional vents
  • Increased time between blasts to allow for dust and smoke to dissipate.

Residents agree these measures have improved the conditions, but lament the delay in implementation.

The study findings will be presented by the MTA to the Community Board 8’ Second Avenue Task Force at Hunter College, 695 Park Ave, West Building Lecture Hall Room, 714W on January 26, at 6:30 which we will be attending.

Excerpted from DNAInfo.com article by Amy Zimmer.

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