Friday, January 20, 2012

New York Second Avenue Subway blasting did not exceed pollutant levels

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New York's MTA Capital Construction (MTACC) has released results of a comprehensive study to assess the impact of blasting on air quality. The report found that most measured pollutants were below applicable national air quality and industry standards. Exceeded levels of some pollutants did not coincide with blasting and were primarily attributed to traffic emissions and other local sources.

The study was conducted by Parsons Brinckerhoff and reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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

The monitoring program collected data for a comprehensive list of ten pollutants to capture the effects of construction activities. Ten air monitoring stations along Second Avenue (six stations located between 69th and 73rd Streets, and four stations located between 83rd and 87th Streets) collected air samples during construction activities continuously for one month from September 12 through October 8, 2011. The monitoring stations and instruments used were selected under advisement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Measured pollutants were below air quality standards and guidance levels with the exception of some fine dust, sulfur dioxide and ammonia readings which did not coincide with blasting.

The report will also be presented at the January 26, 2012 meeting of the Second Avenue Subway Task Force Committee of Community Board 8.

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