Aug 4 2016
ToxiCity Map Shows Contamination Across North Brooklyn
Screenshot from The Greenpoint-Williamsburg ToxiCity Map.
Photo credit: The Greenpoint-Williamsburg ToxiCity Map
August 4, 2016
ToxiCity Map Shows Contamination Across North Brooklyn

Category

Environment

Visualize this: a new, interactive map from a Brooklyn-based nonprofit could tell you whether you’re living above a toxic plume.

The Greenpoint-Williamsburg ToxiCity Map, funded by a $50,000 grant from the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, launched this month after two years of production.

Showing polluted sites, waste transfer facilities, and areas susceptible to flooding, the map overlays data from government sources, helping users visualize environmental conditions in North Brooklyn.

“People need to understand where they live and how to protect themselves,” Allison Currier, an environmental organizer at Neighbors Allied for Good Growth told DNAinfo.

“The real estate market and the real estate developers, they’re not going to tell people, ‘Oh you’re living on a toxic site,'” she said. “They’re not going to tell people about that because they want people to buy the real estate.”

Peeling Back the Layers

The map contains two types of layers: environmental risks and neighborhood characteristics. Users can select any combination in order to see how these components overlap and interact.

For example, selecting “Waste Transfer Stations” and “Asthma Risk” seems to show a correlation between the two, with higher rates of asthma in areas with multiple stations.

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A map showing locations of waste transfer stations and asthma rates in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.

Users can also see “Potentially Polluted Sites,” which compiles data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and other state and city data and studies.

This layer shows all state and federal Superfund and brownfield sites, spills (accidental releases of petroleum, toxic chemicals, gases, and other hazardous materials), and historic sites like the Meeker plume and the Exxon-Mobil spill. Additionally, users can click on any spill to get details, including what was spilled and whether it has been remediated.

Finally, users can explore the projected flood plains for the year 2020, based on data from the New York Panel on Climate Change.

Screenshot from The Greenpoint-Williamsburg ToxiCity Map.
Photo credit: The Greenpoint-Williamsburg ToxiCity Map