News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
September 30, 2020
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News + Views

Port Authority: Salt’s on Us

By Lisa M. Collins

Columbia Street's Salt Pile on Dec. 9

Following our story on the massive pile of road salt down on Columbia and Degraw streets, blowing the rust-causing irritant all over the neighborhood,the Port Authority says it is on the case.

“We have been working diligently all week to get the salt pile covered. Isco Salt is currently reducing the size of the pile at our request and all is expected to be covered by weekend,” said Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman. “In addition, they have cancelled another shipment of salt to reduce height of pile and hopefully prevent winds from blowing cover off pile.”

Even if covered properly, however, the salt blows off when the pile is uncovered, while the trucks are loading up. Residents want the pile moved to a less residential location.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the land in the Columbia Street Waterfront District (aka West Carroll Gardens, aka Red Hook), where the salt pile sits. The Port Authority leases the land to American Stevedoring International, which stores salt there for the city and others to use when the streets get icy and snowy. The salt pile is now five stories high, and residents are unhappy about the salt blocking views of Manhattan. There are also worries about the health effects of salt; residents have reported irritated throats and eyes. You don’t want the stuff covering your car — it creates rust.

Local resident Lisa Hicks wrote me on Friday, after the story ran, to say that she was heading to work when she saw that her car was covered with white salt dust. She said she called 311, and someone at the city said they’d come check it out.

“It’s terrible. I can’t have this salt all over my car!” Hicks said.

Residents and businesses should call 311 if they have a problem with the salt.

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