Greenpoint Experiences Discomfort Over Funding Its ‘Fart Factory’

02/17/2012 1:12 PM |


Back in January, we learned that Greenpoint would be getting its very own anaerobic gas facility, a “fart factory,” if you will, to turn human methane fumes into usable natural gas. Pretty nifty if you think about it, considering all the farts that go to waste in this city. The goal was to plug recycled gas from Newtown Creek’s sewage plant sludge into National Grid’s pipeline, which would potentially heat 2,500 homes. But now The Brooklyn Paper reports that those funds might come from grants intended to clean up the neighborhood, home to one of the most toxic waterways in the country, probably polluted by National Grid (among others) in the first place.

National Grid was identified as one of the six “potentially responsible parties” for the toxic, toilet-like state of Newtown Creek, designated by the EPA as a Superfund site in 2010. BP America, Phelps Dodge and Exxon Mobil also make the list, as well as the City of New York, for keeping a leaky garbage incinerator and sewage treatment plant on the banks.

In 2008, the city paid the state $10 million in a payout for polluting the city’s own turf. That money was then set aside for a Greenpoint environmental project fund, from which some say National Grid might seek support.

Critics say the plan stinks, blasting government bureaucrats for shuffling money owed to the community from the city, to the state, to an energy company, and back to the city — a process they cynically call “recycling.”

“Oh hell no! You gotta be crazy!” said Greenpoint resident Laura Hofmann. “If National Grid could think that our money could be used so a city agency could get more money, that’s absurd!” [Brooklyn Paper]

The funding path looks messy and uncomfortable, but according to the Department of Environmental Protection, the project is a “precedent-setting” boon for clean energy. Still, the location of the fart factory threatens another environmental plan in the works—a park next to the sewage treatment plant. Poor Greenpoint. If only there were an easier way to deal with this shit.

You can follow Sydney Brownstone on Twitter @sydbrownstone

[viaThe Brooklyn Paper]