Report: Despite SAS blasting, UES air quality safe

By · Published in 2012

Despite constant blasting and an increase in dust particles, Second Ave. Subway construction has not led to an unsafe level of air pollutants on the Upper East Side, a study released today by the MTA claims. The report, prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff, reviewed by the EPA and available right here, was conducted over a four-week period this fall. It found that pollutants were below nationally acceptable air quality standards and that spikes in pollutant levels coincided with increased automobile traffic and not blasting frequency.

“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 in a statement. “We will continue to do everything we can to be a good neighbor as we complete this critically important project as quickly as possible.”

I can’t speak to the validity of the findings, but it seems that residents are skeptical. Some have noted that Parsons Brinckerhoff is an MTA contractor while others are complaining about smoke from blasting in addition to dust particles and debris. With station work expected to begin at 86th St. this year, these complaints will not cease. Just 59 more months to go.

8 Responses to “Report: Despite SAS blasting, UES air quality safe”

  1. Jerrold says:

    I guess it’s lucky that this article was not about the ENTIRE Second Ave. subway. Because then the last line would’ve had to be “Only 59 years to go. (Or am I being too optimistic?)

    • Alon Levy says:

      Maybe you are, maybe you’re not. (In my sci-fi history, SAS gets completed in the 2070s, in the first few years after the US collapses, before New York slips into permanent depression and can’t build things anymore.)

  2. Connie Citizen says:

    Parsons Brinckerhoff, the firm that conducted the study is conflicted; they are systematically engaged by state transit authorities (Tennesee/Massachusetts), including NYC. They also have been subject to lawsuits regarding their conduct. Why the MTA/2nd Ave Subway Staff did not let the Community chose the firm to conduct the study so that we are ensured impartiality is beyond comp…rehension. Note that the report did state that fine dust, sulfur dioxide and ammonia readings were above standard federal limits. The Community is silly not to organize itself against the MTA and the health hazards they are causing everyone – they are taking us for fools, stating that all of them due to increased traffic – which coincidentially were not around before construction.

    FYI: Parsons Brinckerhoff is the General Engineering Consultant on the LI Rail Road/East Side Access Project;

    Many have developed severe coughs (affectionately known as the Second Ave Subway Cough) and other ailments – I’m not litigious, but maybe it’s time for a class action suit?!

    PEOPLE WE NEED TO ORGANIZE AND TAKE ACTION! THE MTA IS MILKING THE CITIZENS OF NY by their actions, and if enough people get together and protect, we will see results!

  3. Connie Citizen says:

    Repost from Concerned Citizens for Rutherford County…

    Concerned Citizens for Rutherford County (check them out on face book)
    BEWARE OF PARSONS-BRINCKERHOFF…. they cooked the data on our local “comprehensive plan” which lead to a completely false trumped-up report… we are now trying to unwind a costly 2-year plan that now has many citizens up in arms…

    Google Parsons-Brinckerhoff and California High Speed Rail and you’ll see more Data Doctoring… as they are desparate to save their gravy-train from being killed. They initially projected $40 Billion in cost which has now grown to $100 Billion! AND, they claime 3x the ridership to justify the cost and of course, they got caught over-estimating the ridership by that foctor of 3…

    I wouldn’t trust them with my bowling score…


  1. […] the Upper East Side. Although a recent study conducted by MTA contractor Parsons Brinckerhoff found no concerns with the air quality along Second Avenue, residents have continued to claim that dust and debris from the blasting is […]

  2. […] MTA, meanwhile, defended its claims that the air above ground is safe and noted that silica couldn’t be reaching the avenue anyway. “The levels of silica […]

  3. […] have lost customers, available storefronts have remained empty or have lowered their rent, air quality concerns have been raised and residents have complained of constant construction noise, even in the […]

  4. […] have lost customers, available storefronts have remained empty or have lowered their rent, air quality concerns have been raised and residents have complained of constant construction noise, even in the […]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>