Dear Councilwoman Rose, Borough President Oddo, Senator Savino, Assemblywoman Malliotakis, and DA Donovan and Public Advocate James:
Tonight at the CB1 meeting, I submitted our statements to the Department of Investigation requesting an audit of the Building Department. This 29 page report was sent to DOI back in May with our concerns of rubber stamping and asbestos at Mount Manresa site. I submit to you also for your help to make sure the violations at Mount Manresa are fully investigated. Furthermore, I can tell you firsthand, the Savo Brothers are still NOT operating a safe site, for the public or the workers. THIS MUST BE STOPPED. This is a Public Health Emergency.
UNSAFE CONDITIONS FOR THE PUBLIC
DEP and the Building Department state that the workers are doing “clean up on the site.” and they are monitoring, but as it was confirmed that the asbestos was friable, asbestos released into the air the dust is also on the trees, in the soil and anything else in the area, in addition to the buildings. Every time material is moved at Mount Manresa, if it stirs up this friable asbestos and lead dust, the community is at risk.
Beth Malone (who lives behind the site) reported on the day the Savo Brothers were demoing and spraying down the site (on 9/2/2014). She reported a chemical sensation in her nostrils, and headaches. We learned today that we should have called 911 and the site would have be halted immediately. Unfortunately, the Savo’s had at least 4 more days to contaminate the community with asbestos and lead. Today at the CB1 meeting, a resident asked, what test have been done to the surrounding homes that they are safe from harmful dust?
In addition to the hundreds of daily commuters the students from St. John Villa (see photo) and St. Joseph Hill students take the bus right on Narrows Road North, right outside the Mount Manresa property. Has the school been notified of the risk to the students? Isn’t this the responsibility of the Savo Brothers or the DEP to notify the schools in the area?
Today, even after all we have brought to the attention to officials at DEP, DEC, and OSHA, the public is also STILL at risk. Despite the fact that the abatement work MAY be done, at this time the buildings are uncovered, no tents are around the demoed areas and the community is still at risk for asbestos dust. Is the DEP monitoring all the debris that is being brought out of the site, and insuring that it is being properly disposed of? I think it is clear that Savos are willing to cut corners to take their chances that violations will be overlooked or ignored.
UNSAFE FOR WORKERS – OSHA VIOLATIONS OCCURING DAILY
As far as the site and safety, I have witnessed (as has resident Gloria Tepper) that the workers are only wearing green vests, no protective equipment hardhats etc for the work they are doing on the trees or asbestos(protective suits). Violations are occurring on the site daily.
For example, the attached photos (taken Saturday) show LARGE trees being lifted by a crane with men standing underneath and above, no protective equipment. This was reported to 311 on Saturday along with the open gate, and today the issue was “resolved” with no violations given.
We have reported safety issues on the site to Bryan Cranston and Jack Foster at OSHA, but I am not aware if they have investigated. I have to ask has the building department, DEP, Paul Toth Demo, or Savo Brothers reported the asbestos to OSHA? PAUL TOTH (the demo company) employees and all others involved in the work currently at Mount Manresa should be aware of the asbestos contamination on the site (and their rights for future damages) and they should be wearing and using the right equipment at all times.
BUILDING DEPARTMENT AUDIT MUST BE DONE
As far as the audit of the Building Department, based on recent developments, only investigating Gaspare Santore is just scratching the surface.
I believe additional investigation should be done beyond Mr. Santoro. Mr. Santoro’s certification was supposed to also include a pre demo inspection by the BEST division. Who signed off on pre inspection? Why didn’t he question Mr. Santoro’s report as well? Furthermore, with Mr. Santoro’s well documented past, (and Staten Island being such a “small world”) how did he get his absestos certification, and why didn’t his inspection raise a red flag at Mount Manresa? In 2009, the NYP reported at least six inspectors were found taking bribes, it is very likely this is still occurring in Staten Island as well. http://nypost.com/2009/09/08/buildings-graft-shocker/ The building department and DEP needs to all be fully investigated for the public good.
I know this is not the only issue on your plate, and I am sorry we are constantly contacting you, but this is a PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.
Thank you in advance for your help.