Staten Island’s tainted edge (Geologic City report #3)

Doug Weir over at the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons sent me this alarming review of the lingering effects of Manhattan Project-era uranium storage in Staten Island, New York, by the “Friends of the Pleistocene.” It’s a reminder that the human impact of military waste is not limited to former war zones, but can impact the “home front.” For more on the politics of military waste in New York City, see my post on the munitions abandoned in waters below the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island.

FOP

The Bayonne bridge is the fourth longest steel arch bridge in the world, and was the longest at the time of its completion in 1931. It connects Staten Island to New Jersey. Last week FOP headed for the Bayonne for our Geologic City project, but we hadn’t come to document the bridge.

In 1938, a three story Archer Daniels Midland Company warehouse stood in the shadow of the Bayonne with an address of  2377-2387 Richmond Terrace. Typically the warehouse stored vegetable oil. That year the buildings took on a new purpose when a ship carrying 1200 tons of raw uranium ore from the Belgian Congo unloaded 2,007 steel drums into its secret Staten Island destination.  According to Waterwire, not even the Staten Island Borough President at the time knew of its arrival.

The Staten Island uranium warehouse was arranged by Edgar Sengier. Sengier was a Belgian businessman and director…

View original post 1,168 more words

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~ by Matthew Bolton on 1 August 2014.

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