Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good Neighbor Hazard Control

Proposed Good Neighbor Guidelines for hazard control during Demolition/Construction in residential areas.  March 13, 2007 

To: Alderman Marcia Johnson

Fr: Ellie Goldberg, 79 Elmore Street, Newton, MA 02459   617 965-9637

Dear Marcia

This note is a response to your request for suggestions for the Aldermen to consider regarding the prevention of demolition hazards (the creation of large quantities of dust and wide distribution of pollutants) that the Morseland area neighborhood experienced last summer during Congregation Shaarei Tefilah's demolition of the historic 1770's house on Morseland Avenue.   

As I reported to you at the time, the demolition of 29-31 Morseland Ave. was done, with no notice to the neighborhood, and with no containment or wetting to control the clouds of dust that spread all over the neighborhood onto passersby, into open windows of homes throughout the neighborhood, contaminating yards and gardens, children's play equipment, etc.  It is not unusual for old building materials and soil to be contaminated with a variety of pollutants including lead, arsenic, chlordane and other pesticides, Fiberglas, asbestos, and other contaminants.

This is a copy of the proposed Good Neighbor Guidelines I shared with Michael Kaufman at a meeting at Beth El last night where we discussed the upcoming Beth El demolition/construction plans.  I would be interested to know if city departments already have responsibility for health and safety, traffic, noise and pollution control of other hazards and nuisances and what updates of training, clarification of expectations, coordination, or additional resources could prevent and protect neighbors of future demolition and construction projects in our neighborhood as well as in other residential areas facing similar projects.

Please contact me if you have questions. Please forward to anyone you think would have an interest.

Ellie Goldberg, 617 965-9637