Monday, June 24, 2013

Black Billowing Smoke Coming From Transcanada Big Allis Ravenswood Power Plant In Long Island City Causing Concern On Roosevelt Island

About 4:15 this afternoon a very heavy,

scary looking, black smoke was coming out

 Image From Adib Mansour

of the Transcanada Big Allis Power Plant in Long Island City causing concern among Roosevelt Island residents and others.

It lasted for about 25 minutes

Image From Judy Berdy

and then


A Roosevelt Island resident reports being told by the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department that debris got struck in the smokestack causing the black smoke but that it is safe now.

UPDATE 6/25:

Image From Eva Bosbach

Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member Micah Kellner forwards this response from Transcanada's Community Relations Coordinator Sharon Scott:
I appreciate that your office reached out and inquired about the smoke situation at the plant today. Below is a brief description of the day’s events. I hope this is helpful in bringing comfort to Assembly member Kellner’s constituents and our New York City neighbors.

At approximately 4:30 pm ET, TransCanada's Ravenswood Power facility lost one of the eight boiler combustion fans in an operating unit. As a result of the loss of this combustion fan, black smoke was present in the stack and people would have seen this for a short period of time. Corrective action was taken immediately and the situation is under control.

There is no risk to human health and our personnel are investigating what took place. Until we can determine what caused the fan to stop and safely make repairs, this individual unit will be operating under a limited load. However, the Ravenswood facility has the ability to deliver additional power from our reserve units on site, which will allow us to meet our commitments to our customers in the New York City area.
Roosevelt Island's interim Public Safety Department Director John McManus told me last night that the cause of the black smoke was debris getting caught in the smokestack.


Frank Farance said...

And happened just as the Ravenswood striking workers were lining up on Vernon. I'm sure they groused: Had The Union's Demands Been Met, This Kind Of Thing Wouldn't Have Happened. :-)

CheshireKitty said...

Hahaha.. what a heavy-handed tactic: Smoke out the demonstrators/strikers.. I hope the strikers held their noses and picketed despite the smoke!

CheshireKitty said...

Here's the CBS2 story on the smoke - caused by a "defective boiler" in their account..

CheshireKitty said...

According to News4NY the reason for the smoke was a boiler combustion fan that lost power

rilander said...

No risk to human health? Bull! What about the folks on ventilators? What about asthmatics?

(By the way, I have 4 East River Bridges and a couple of tunnels to sell you!)

YetAnotherRIer said...

Uh, people with health issues are not going to be more impacted by this than they are already on a daily basis.

Frank Farance said...

Agree with YetAnotherRIer: The prevailing winds are from the West, which was the case yesterday. Maybe "little risk to human health on Roosevelt Island" would be more accurate. Astoria is already Asthma Alley.

CheshireKitty said...

And the Upper E. Side is no slouch when it comes to black carbon (soot) either. So RI is sandwiched between 2 areas that constantly receive huge amounts of air pollution.

Yet, asthma rates do not correlate exactly to the amount of soot deposited on an area - with poorer neighborhoods suffering higher asthma rates (i.e. Harlem has higher - more than double - the asthma rates than the UES - although it is adjacent to the UES).
Crumbling buildings, dust, dirt, pests such as roaches and mice/rats - all are implicated in the higher asthma rates.

Here is an article that describes some interesting research into another possible culprit-pollen from plants growing in abandoned lots- that may explain the difference in asthma rates between affluent and poor neighborhoods.

Eddie Coyle said...

The air is 20 times cleaner than it was years ago. A few minutes exposure to carbon on an occasional basis is not an issue. If you want to try a world without "Big Allis", be prepared to pay double for your electricity and put up with brownouts. People are so technologically ignorant of what it truly takes to power our modern world.

Eddie Coyle said...

It is a more likely possibility the fan was sabotaged prior to the walkout IF anything was done on purpose. Common tactic in strikes.