Finally I have found out some information that I have been trying to get for some time now and that is when the poisonous, polluting, toxic and irresponsible neighbors in Jamaica, both Regal Recycling & Royal Waste Services came into existence in Jamaica at Douglas Avenue and who were the elected officials at that time. Well, after some digging, I now have some answers but not all of them
Before the polluting and irresponsible Royal Waste came to be at Douglas Ave and 168th St, there was the Wonder Bread Factory (for 130 years), which closed in January of 2011. Yet even then, a few blocks east sat the also poisonous foul smelling recycling waste station, Regal Recycling Company at 172-06 Douglas Avenue, which I am not sure when that place was dumped into Jamaica, but in 2009, three men were killed horribly in a toxic pit and they were given a permit to manage solid waste back in 1991. Regal has had many major violations during it’s history and is still in operation in Jamaica. Royal Waste obviously then was dumped not too long after the closing of the Wonder Bread Factory in 2011.
So during this time line what elected officials were in office, who obviously gave the go ahead for these places and from my calculations since I am not quite sure of when Regal Recycling actually started (1991?):
- Mayor David Dinkins followed by Rudy Gulliani followed by Michael Bloomberg
- Queens Borough President Claire Schulman followed by Helen Marshall
- Councilman Archie Spigner followed by Leroy Comrie
- Senator Dean Skelos followed by Senator Malcolm Smith , both are in prison on corruption charges
- Congressman Floyd Flake followed by Gregory Meeks
- Assembly Member William Scarborough , in prison
So these are the folks who were all in office during the time line of these poisonous waste stations dumped in Jamaica. Seems like the same crew responsible for so much bullshit and misery in this community and yet a couple of them are still in office and still NOT looking out for the community, while some of the others like Flake & Spigner are still pulling strings. So if fingers need to be pointed, this is the crew to point them at.
For you history buffs and others here are some interesting articles on the subject that I found. AND you find out just what BAD Neighbors these companies actually are not the good neighbors that Royal Vice President Mike Reaki claims.
From New York Times:
3 Men Die in Toxic Well in Queens
Three workers at a waste transfer station in Queens were overcome by toxic fumes Monday afternoon and died, apparently falling one after another into the Stygian gloom of a putrid, manhole-size, 18-foot-deep well they were trying to vacuum, fire officials said.
A rope and ladder dangling into the hole, which was filled with deadly concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas, and the accounts of witnesses at the scene suggested to the authorities that one victim had fallen first to his death and that the other two had followed in successive, futile rescue efforts.Firefighters found the bodies — including those of a father and son — floating face down in four feet of murky water at the bottom of the hole at the Regal Recycling Company at 172-06 Douglas Avenue in Jamaica, an ugly street of waste plants, garbage scows and sheds enclosed by chain-link fences and topped by fluttering American flags.
“I don’t know if they knew the exact danger,” John Sudnik, deputy assistant fire chief of the Queens Borough Command, told reporters at the scene. “In that type of atmosphere, it’s very toxic.”
The police identified the victims as Shlomo Dahan, 49, of Flushing, Queens, the owner of the S. Dahan Piping and Heating Corporation, the South Ozone Park contractor hired to clean the well; his son Harel Dahan, 23, of East 73rd Street in Brooklyn; and Rene Francisco Rivas, 52, of Jamaica Avenue in Queens, a native of El Salvador who was an employee of Regal Recycling.
The bodies were raised to the surface by firefighters using a hoist and ropes and harnesses that were carried into the well by Firefighter Robert Lagnese, 33, of Rescue Squad 270, a six-year fire veteran trained to work in confined spaces. He wore protective clothing and an enclosed breathing apparatus, and though he suffered no apparent ill effects, he was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for observation.
Chief Sudnik said the concentration of hydrogen sulfide in the hole was measured at 200 parts per million, double the amount that environmental experts consider “imminently dangerous.” He said an exposure to 50 parts per million could be lethal within 10 minutes, suggesting that concentrations four times that amount would be deadly in a much shorter time.
While the source of the hydrogen sulfide in the hole was unknown, the chief called the gas a common byproduct of the decomposition of organic matter. Employees at Regal said the hole was a catch basin for runoff water that was probably laced with chemical debris from the recycling yard, where trucks deliver garbage and other materials, much of it from construction sites.
Behind the hole is a 40-foot multistory shed, with bays where the trucks pull up with materials to be sorted for recycling. Signs indicate the types: “Putrescible” and “Non-Putrescible,” separating solid wastes from those that are likely to become rotten. Another sign at the gate says: “No drums, asbestos, hazardous materials, medical waste or tires.”
The industrial neighborhood, which stands on the south side of Douglas Avenue opposite the Long Island Rail Road tracks, is crowded with waste collection companies and adrift in odors that suggest rotting food and oil. The avenue is littered with oil stains, broken glass and dirty piles of something resembling eggplant.
Mr. Dahan and his son, who arrived at the well in a truck equipped with suction equipment to vacuum it out, were joined by Mr. Rivas. Reconstructing what happened from witness accounts and other evidence at the scene, Chief Sudnik said that Harel Dahan apparently went first into the hole, which is about 3 feet in diameter, descending a ladder affixed to a rope shortly after 2 p.m.
It was unclear how far down he went before being overcome by the toxic fumes, and it was unclear if he was killed by the fumes or drowned in the water at the bottom, officials said. In any case, when he did not return, his father went down after him. He, too, was overcome and fell into the water below. Mr. Rivas, in turn, went down, apparently in an attempt to rescue the others, and was overcome and fell to the bottom.
Oscar Rivas, 27, Mr. Rivas’s son, said firefighters told him that his father had been the third to die, in an attempt to save the others. “They told me it was an accident, that he saw two men fall into the hole, and he jumped in to try and help them,” Mr. Rivas said. “He was always like that, always helping people. He was a good person.”
Witnesses were heard screaming, and a call was made to 911 at 2:32 p.m., fire officials said. The first trucks arrived at 2:39 p.m., but apparently it was already too late.
But firefighters called Consolidated Edison and asked for assistance in a rescue operation. Con Edison sent two vacuum trucks to help clear debris, but while they were en route the request for assistance was canceled. D. Joy Faber, a utility spokeswoman who talked to a Con Edison worker at the scene, said “it was discovered that there were three victims that had expired.”
The task of recovering the bodies, with a device called a high-point anchor rescue system — a rig that holds hoisting ropes steady over a hole — took about 20 minutes, Chief Sudnik said.
As a crowd of people gathered at the gates, Abe Rosenthal, who identified himself as a longtime friend of Shlomo Dahan, said the contractor had been born in Israel and owned his own company, which cleaned storm drains. It was unclear how much experience the Dahans had in dealing with highly toxic material, and it was unknown if they had been warned of the dangers.
Mr. Rosenthal speculated that “they had no idea that there was gas.”
“He was a very sweet guy,” Mr. Rosenthal said of the elder Mr. Dahan. He said Mr. Dahan was married and the father of three sons and a daughter. “I can’t believe that it happened,” he said.
Peter Ferrier, 49, a neighbor of Rene Rivas, said Mr. Rivas lived with his wife, a son and another family, and recalled that he had seen him going to work on Monday, clad in jeans and a T-shirt and carrying his customary black and red backpack.
“I saw him with his bag,” Mr. Ferrier said. “He was taking off, and he said, ‘What’s up, Papi?’ Mr. Ferrier said he rarely saw Mr. Rivas because he was always working. “This man always works, every day he goes to work.”
Efforts to reach officials of the company were not immediately successful. Calls to Regal Recycling and to Royal Waste Services, an adjacent plant at 172-08 Douglas Avenue that is believed to be affiliated with Regal, were answered by people who declined to speak. Regal is owned by Michael Reali.
According to state records, the commercial plant is run by M. & P. Reali Enterprises, doing business as the Regal Recycling Company. A man who answered the phone at the plant said the company had no immediate comment.
The Web site of the State Department of Environmental Conservation describes the plant as a solid waste transfer station and recyclables handling and recovery plant, which is authorized to handle putrescible waste, as well as construction and demolition debris.
From 2000 to 2002, according to government records, the plant petitioned the Department of Environmental Conservation and the city’s Department of Sanitation for permission to increase its capacity for the management of putrescible solid waste more than threefold, to 1,200 cubic yards (600 tons) per day from 355 cubic yards (177.5 tons) per day.
The proposal, which the two agencies found would not have a negative effect on the environment, called for maintaining the plant’s capacity for handling construction and demolition debris but decreased the permitted on-site storage capacity for such debris.
According to the Environmental Conservation Department, the company has had a permit to manage solid waste since 1991. Its current permit allows for a daily capacity of 600 tons per day of solid waste and 266 tons per day of construction and demolition debris. The department intends to send staff members to inspect the plant, said a department spokeswoman, Maureen Wren.
In 2006, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the plant $1,500 after a worker was crushed to death by a Caterpillar wheel-loader the previous year, according to federal records. The Daily News reported that the worker, Effraine Calderone, 46, an immigrant from El Salvador, had been leaning against the wheel of the massive tractor when the driver put the machine in gear and rolled over him.
Records from the most recent OSHA inspection, conducted earlier this year, show that the federal agency identified several serious violations at the plant, including violations concerning floor and wall openings and holes, industrial stairs, respiratory protection, medical services, and oxygen-fuel gas welding and cutting. The company was directed to pay thousands of dollars in penalties in connection with those violations.
From The Daily News:
Wonder Bread’s parent company, Hostess, is laying off 175 workers and reassigning 15 from the Douglas Ave. facility, corporation officials said.
Bitter bakers fretted about their fates after attending a job fair at the plant Wednesday.
Employees said they earn between $40,000 and $70,000, while job fair recruiters – including Bartlett Dairy and Elmhurst Dairy – offered annual salaries of $30,000 or less.
“It’s an insult,” said Edwin Ramos, 46, a factory painter who has worked for Wonder Bread for 25 years. “It’s a joke, a big joke.”
Another employee griped that unemployment benefits would pay more than the jobs being advertised at the fair, such as bus drivers and guards at JFK and LaGuardia airports.
But City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), who helped organize the fair with the city Workforce1 Career Center,described the event as “well organized.” He stressed that jobs may start with low salaries and go up.
“There may be a better opportunity than they realize,” he said.
Opened in the 1870s as the Shults Bread Co., the bakery began producing Wonder Bread in the 1920s. Nostalgic locals recalled factory tours with free samples of sweet bread.
But Hostess announced last year that modernizing the bakery would be too costly and difficult.
The decision to close the facility left employees surprised and angry.
Ramos said he accepted a job at the Hostess garage across the street that pays $2.25 less per hour than his painting gig.
“For the last three months, they’ve had a noose around our necks and are choking us a little more each day,” said truck driver Gary Roberts, 59.
Another employee jokingly asked a reporter Wednesday, “You don’t have jobs for us?”
Hostess plans to sell the site. “For Sale” signs from CB Richard Ellis, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate firms, are posted on both the bakery and the garage.
The adjacent outlet store, where shoppers are greeted by ads with Captain Cupcake and Twinkie the Kid, will remain open and relocate elsewhere in Queens when the factory is sold, company officials said.