Catsimatidis to Turn Grease into Gold with Greenpoint Biodiesel Plant
(The New York World) Permit pending for long-delayed facility on Newtown Creek that would transform food oil into vehicle fuel
New York City’s first large-scale biodiesel fuel production facility is slated to come to Greenpoint, courtesy of former Republican mayoral candidate and Gristedes magnate John Catsimatidis.
Catsimatidis-owned United Biofuels is seeking approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for a permit to convert an existing fuel-storage facility on Newtown Creek to take vegetable oil and turn it into fuel that can power diesel-burning vehicles.
“Hopefully it’ll be finished before the end of the year,” Catsimatidis said of the New York City biodiesel plant. “The community is all for it.”
Because the production facility is located in an industrial neighborhood, and next to the busy Greenpoint Ave. Bridge over the creek, community members said they expect it won’t add too much truck traffic.
“This facility is essentially taking industrial wasteland and turning it into a productive use of the land,” said Richard Mazur, executive director of the North Brooklyn Development Corporation, a community improvement group.
Members of several Greenpoint community groups — including the Newtown Creek Alliance, Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee and Greenpoint Waterfront Associations for Parks and Planning — said they weren’t aware of the pending permit and were still determining what it could mean for their community.
The permit — which is open for public review until April 4 —will allow the company to “install equipment for biodiesel fuel purification, methanol recovery, wastewater treatment and vapor control.”
The facility sits on the former location of an ExxonMobil refinery and adjoins the Newtown Creek Superfund hazardous waste cleanup project supervised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Leah Archibald, the executive director of the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation, said she welcomes the facility to the area and called it a “win-win.” READ MORE