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NY1 Exclusive: MTA Contractors Mishandle Debris From Second Avenue Construction

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TWC News: NY1 Exclusive: MTA Contractors Mishandle Debris From Second Avenue Construction
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A common complaint among residents who live near the Second Avenue Subway construction project is the amount of dust created, and some MTA's contractors may be making matters worse by not following the city's rules for handling construction debris. NY1's Transit reporter Tina Redwine filed the following exclusive report.

Dust is a fact of life on parts of the Upper East Side these days as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority constructs the Second Avenue subway.

"People, when that dust comes up, literally run through the streets, covering their faces," said one local.

The MTA has taken steps to try to contain it, but it looks like the agency's contractors are not always following city rules for properly containing the dust from the site.

NY1 crews found a number of trucks driving for blocks before raising their tarps in violation of a rule requiring trucks to cover their debris.

The station's cameras also caught debris clearly shedding dust as it was loaded into a contractor's truck. That would appear to be in violation of city rules requiring construction material to be "sufficiently wetted to prevent dust from being airborne."

The city Department of Transportation requires that trucks take mandated routes. In this case, the trucks here are supposed to go down Second Avenue down to either 66th Street or 67th Street and then take First or Third Avenues out of Manhattan.

NY1 tracked a violator from the Second Avenue subway construction crossing Central Park and not covering the load.

Enforcement of the correct routes, according to the Department of Transportation, is up to the police department, but the NYPD had not commented on NY1's story.

As for the uncovered trucks, the city Department of Environmental Protection says so far it has not received any complaints.

The agency has received 19 air quality complaints since 2010, but inspectors found no violations.

Assemblyman Micah Kellner said the MTA as owner of the site has to force its contractors to comply.

"I think it's going to take a lawsuit and people calling for construction to stop because one thing MTA has said, it wants to get this done by hook or by crook," said Kellner.

NY1 offered to show the MTA its video of the trucks, but the station was told the agency did not have time to view it.

MTA officials say they will remind contractors about the regulations.

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