Bronx Democratic Leaders Celebrate Opening of Polluting Business in Borough

We fought the good fight and eventually lost to corporate greed and politicians who care nothing about the health of our communities.

Today top Bronx elected officials gathered to celebrate the opening of FreshDirect’s massive new headquarters on the Bronx waterfront in Port Morris at the Harlem River yards a move which was overwhelmingly opposed by the community and environmental groups.

Now FreshDirect gets to run over 1,000 trucks through our South Bronx streets creating an even more hazardous situation for our residents suffering from asthma in an area where we already have some of the highest rates in the nation of this deadly disease.

South Bronx Unite issued the following statement:

Top Bronx Dems To Cut FreshDirect Ribbon Despite Community’s Health Concerns

Local Mott Haven Group Partners with Columbia University to Document Air Quality Impact of Subsidized Developments at Harlem River Yards Like FreshDirect

Today, at 9:00 am, Bronx County Democratic Chair, Marco Crespo, and Borough President Ruben Diaz, will join a ribbon cutting ceremony in regard to FreshDirect’s opening in the South Bronx, according to City & State. The company will bring 1,000 daily diesel truck trips through the most polluted neighborhood in the five boroughs of NYC, according to the NYC Department of Health Statistics. FreshDirect opens its doors with a windfall $150 million subsidy despite lobbying to be excluded from living wage requirements, a troubling immigrant labor history and the refusal to perform a full environmental impact study to measure the effects of its trucks in an EPA-recognized environmental justice community where 1 in 5 kids has asthma.

“This community has been bold enough to hope for cleaner air, healthier lives and a say in our future,” said Mychal Johnson, co-founder of South Bronx Unite and member of the Board of Directors of the South Bronx community land trust (CLT). “Today, behind three fences and two security checkpoints, they continue trying to tell us that this is good for us. And the Bronx machine is standing with them.”

Since April 2017, South Bronx Unite has been working in partnership with Columbia University to conduct a study examining how truck traffic affects air pollution and noise levels in the Mott Haven and Port Morris neighborhoods. The project was motivated by developments at Harlem River Yards in Port Morris. The before-and-after study will assess how the opening of this kind of food distribution facility affects traffic, noise and air quality—all known health risks.


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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.