Agreeing wholeheartedly with Breena’s “Observations” (44)

(44th in a series on Martin Tower)

Martin Tower demolition May 19

Peter Crownfield is officially retired but spends most of his time working with students in his role as internship coordinator for the Alliance for Sustainable Communities–Lehigh Valley.


I was unable to be at the meeting last night, but I agree wholeheartedly with these points [Breena Holland’s “Observations”]. It’s reassuring that the city is no longer boosting this as a spectator event.

The study from the European Journal of Scientific Research [cited by Gadfly a couple of days ago: “An Evaluation of Buildings Destruction Technique and Its Menace”] makes clear that it is much easier to control the dust from slow demolition and that deconstruction is much better from an environmental and public health point of view — even if these processes produce the same amount of dust, which is questionable at best. And, as Breena noted, residents don’t have the benefit of protective gear that workers would have. And the cost could even be LOWER than the combined total of the implosion, the public safety services, the immediate cleanup, plus the cost of removal of hundreds of tons of dust & debris.

I haven’t heard or seen any indication that the city or the contractor has considered the long term impacts of silica and other fine-particle pollution.

Based on my experience with street sweepers, they rarely use enough water to control the dust to which pedestrians are exposed — and will the contractor sweep (or pay for) all sidewalks & parking lots to be swept. How about dust that falls on people’s lawns & gardens? (Or the compost center, which Breena has mentioned before.)

Some studies have shown a fallout zone of 10km or even 20km. Have the citizens and municipalities within a 20 km radius been warned? (Depending on wind conditions, that could extend as far as Phillipsburg, Nazareth, Coopersburg, Dorney Park, or beyond!) It is unlikely that larger particles, or even PM10, would travel this far, but smaller particles could.

P.S. — I also agree that Bob Novatnack is probably the best person the city could have for this.


Gadfly invites observations from followers who attended the meeting or who have pertinent knowledge — even if they differ from views posted so far.

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