Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) condemned the decision of the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) to issue a permit allowing the City to erect a massive marine garbage transfer station (MTS) on the East River waterfront and vowed to keep fighting the proposal. The facility would have a significant impact on Asphalt Green and residents of Yorkville, with hundreds of garbage trucks expected to drive through playing fields and residential buildings on their way to the expanded garbage station in the East River.
Yesterday, the City of New York announced that it had received a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) for an expanded "footprint" in the East River that will include a huge dock necessary for the marine trash transfer station.
"I am disappointed by the ACE decision to grant a permit for a project that will harm the habitat for East River fish, have a significant negative impact on the health and quality of life in a densely residential neighborhood and make the waterfront much less accessible in the East 90s," Maloney said. "The ACE ignored the impact on essential fish habitat and the express concerns by the EPA that one of the City's mitigation projects does not do anything to mitigate the impact of the 91st Street facility."
"It makes no sense to me that at the same time as the Mayor is developing a green necklace around the City elsewhere, he is placing a garbage dump alongside Carl Schurz Park, John Finley Walk and Asphalt Green," Maloney continued. "I am more determined than ever to keep fighting to halt this ill-conceived project."
The proposed MTS, which will have a large presence on the East River, would process as much as 4,290 tons of garbage per day, causing an endless line of garbage trucks to rumble through a densely-populated residential area to converge on the proposed site. The proposed site is adjacent to two large public housing developments, many high-rise residential buildings, Asphalt Green (an athletic and recreational complex that serves thousands of New York City kids every day), John Finley Walk and Carl Schurz Park. The proposed site is also located in a hurricane flood zone "A", considered most at risk for potential flooding and storm surges.
On August 24, 2011, the US Environmental Protection Agency submitted comments to the ACE saying, in pertinent part, "EPA does not object to removal of these materials in the Pier 4 area but we question the specific ecological benefits of dredging this 0.15 acre area between the two projects in relatively deep water. This second mitigation project does not appear to address the shading effects at 91st Street. We recommend DSNY explore other options to mitigate for the 0.15 acres of net shading unaccounted for at the South Bronx location." Although DSNY has not changed its mitigation plan, the ACE issued its permit last Friday.