Two Sides Meet on Trash Project, But Neither Budges

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:02

    Little progress is cited in meeting between administration and East side officials

    Upper East Side Representatives of elected officials on the Upper East Side met with Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration late last week to discuss the city's plan to build a marine transfer station on East 91st Street -- but neither side seemed to move much.

    According to someone briefed on the meeting, the administration presented initiatives it would undertake to mitigate the impact of the station ? known locally as "the dump" ? but its position that construction should go ahead remained largely unchanged. Details of the mitigation efforts weren't immediately available.

    By contrast, nearly every other elected official and community group on the East Side is opposed to the project, citing environmental concerns, fears about how the station would fare in another hurricane, and the fact that school children play at the nearby Asphalt Green recreational area.

    On Friday, State Assemblyman Micah Kellner sent more than 900 letters from constituents to the NY Department of Environmental Conservation, urging the agency to hold a public hearing on New York City's effort to renew its five-year permit to build and operate the station.

    The letters, distributed by Kellner's office and signed by constituents, call for the hearing, "particularly in light of the city's apparent intent to modify its proposal for the site; new federal guidelines for waterfront infrastructure promulgated after Superstorm Sandy; and the significant changes in the surrounding community since the first permit was issued to the City five years ago, including the opening of five new local schools."

    In a statement about the letters, Kellner said, "The reality is that the proposed MTS does not comply with new federal guidelines for waterfront infrastructure and does not take into account the significant changes that have taken place in the community since the permit was first issued five years ago. The community's voices demand to be heard, and we deserve the ability to weigh in on a matter of intense public concern."

    Kellner is also involved in a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prevent the construction of the MTS. The suit alleges that the corps violated the requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act in granting the New York City Department of Sanitation a permit necessary to begin construction on the MTS.