Army Corps of Engineers agrees to Rep. Maloney's Request for Public Comments on New East River Dock
Today, U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) had agreed to the request she and her colleagues in local government – State Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblyman Micah Kellner, former Assemblyman Jonathan Bing and Councilmembers Dan Garodnick and Jessica Lappin – made on June 14, 2011 that it solicit public comment on the City's effort to secure a permit to construct a new dock in the East River, which is needed to open a controversial garbage transfer station in the middle of a densely residential neighborhood on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The Army Corps stated that "Prior to making a permit decision, the district must complete essential fish habitat (EFH) consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service under the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act." In connection with that review, ACE is reopening the public notice period to give the community an opportunity to review and comment upon the City's "mitigation" plan in connection with the proposed new dock. Public comments on the plan are due by August 24, 2011.
"The dock that the City is proposing to construct for this ill-conceived site for a garbage transfer station would pose a threat to the delicate marine habitat of the environmentally sensitive East River ecosystem and cause potential disruptions to maritime traffic in the aptly named Hell's Gate section of the East River, an area of that busy waterway that is notoriously difficult to navigate," said Congresswoman Maloney. "I am pleased that the Army Corps is giving residents of my community an opportunity to express their views on a mitigation plan that provides benefits in Brooklyn and the Bronx but does nothing for the area of the East River that would be directly impacted by the Marine Transfer Station."
"It's just one of the many problems the City seems determined to ignore or downplay as it pursues its ill-considered scheme to construct a garbage transfer station at the expense of the health of residents of our community, one that will exert an extraordinarily negative impact on one of the few recreation centers in the city that caters to public school children, as well as two public housing developments and thousands of other people who live and work in the area," said Representative Maloney. "I am hopeful that the Army Corps and the National Marine Fisheries Service will be able to halt this poorly conceived project."