Third challenge to East 91st transfer station rejected

Additional hearing on park status set for August 2007. State Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell, IV and Upper East Side residents opposed the City’s plan to reopen the marine transfer station at East 91st Street in Manhattan as part of the Bloomberg administration’s Solid Waste Management Plan. The parties filed an article 78 petition, alleging that the environmental impact statement for the entire waste management plan was insufficient since it failed to adequately assess the construction impacts of reopening the East 91st Street site. The petitioners alleged that the

Residents claim construction for the E. 91st Street transfer station will impact Asphalt Green. Photo:Morgan Kunz.

EIS failed to consider safety issues for residents that use Asphalt Green, an open space next to the transfer station, and it inadequately discussed impacts to Asphalt Green from construction staging and construction of a new ramp. The City also improperly bypassed requisite state approval since construction would require use of a portion of Asphalt Green, which equaled taking over parkland for a non-park purpose.

The City countered that the EIS was sufficient, and contractors would be specifically prohibited from using Asphalt Green for construction staging. According to the City, Asphalt Green is not dedicated parkland and any construction impact would be temporary, failing to constitute a substantial intrusion on dedicated parkland.

Justice Michael Stallman, who had also rejected two earlier challenges to the East 91st Street transfer station, 3 CityLand 144 (Oct. 15, 2006), found the construction analysis in the EIS to be sufficient. The court noted that most construction staging would occur on East River barges and the ramp planned to bisect Asphalt Green would take only 11 months to construct. Due to the short term of construction, the court ruled that the EIS did not need a detailed analysis.

After dismissing the challenge to the EIS, Stallman ruled that the dedicated parkland issue required additional review. The court set a new hearing date for August 2, 2007.

Powell v. City of New York, 2007 N.Y. Slip Op. 31774(U) (N.Y.Cty.Sup.Ct. June 18, 2007) (Stallman, J.).

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