Upgrade of Hunts Point pollution plant approved

Borough President and community board had raised concerns about odor, traffic and views from nearby park. The Planning Commission on July 25, 2007 unanimously approved the Department of Environmental Protection’s plan to upgrade and expand the Hunts Point water pollution control plant by constructing two, 130-foot tall, egg-shaped digester buildings. The plan includes the transfer to Parks of 1.2 acres of land which, during construction, will be used for staging. After completion of construction, Parks will add the 1.2 acres to Barretto Point Park, a new City park located immediately adjacent to the water pollution control plant along the East River. Constructed on former DEP land and opened in 2006, Barretto Point Park provides basketball courts, an amphitheater and a waterfront promenade.

The environmental impact statement completed for the project identified significant impacts to traffic and to the visual character of Barretto Point Park since the 130- foot high digester towers would be prominent and visible to park users. Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión raised multiple concerns over the control of odor from the plant, air quality impacts, and the noise, dust and traffic caused by the towers’ construction.

When the project reached the Commission for a public hearing, a DEP representative explained that state and federal regulations required the upgrade and renovation of the plant, which currently serves the Bronx, City Island, Hart Island and the north side of Rikers Island. Following the public hearing, DEP sent a lengthy response to the Commission, addressing each of the concerns set out by Carrión and Bronx Community Board 2. DEP, in the letter, agreed to take additional steps to further mitigate odor impacts, but primarily relied on the agreed-upon mitigation measures, which emerged from the FEIS process.

When the plan came for a vote before the Commission, Chair Amanda Burden’s comments focused only on the expansion of Barretto Point Park. Calling the park “one of the highlights of the Bronx,” Burden said that she was pleased to vote yes on DEP’s plan. The full Commission agreed. The City Council voted on August 6, 2007 to review the plan but has yet to set a hearing date.

ULURP Process
Lead Agency: DEP, FEIS
Comm.Bd.: BX 2, App’d, 17-5-2
Boro. Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 11-0-0
Council: Pending

CPC: Hunts Point Plant / Barretto Point Park (C 070008 PSX – site selection); (C 070009 MMX – City map amendment) (C 070010 MMX – City map amendment) (July 25, 2007). CITYADMIN

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