Message From Liz on The Proposed Marine Transfer Station at East 91st

Monday, June 6th, 2011

I was deeply disappointed that the New York City Department of Sanitation has revised its Capital Budget request to include funding for the proposed Marine Transfer Station at East 91st Street. I submitted testimony last month to the City Council strongly urging them to reject this capital funding request for the 91st Street Marine Transfer Station.

A Marine Transfer Station located at 91st Street will have very serious deleterious effects on area parks, traffic, odor, noise, air quality and public health. The residential neighborhood that surrounds the proposed site includes numerous public parks and a major recreational facility, as well as one of Manhattan’s largest public housing complexes. The site is just 100 feet from the closest residence, and less than 280 feet from the Stanley Isaacs/Holmes Houses New York City Housing Authority complex which is home to more than 2,200 residents. More than 1,400 children live within 5 blocks of the site. According to census data from 2000, 13,500 people live within a quarter mile radius of the proposed site, including 1,850 children, 1,622 senior citizens and more than 1,500 people living below the poverty line. For comparison purposes—the next most populated community in which the City proposes to locate a Marine Transfer Station, Hamilton Avenue in Brooklyn, has less than 1/3 the number of people (4,300 people) living within a quarter of a mile radius of that site. Additionally, and disturbingly, 91st Street is the only proposed Marine Transfer Station site not separated from nearby residences by a commercial buffer zone.

The proposed 91st Street site is also surrounded by three city parks—Asphalt Green to the west, Carl Schurz Park to the south and Bobby Wagner Walk to the north. Before the former 91st Street Marine Transfer Station was closed in 1999 (which was less than half the size of the one currently proposed), the trucks would line-up all the way to 86th Street and beyond, and the surrounding neighborhood suffered greatly from odors, vermin and other pollutants. There is no question that the noise, noxious fumes and pollutants from the Marine Transfer Station, as well as the exhaust from the hundreds of trucks that will line up to enter the Marine Transfer Station each day, will dramatically affect the health and safety of the surrounding residents and community facilities. I will continue to work with our local Councilmembers, other elected officials and community advocates to fight this ill advised and dangerous plan.