Saturday, April 16, 2011

U.S. Congressman Serrano Weighs in on Mayor Bloombergs Backtracking on 2006 Waste Management Agreement

The Bronx, specifically Hunts Point, handles substantially more than its fair share of NYC’s solid waste, leading to increased truck traffic and poor air quality. As Hunts Point becomes a destination for prime commercial space and residents in the community demand better living conditions, these health concerns become a major issue for a Congressman that is deeply entrenched in the neighborhood. U.S. Congressman Serrano recently wrote a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, which I posted below. The letter discusses issues and the need for the 2006 waste management agreement to be honored. Other boroughs need to handle their fair share of solid waste management and the promise for new marine transfer stations should be honored by NYC, without further delay. I am sure if the trucks were driving by Gracie Mansion daily, it would not be an issue.


April 13, 2011

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

It is my understanding that in your proposed budget you are backtracking from the carefully negotiated agreement reached in 2006 that provided for greater equity among the City’s boroughs in how our waste would be handled. I supported that agreement, because finally there was recognition that the Bronx would no longer be the City’s principal site for the City’s waste stream.

The Solid Waste Management Plan, finalized in 2006, was an important step in recognizing the negative public health impact of placing the majority of the City’s waste transfer stations in the South Bronx and Brooklyn. The vital component of this plan was the construction of several new marine transfer facilities which would limit the impact of truck traffic in neighborhoods like those I represent in the Bronx. A five to eight year delay in the construction of many of these facilities, as your budget proposes, essentially renders this agreement worthless by putting off the goal of waste equity into an uncertain future.

If a disproportionate share of waste transfer stations continue to be located in the Bronx, it means that the associated problems of pollution causing truck traffic and degraded air quality will also remain centered in the Bronx. This is not acceptable. All of the boroughs produce the trash and all should have an equal responsibility to share in the burdens of how we dispose of this trash.

The Bronx cannot afford to wait any longer for the City to move forward with the promised implementation of this equitable and shared solution to New York City’s waste. I am requesting the immediate restoration of this critical funding in your budget. Our Bronx community will not accept budget shortfalls as a reason to tolerate any further delays in achieving the improvements to our environment that we deserve and were promised. I hope that your amended budget, which will be released in May, rectifies this serious problem.


José E. Serrano
Member of Congress

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