April 13, 2011
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
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