18, No. 2
Jan. 27 - Feb. 9, 2005
Judge Halts Filter Plant Work in Park
By JORDAN MOSS
Queens Supreme Court Justice
Marguerite Grays ordered the city Tuesday to stop construction work on the
filtration plant in Van Cortlandt Park until she made a final decision in
the matter of whether the filtration plant could go forward.
Bronx Environmental Health and Justice (BEHJ) brought the suit, charging the
city failed to conduct the proper environmental reviews before choosing the
park site. The organization, which is being represented by the Columbia
University Environmental Law Clinic, argues that the city’s study minimized
the impact in the largely minority community of Norwood in order to avoid
building the plant in the more remote, industrial Eastview site that the
city owns in Westchester.
“We want her to rule that the EIS [Environmental Impact Statement] was
inadequate, that the construction should be stopped and [that the city] has
to do an adequate EIS,” said Edward Lloyd, who directs the Columbia clinic.
Grays had originally issued a temporary restraining order on Jan. 12, but
city officials said they could go ahead with the work while they appealed.
But a week later the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division ruled in
BEHJ’s favor and told the city to stop work until the case was decided by
“The wheels of justice will turn and we’ll await the outcome,” said Charles
Sturcken, a DEP spokesman.
Lloyd said the judge said she would try to rule on the case as soon as
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