Towns Reiterate Interest
By JORDAN MOSS
As city environmental officials get closer to picking one of eight sites in the Bronx and Westchester to build a controversial water filtration plant, the town supervisors of Greenburg and Mount Pleasant told the Daily News last week that they are interested in the facility.
Bronx politicians seized on the report and called for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to enter into negotiations with the Paul Feiner and Robert Meehan, respectively the supervisors of Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant. The Westchester officials are interested in the tax money and other financial incentives that would come their way if the city builds the plant in their towns.
"I strongly urge you to immediately reach out to and open up discussion with these two officials," wrote Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz in a letter to the mayor. "If it is possible to avoid construction of this facility in the Bronx and locate it in a community where it may be wanted, that would be an ideal solution to the problem we are facing."
Congressman Eliot Engel reiterated his call, first made in February, for a summit between Bronx and Westchester County officials.
The supervisors weighed in just as the city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) came out with its 3,000-plus page Preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement (PDEIS), the last public document that will be produced before the city makes its siting decision in December.
Local activists and politicians blasted the agency for arguing in its report that the filtration plant would have little negative impact on surrounding communities, wherever it is built.
"I'm outraged," said Councilwoman June M. Eisland in a statement. "The PDEIS seems to ignore reality. Five years or more of construction to build a huge, industrial-size plant is an assault on the residents and schools in the area."
Eisland is chair of the City Council's Land Use Committee which will eventually hold hearings on the DEP's siting decision.
Three public hearings will be held on the PDEIS. In the Bronx, a hearing will be held on Wed., Oct. 28, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. on at Manhattan College's Smith Auditorium, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway. The PDEIS has also been deposited at the offices of Community Board 7. Call 933-5650 for more information.
Meanwhile, on the Oct. 12 edition of BronxTalk, on cable channel 67, at 8:30 p.m., Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and two other filtration activists -- Karen Argenti of the Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, and Stalin Acosta, a Lehman alumnus who favors building the plant in Shandler Recreation Area -- will discuss the PDEIS and related matters. BronxTalk is repeated each night during the week at 8:30 and 11:00 p.m.
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