I am proud to announce that I am the lead plaintiff with Councilmember Jessica Lappin and Asphalt Green on a new federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City to stop the construction of Mayor Bloomberg’s ill-conceived East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station.
When Superstorm Sandy hit on October 29th, the area around the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station flooded, damaging Asphalt Green’s facilities – with waters reaching as far as First Avenue. This new reality of frequent extreme weather should be a wake up call for the Bloomberg administration and the City Council – that building a Marine Transfer Station in Flood Zone “A” is a disaster in the making.
Our new lawsuit exposes the fact that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act along with its own guidelines in granting the final permit necessary to begin construction on the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station. The Army Corps of Engineers cut corners in issuing its permit in July. They failed to thoroughly evaluate all possible alternative sites, the true long term environmental impact on this densely populated residential neighborhood and whether constructing a Marine Transfer Station at East 91st Street is truly in the public interest. That puts our community, and the tens-of-thousands of people who use Asphalt Green each year, at risk.
In June, I sued Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council in State Supreme Court to stop the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station. While that lawsuit is ongoing, this new lawsuit will give us yet another avenue to finally stop the construction of the East 91stStreet Marine Transfer Station.
Below you may find my press release announcing the lawsuit and a copy of the lawsuit itself.
New York, NY – Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner (D-Upper East Side/Yorkville/Roosevelt Island) released the following statement today in response to the audit report issued by the US Department of Transportation’s Inspector General.
“Yesterday, the federal government agreed that the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station is a danger to all New Yorkers. The bombshell report by the Inspector General of the US DOT is in stark contrast with the FAA’s assertion that it has done everything possible to reduce bird strikes against airplanes. This report leaves no doubt that marine transfer stations – like the one proposed at east 91st street – attract birds and leads to more bird strikes. Clearly, allowing the East 91st Street MTS to go through would create a greater risk of bird strikes. Three years ago, a bird strike disabled an airplane after it left one of New York’s runways. Thankfully, the skills of Captain Chesley Sullenberger turned what could have been a major disaster into the Miracle on the Hudson. But not every pilot can be a Captain Sullenberger. By building East 91st Street MTS, we are inviting another incident and New York may not be as lucky as we were on that January day.
The FAA, Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn have refused to recognize the danger that the MTS plays by its proximity to our airports. This DOT report should serve as a wake up call that lives will be put at risk if the MTS is allowed to go forward. Why the Mayor would want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to put lives at risk is beyond reasonable comprehension.”
Assembly Member Kellner serves as the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the construction of the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station.
The US DOT Inspector General’s report is available at http://www.oig.dot.gov/sites/dot/files/wildlife%20report.pdf
This week, Our Town published an Op-Ed I wrote regarding the need for more middle schools on the Upper East Side. You can read it below:
Statement from Assembly Member Micah Kellner regarding Governor Cuomo signing the accessible taxi tax credit into law.