The Community Sanitation Steering Committee, under the aegis of the Tribeca Community Association (TCA), has been actively opposing the City's proposed facility for two years.
In early 2009, Tribeca Community Association, Canal West Coalition, several neighborhood Coop & Condo Boards, local businesses and individuals brought a class action suit against the City. This action did two things: (1) the City responded with more than 1,000 pages of responses! And, (2) after many meetings, the Friends of Hudson River Park have joined TCA in asking the City to reconsider this plan. This is a very important development!
TWO YEARS OF TRYING TO BE HEARD
The Community has undertaken a class action lawsuit to stop the DSNY plan. The City would have you believe that the lawsuit is "a last effort to prevent construction of a Garage that [we] dislike." However, for more than two years, the Community has asked the Department of Sanitation to reconsider its neighborhood-destroying plans, but neither the Bloomberg Administration nor City Council Speaker Quinn, who represents the area, have been willing to consider any other plan. Only Borough President Scott Stringer has opposed any part of the DSNY plan.
The community has asked DSNY to scale back its plans to a shape and form that would meet the Fair Share provisions of the City Charter. As long ago as 1980, former DSNY Commissioner (and former First Deputy Mayor) Norman Steisel said, “Garages which serve more than one Sanitation District have an adverse impact on the neighborhoods in which they are situated. Multi-garages are usually unpopular with the community because they produce a large amount of truck traffic, contribute to air and noise pollution, and create jurisdictional problems both public and operational.”
Yet the Bloomberg/Quinn Alliance have fair share amnesia as they expediently justify overburdening Hudson Square with the refuse of three areas, and are unconcerned with air quality as they truck this refuse from miles away. Yet, though air quality has been assessed to second worst in the Northeast, DSNY plans to add more traffic to the roads by saying the air quality will not be "significantly" impacted. And to ensure that the Community could not provide an air quality study of a scope sufficient to support our claims, the City would not allow monitors...and removed the City's own air quality monitors away from the affected Canal Street Corridor.
DSNY maintains that they are obligated by law to relocate the 8-acre sanitation facility on Gansevoort Pier as part of a settlement with Friends of Hudson River Park to clear the pier for park space. However, that deal was struck in private without any opportunity for the public to comment, a requirement of the Hudson River Park Act. Further, this 8-acre facility is being forced into a 2-acre parcel bounded by Spring and Washington Streets, and is only possible because the City can exempt its own projects from all standard building requirements!
DSNY previously -- and successfully -- took Block 675, a 180,000 sq. ft land parcel located at 12th Avenue and 30th Street through ULURP (the City's land use review process) for this specific use, with the full support of all affected community boards and the Department of Sanitation. However, the City abandoned that location after considering the redevelopment of Hudson Yards "more important" than Hudson Square. The Hudson Yards Sanitation Facility incorporated community amenities and green space -- which is exactly what the residents of the lower west side have requested for the new location. Meanwhile, Hudson Yards redevelopment has been stalled by the economy for the "foreseeable future."
The City requested and won permission from the State to use Gansevoort Pier for a marine transfer station for all City recyclables after the Sanitation facility is removed...which is to say that the City will replace one facility with another!
The City proposes to build a new, 78' high, 10 million pound salt shed in a federally-designated special flood hazard area (blue dotted areas in illustration), which by its own standards abrogates the rules of responsible salt pile siting. From the Silvercup FEIS (environmental impact statement) issued by the City itself: "Likely criteria that would be applied in identifying and evaluating alternative sites for the relocation of the salt storage facility would include adequate site size, convenient access to the regional roadway network, ground conditions and topography, avoidance of nearby sensitive land uses, avoidance of the 100-year flood plain, nearby water bodies or other ecologically sensitive areas, site ownership, a preference for vacant land, appropriate zoning designation, and cost."