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Monday, September 24, 2007

Diaz on Filter Plant: 'We've Been Misled'

Bronx Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr., a candidate for Bronx borough president in 2009, told talk show host Gary Axelbank on Monday night that he and his colleagues were "misled" by the city when they voted to allow the city to dig a giant hole in Van Cortlandt Park for a water filtration plant. "We need to come to grips that we've been misled," Diaz told Axelbank. "If we had known then what we know now, we would have voted differently."
What he knows now is that the pricetag for the plant has escalated dramatically from $1.2 to $2.8 billion; that over a million gallons of water from the site are being discharged into the sewer system; and that the project has produced many fewer Bronx jobs than promised. Diaz said that he had forwarded the applications of 31 constituents to the DEP but that "not a single person has received a job."
He said that Jeffrey Dinowitz, the only Bronx assemblyman to vote against the plant, was right to do so.
Diaz is the first assemblyman to express regret over voting for the facility. His comments are likely to put Council Member Joel Rivera, another likely Bronx BP candidate, on the spot. Rivera's father -- Bronx Democratic Party chair Jose Rivera -- made the parks-for-plant deal with the city that paved the way for the project -- and as Council Majority leader, Rivera supported a measure that cleared the path for the legislation in the state legislature.
Diaz made his comments on "BronxTalk PrimeTime" which is rebroadcast on Cablevision channel 67 (Bronxnet) all week at 9 p.m.


  1. Diaz's comments don't sound that different from Hillary's on the war in Iraq. It's a first step to admit that things aren't working out now, but let's see if one of these guys takes the John Edwards approach and apologizes, instead of just using the "misled" line.

    Although it does seems like DEP is always misleading us. They need major independent oversight and, until they get some, I won't trust them anymore than the Bush administration.

  2. It is cute that Ruben Diaz Jr. came on the show and actually decided to come out on an issue because he has decided he is running for Bronx Borough President. Don’t we all remember how he came on this very same show and gushed about how good of an idea this was? Either Bronx elected officials have a short memory or he is clearly pandering to Gary’s audience.

  3. GW you are right. He may be very well pandering to Gary's audience which is why I like to hold our elected officials not so much to what they say but what they do. I'm a good friend of Ruben and Joel and I think that this plant was a mistake from the start. There was strong community opposition, moreso then supporters and unfortunately, the community was ignored because Ruben, Joel and the others who supported it, took DEP to their words and promises. I do give him credit for admitting publicly that it was a mistake.

  4. What Assemblyman Diaz did was smart and other elected officials who voted for this idiotic project ought to quickly do the same. Because if they don't, I guarantee you, it is only a matter of time before the whole foolish concept unravels and, pardon the pun, washes away anyone in its path. Make no mistake: This is an undeniable multi-billion dollar scandal and an environmental disaster.

    Greg Lobo Jost's statement about the DEP "misleading us" falls way short. The DEP has not "misled" you; they have outright lied to you. To see the best document on this, I refer you to the report that Assemblyman Dinowitz filed earlier this week with the DOI.


    As horrifying as this is when it comes to the cost, the daily hemorrhaging of millions of gallons of groundwater into the sewer system, and the DEP's irresponsibility when it comes to the water system on the whole, it only scratches the surface of the whole thing when it comes to the many other issues like jobs, the Jerome Park Reservoir, the status of the parks mitigation monies, the potential conflict of interest of Christopher Ward, etc.

    We all need to insist on an investigation, and not by the city's DOI, which is being paid by the DEP to watch over things, but by a higher authority like the State Attorney General or Comptroller.

  5. Everyone who lives in the area (like myself) knew this whole project was a scam from day one. I guess Diaz finally got off his rump and gave his


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