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Thursday, July 31, 2008

More on Postponed Blasting Plan

A little more information from the Riverdale Press, on top of the link to the NY Times story we provided in a post earlier today, about the DEP's controversial blasting plan being stopped by a judge yesterday.

Basically, according to both reports, the DEP will not be able to begin blasting until at least Sept. 3. At that point, there will be another hearing to determine whether the DEP will need to complete a new or amended environmental impact study before the blasting plan is allowed to go forward.

Court papers argued that “the DEP has no authority to make the decision to begin blasting at the Jerome Park Reservoir without a new, supplemental or amended Environmental Assessment or Review,” according to the Press article.

The DEP said it was already in the process of completing a more informal impact study, according to the Press, though previously the agency had said they didn't need to do one. But local residents and elected officials (and aspiring elected officials) railed against the plan at a public hearing two weeks ago.

At issue is not only using explosives to excavate 9,000 cubic feet of rock, but also a new plan to truck the rock and other debris from the Jerome Park Reservoir through a slew of densely populated neighborhoods that house several schools (including the area known as the Education Mile that includes Bronx Science, Lehman College and the Walton H.S. Campus).

In the first enviornmental impact statement, the DEP said it would truck debris out through a tunnel that exited out of Van Cortlandt Park a couple of miles away. And there was no mention of blasting either. Residents say this is a classic case of bait and switch.


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