Appeals Court Rules in Favor of East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station
YORKVILLE — A state appellate court has decided Tuesday that the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station does not require additional environmental review, dealing a blow to opponents who had long looked for judicial means to prevent the project's construction.
The panel of judges sided with the Department of Sanitation — the municipal agency overseeing the project — saying it had already conducted enough studies.
"As the lead agency, DSNY took the requisite 'hard look' at the potential impacts," the ruling stated.
This particular lawsuit, filed by Assembly Member Micah Kellner and other area leaders, claimed the DSNY needed to examine whether more trash than expected would be processed by the MTS.
According to Kellner, the department's failure to construct other trash facilities around the city in a timely manner as planned — such as the Gansevoort recycling plant — meant that the East 91st site might take in twice as much trash as promised.
Yorkville residents fear that the plan will bring vermin and traffic — as well as a host of other health, safety, and quality-of-life problems — to the area.
The court was not convinced.
"Petitioners’ scenarios suggesting potential consequences of the delay are no more than speculation," the judges wrote in their decision. "We have considered petitioners’ remaining arguments and find them unavailing."
The City's Law Department, which has done battle over the MTS many times, took Tuesday's news as a victory.
"This is the fourth unsuccessful appeal in the 91st Street case since 2008. The city has defeated every challenge thus far," said Jane L. Gordon, a city lawyer who worked on the case.
Kellner said he disagreed with the decision.
"I'm obviously disappointed," he said. "I think these judges made this [decision] in an academic vacuum."
At any rate, he remained optimistic and swore to fight the MTS.
"I'm still ever hopeful that we will win the day and that the MTS will not move forward," he said.
"I think in a few years, we're going to be cutting a ribbon on a new waterfront park instead."
At press time, the Assembly member and City Council candidate had not decided whether to file a new lawsuit.
Two federal lawsuits on the MTS are ongoing.