By Jon Schuppe
MANHATTAN — A state Supreme Court judge has dealt another blow to opponents of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to build a garbage transfer station on the Upper East Side.
Justice Michael Stallman ruled that the city didn’t need to seek special approval from the state Legislature because the project would not affect a nearby park.
It was the judge’s third decision in support of Bloomberg’s plan to include the W. 91st Street site in an overhaul of the city’s garbage-hauling system. The mayor wants to replace the current system, which relies on trucks to haul the waste elsewhere, with a network of so-called “marine waste transfer stations” served by barges and trains.
The opponents of the 91st Street project, which lies along the East River just three blocks from Gracie Mansion, included state Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, the Yorkville Youth Athletic Association, the non-profit group ACORN and several neighborhood residents.
They accused the city of failing to a proper environmental-impact study. They also argued that the project would interfere with the operations of an adjacent recreational complex called Asphalt Green and therefore needed approval from the state Legislature.
Stallman rejected the environmental claims in two earlier decisions. This time, he took aim at the parks issue.
In a ruling dated Dec. 21 and made public on Monday, Stallman ruled that Asphalt Green was not a public park and would not be affected much during the 11-month construction schedule.
In a statement, the city law department welcomed the ruling and said it was committed to having the station exist in harmony with surrounding recreational areas.
“The planned transfer station at East 91st Street is an important part of the shift to a much more environmentally-friendly and responsible waste management system for the city,” Senior Counsel Carrie Noteboom said in a statement.