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Upper East Siders To Rally (Again) Against 91st Street Trash Station

By Amy Zimmer | August 19, 2011 5:26pm

MANHATTAN — Upper East Siders will be raising their voices once again against the proposed garbage transfer station on the East River at 91st Street.

East Side elected officials, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney, state Sen. Liz Krueger, Assemblyman Micah Kellner and City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin will lead Saturday's 10:30 a.m. rally on the corner of 92nd Street and York Avenue.

They're hoping to remind residents to register their opposition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before its public comment period for the permit for the Department of Sanitation's application for the trash facility ends on Aug. 24.

The neighborhood already staged two other protests against the garbage station, which could bring up to 54 garbage trucks an hour barreling through the densely-populated neighborhood and process as much as 4,290 tons of garbage per day.

The Army Corps, the federal agency responsible for issuing the permits to build the new dock at 91st Street, re-opened the public comment period to give the community a chance to review and comment on the city's plan to protect the environment.  

Upper East Siders are outraged by the possibility of trucks rumbling just feet away from where their kids play ball at the Asphalt Green Recreation Center, but East Side elected officials have raised other environmental concerns about the garbage transfer station's impact on marine life in the East River.  

"The dock that the city is proposing to construct for this ill-conceived site for a garbage transfer station would pose a threat to the delicate marine habitat of the environmentally sensitive East River ecosystem," Maloney has said in a statement.

Although a trash facility already exists at 91st Street — it had been in operation from the 1940s up until 1999 — the city needs new permits for the upgraded trash station.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over the nation's waterways, says it will make its decision after a required study on how construction would impact fish habitats and other environmental factors.

"The primary focus is on the impact of the construction in the water," Richard Tomer, chief of the Army Corps of Engineers' New York district, told DNAinfo.  

He added: "We need to address the other environmental concerns raised by the community."

The East 91st Street garbage facility, which is also the focus of pending litigation, is part of the Bloomberg administration's larger plan, passed in 2006, to enable each borough to handle its own trash and help the city move more garbage onto barges to cut down long-haul truck traffic. 

It is intended to reduce the burden on neighborhoods in the outer boroughs, like the South Bronx and Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that have had a disproportionate number of trash facilities.