The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jerome Park Reservoir Hearing

Just another reason not to trust the city's alleged plans for the Ridgewood Reservoir. The following was just published in the Daily News.

Hearing set on Jerome Park Reservoir blasting for water treatment plant
By Bill Egbert Daily News Staff Writer
Thursday, July 10th 2008, 5:10 PM

With residents going ballistic over the city's plan to use blasting for a water project in their area, three local community boards are joining for a public hearing to let them blow off steam.

Community Boards 7, 8 and 12 are sponsoring a public hearing July 15 to address the Department of Environmental Protection's recently announced plan to use blasting at the Jerome Park Reservoir in part of the controversial Croton Water Treatment Plant project underway at Van Cortlandt Park.

"There is a real fear that something major could go wrong," said Fernando Tirado, district manager for Community Board 7. "All the comments we're getting from the community so far have been negative."

Residents and community leaders are outraged at the dramatic departure from the plan assessed in the project's Environmental Impact Statement, which stipulated that the shaft by the reservoir would be dug by the raised-bore method - drilling up to the surface from the underground water tunnel - with the rubble removed through the tunnel to the Van Cortlandt site to be trucked away from there.

The new plan calls for four months of blasting down from the surface and trucking out the 9,000 cubic yards of debris through neighborhood streets.

DEP said it expects the blasting to be cheaper and faster than the method promised in the statement, but that's little comfort to local residents, said Tirado.

Citing overruns that have nearly tripled the cost of the multi-billion-dollar project, construction mishaps at the reservoir, and federal allegations of mob connections, Tirado questioned whether setting off explosives in a residential neighborhood next to three high schools and a college is the wisest way for DEP to start economizing.

"This seems to be a very cheap cost-cutting measure that doesn't take into account the interests of the community," Tirado said

Residents are invited to express their interests and concerns from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the faculty dining room of the Lehman College Music Building.

DEP is also expected to give testimony justifying the departure from the statement and outlining noise mitigation measures it plans to put in place, such as enclosing the work area with a 20-foot-high sound barrier like the one surrounding the blasting work already carried out at Van Cortlandt Park.

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