FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, GOVERNOR PATERSON, SPEAKER SILVER, MAJORITY LEADER SKELOS AND SPEAKER QUINN ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT ON PLAN TO REACTIVATE GANSEVOORT MARINE TRANSFER STATION
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor David A. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today announced an agreement on a plan to reactivate the Marine Transfer Station on Manhattan's Gansevoort Peninsula, a key component of the City's Solid Waste Management Plan. This will allow for Manhattan's recyclables to be shipped to processing facilities by barge instead of by truck, cutting 30,000 truck miles per year from City streets. Under the agreement, the Mayor, Governor, Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to identify current projects in Hudson River Park that will receive funding, which will be supplied equally by the City and State.
"We have reached an agreement on the final legislative approval necessary for implementing our landmark Solid Waste Management Plan," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The plan, which makes each borough responsible for handling its own waste, is environmentally responsible and economically sustainable. This agreement will allow us to realize all of the goals of the plan and lessen the burden on many neighborhoods that for too long shouldered the majority of waste management problems. I would like to thank Governor Paterson, Assembly Speaker Silver, Senate Majority Leader Skelos, Senator Bruno and Council Speaker Quinn for their leadership, as well as Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, one of the earliest supporters of the Gansevoort project."
"Today's agreement to implement the Solid Waste Management Program is not only a more environmentally responsible way to deal with our City's waste, it will also have a positive impact on asthma rates throughout our City's communities by saving 30,000 truck miles per year from our streets," said Governor Paterson. "I want to thank Speaker Silver, Senator Skelos and Senator Bruno for working together on this important agreement and Mayor Bloomberg and Council Speaker Quinn for their vision and leadership on this issue. The reactivation of the Marine Transfer Station will have a long lasting impact on our city's recycling program and will serve as a model plan on waste management and the transportation of recyclable materials."
"I am pleased that we have worked together to enact legislation that will enhance Hudson River Park - with details to be spelled out in a joint memorandum of understanding - and help to lessen truck traffic, and permit the City's Solid Waste Management Plan to proceed," said Speaker Silver.
"This consensus agreement will help to ensure that Manhattan's waste will not continue to be trucked to overburdened neighborhoods in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, further exacerbating already high rates of asthma," said Senate Majority Leader Skelos. "Once operational, the marine transfer station will reduce truck traffic and emissions by handling recyclables generated in Manhattan. In addition, the new facility will help teach school children and others about a simple way to preserve the environment through recycling. I commend Mayor Bloomberg for his vision on this important project that will have a lasting effect for the people of New York City and New York."
"This consensus agreement will reduce the number of truck miles required for transporting recyclable materials and solid waste in New York City, while ensuring that the Gansevoort facility is utilized to teach schoolchildren and others about the benefits of recycling," said Senator Bruno. "I commend Mayor Bloomberg for his vision on this important project and thank my partners in government for their hard work in getting this result."
"My thanks go out to Speaker Shelly Silver, Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Senator Joe Bruno and Governor David Paterson for an agreement that will bring environmental responsibility to the way our City deals with waste," said Speaker Quinn. "For too long, the burden of the City's waste fell to a limited number of communities outside Manhattan. The Council worked very hard with the Administration to pass a Solid Waste Management Plan, and I am proud that my district has the opportunity to play an important role in this plan, with a recycling transfer facility that will take 30,000 truck miles off the roads each year while providing educational space to our community."
The Solid Waste Management Plan, which was overwhelmingly adopted by the City Council in 2006 and later approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, establishes a cost-effective, reliable and environmentally sound system for managing the City's waste for the next 20 years. Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler is overseeing the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Plan through a working group that includes the Sanitation Department, the Economic Development Corporation, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Citywide Administrative Services, Law, Parks Departments. Under the Solid Waste Management Plan, rail cars and barges from marine transfer stations will transport nearly all of the City's residential waste. As a result, Sanitation trucks will travel about 2.7 million fewer miles per year, and travel by tractor-trailer trucks will be reduced by 3 million miles per year.
When the Fresh Kills landfill was closed, the burden of receiving waste shifted from Staten Island to other communities, particularly in North Brooklyn, the South Bronx, and Southeast Queens, where most of the City's private transfer stations are located. Under the Solid Waste Management Plan, the great bulk of waste generated in each borough is taken to a transfer station within that same borough.
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958